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Typically one family member or friend can ride to the destination with the patient. Normally the family member or friend will ride in the passenger seat of the ambulance, up front. This way they can be properly secured with a seat belt. In addition, this allows the Paramedic and EMT personnel to work on the patient without the interference of the family or friend. One exception is if we are transporting a small (often frightened) child. Typically the mother or father will ride in the back of the ambulance to the destination. However a guest passenger is only allowed in the ambulance at the discretion of the transporting crew.

BLS means Basic Life Support. A BLS ambulance is staffed and equipped to monitor the patient’s condition and recognize changes and provide basic life support measures such as oxygen and spinal immobilization. It is staffed by two EMTs (Emergency Medical Technicians.)

ALS means Advanced Life Support. An ALS ambulance is staffed and equipped to monitor the patient’s condition, recognize changes and provide advanced medical intervention when necessary to support life. An ALS ambulance is typically staffed by an EMT and an EMT-Paramedic.

The federal government has laws and regulations in place that are designed to protect your privacy (you will hear them referred to as the HIPAA laws.) These laws require us to be very careful about the medical information (called Protected Health Information or PHI) we share, and they consider the information about your ambulance trip (including the invoice) to be PHI. The questions we ask and the forms that must be filled out if we are to share your information with anyone besides you are required by law and are designed to protect you and the privacy of your medical records.

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