FAQs for the General Public
How much does GCEMS charge for services?
The cost of medical care can be daunting. Additionally, navigating an unexpected emergency medical care bill can be confusing, frustrating, and overwhelming. The state of Utah sets the rates at which ambulance services can charge. These rates are adjusted each year on July 1st and are based on the level of care provided in addition to the number of miles the patient travels in the back of the ambulance if they are transported to a hospital. The Utah Department of Health has posted, effective July 1, 2021, a ground ambulance or paramedic provider is only allowed to charge a fee for transporting a patient when the patient is actually transported. The base rate are as follows:
Ground ambulance: $951 per tranport
Advanced EMT ground ambulance: $1,256 per transport
Paramedic ground ambulance: $1,838 per transport
Additionally, the standard mileage rate is $36.90 per mile or fraction therof. In all cases, mileage shall be computed from the point of pick-up to the point of patient delivery. Fuel fluctuation rate changes may be granted when diesel fuel exceeds $5.10 per gallon or when gasoline exceeds $4.25 per gallong as invoiced; a surcharge of $0.25 per mile traveled may be assessed.
Finally, a licensed ambulance provider may charge for supplies and for providing supplies, medications, and administering medications used on any response if (1) supplies and medications are priced fairly and competitively, (2) the individual does not refuse service, and (3) the licensed personnel for the licensed ambulance probider assess or treat the individual.
Services that GCEMS cannot charge for include: hiking into the backcountry to access a patient, patients not transported to a hospital in our ambulance, if we hand off patient care to a different agency that completes transport.
Will Grand County EMS take me wherever I want to go?
No, but the patient always has the ability to refuse assessment, treatment, and/or transport at any time if they are 18 years or older, don't present a life-threat to themself or anyone else, and don't have an altered mental status. We encourage our patients to accept transport to a receiving hospital that will be able to give them the best medical care based on the their presenting condition. There are, of course, some cases of extenuating circumstances.
I want to work for GCEMS. What does that process look like?
Get in touch with us! You can contact us on Facebook, Instagram or
email us. We typically hire twice a year. Most applicants start as unscheduled "as needed" employee who must commit to 48 hours of shifts and one training per month. We typically offer full and part-time positions internally before opening them to external candidates.
Once you've shown interest, we will reach out and let you know when our next hiring period will be. At that point, we may invite you to Moab for a testing day which includes: a pack test (two miles on a track in 30 minutes or less with a 25 pound weight vest), a written exam to test competency at your level of care, and a scenario test. At that point, applicants are reviewed and may be offered an interview. If you are offered a position after the interview, you will meet with our training coordinator and begin the process of field training.
What level of care does Grand County EMS provide?
We provide ALS emergency care 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. When paramedic staff is available, we are allowed to operate at the paramedic level due to a state waiver we have received.
Who is the medical director for GCEMS? And how do I contact him?
Our medical director is Dr. Doug Murdock. Dr. Murdock who is an Emergency Room physician having graduated from the University of Utah School of Medicine in 1994. Prior to becoming a doctor, he worked an Advanced EMT for many years. If you are on our staff and you have a question for Dr. Murdock, you can contact him by email or cell phone directly. His contact information is on our roster. Community members may bring questions to the on-duty captain who will arrange to pass them on to Dr. Murdock. The on-duty Captain's number is 435.220.0177.
What special training does GCEMS implement to rescue patients in the backcountry?
Our agency often responds into the backcountry throughout Grand County--especially during the spring and fall. We are trained to use rope gear to access patients, and we work closely with Grand County Search and Rescue, the National Parks Service, the Bureau of Land Management, and Classic Air Medical to coordinate the access and extrication of patients in the field.
How much do people who work for GCEMS get paid?
Once updated for 2021, we will post wages. Office staff work traditional 0900-1700 days Monday through Friday. On-duty staff work 48 hour shifts with pay currently being guaranteed for 16 hours over each 24 hour period.
What are the financial costs associated with being an ambulance service?
The biggest one is the cost of readiness. We need to be able to meet the needs of our community and people visiting our community at all times of the year. This means we need to staff accordingly to be able to meet peak demand during busy times. This year we have experienced a large increase in call volume that has put stress on our staffing model.
Payment of our staff constitutes about 85% of our budget. Other costs include medical supplies (which can fluctuate based on national supply and demand), vehicle maintenence, fuel, and the cost of maintaining a robust training and education program that supports our staff and our community.