Frequently Asked Questions
Question: How do I access the EMS system?
Answer: Dial 9-1-1 to report any emergency. When the call is answered you be asked several questions. The first question is “where and what is the emergency?” When your call is determined to be of a medical nature, you will be conferenced with the Northern New Jersey Mobile Intensive Care Consortium’s Communication Center, better known as MICCOM. At the same time emergency equipment is being dispatched, you will be asked additional questions about the situation. When calling 9-1-1 please do the following:
- Speak clearly into the telephone and speak directly to the 9-1-1 operator.
- Don’t talk with others while on 9-1-1; don’t put the operator on hold.
- Know the exact location (building number, street, suite or apartment number, or street intersection) where help is needed.
- Answer all the questions the 9-1-1 call taker asks. The information requested is not only for your safety, but also for the safety of the responding personnel.
- Don’t hang up until asked to do so by the call taker. The 9-1-1 call taker may be able to give important instructions before emergency personnel arrive.
Question: What do I do after the phone call?
Answer: Remain calm. Call takers are specially trained Emergency Medical Technicians and Emergency Medical Dispatchers from MICCOM. They are among the highest trained emergency medical dispatchers in the Nation! They will provide information and instructions to assist you in reacting to the emergency and providing aid to the patient. Remember to not move an injured person unless their life is in immediate danger. Equally important, don’t become a victim yourself. Offer only the level of aid that you are comfortable with providing. Finally, if your request for assistance is for an illness, gather all medications the patient is taking, along with a current medical history, to pass on to the emergency medical personnel when they arrive.
Question: Is there anything I can do to make finding my house easier?
Answer: Yes. First, does your house number display measure up to these standards?
- Is your house number at least 5 inches in height and readable from the street?
- Make sure your house number is set on a background of contrasting color.
- On a corner lot, your house number should face the street named in the address.
- House numbers should be illuminated OR easily visible at night.
- House numbers should be in plain block numerals, not script or written numbers.
- When the house is some distance from the street, or when the view of the house is blocked by trees or shrubs, house numbers should be on a sign attached to a tree, fence, gate or lawn stake.
Second, at night have someone blink the house lights when they see our emergency lights or have someone at the end of your driveway to flag us down.
Question: What happens at the emergency scene?
Answer: Personnel will arrive usually within three minutes. When EMTs arrive, their first action is to assess the condition of the patient and determine the need for immediate actions. Many situations can best be corrected by life-sustaining therapy that is most successful when initiated at the emergency scene. Please allow the emergency medical personnel time to complete these actions for the benefit of the patient. As the patient’s condition is stabilized, arrangements will be made for transport. It is our goal to transport the patient to the most appropriate hospital facility.
Question: Why does a fire truck show up?
Answer: Sometimes a fire engine will respond along with an ambulance because it is the closest emergency vehicle to the scene or, during call screening, the MICCOM call taker/dispatcher has determined that the call was of a life threatening nature and the firefighters will respond to assist EMTs and Paramedics with these calls. If an ambulance is delayed due to excessive call volume in the City, these firefighters will render whatever aid is necessary. Along with basic medical equipment, fire engines are equipped with automatic external defibrillators, a device used to monitor the heart and deliver an electrical charge to correct a life-threatening heart rhythm. Teamwork is an essential part of emergency operations, and all of the personnel on the emergency scene are trained to function as a lifesaving team.
Question: Can I go along to the hospital?
Answer: You may ride along to the hospital; however, you will be asked to ride in the front with the driver. When possible, drive your own vehicle to the hospital because we are not able to give you a ride back to your home. When driving to the hospital, you must obey all state laws and stay at least 500 feet behind the ambulance. Excessive speed and dangerous maneuvers will endanger others as well as you.
Question: Does HVAC install child seats?
Answer: Cars seat installations are handled by the Hackensack Police Department. Contact them at (201) 646-7737 for this service during regular business hours.
Question: Is Hackensack Volunteer Ambulance Corps affiliated with any hospitals?
Answer: No. The Corps transports to regional hospitals as requested by the patient, law enforcement, and protocol.
Question: How is the Hackensack Volunteer Ambulance Corps funded?
Answer: The Corps is a not-for-profit organization, and all acquired funds are used to cover our day-to-day operational expenses, which include vehicle maintenance, medical supplies, uniforms, etc. We receive donations from the public and other organizations in the community. The majority of expenses incurred by the provision of emergency ambulance service to our community are met by our ability to bill for services rendered. When Hackensack Emergency Medical Technicians respond to a call, patients are billed for service when transportation is provided to a hospital. These fees are reimbursable by most insurance companies. Regardless of their ability to pay, our patients can expect to receive appropriate and professional pre-hospital care.
Question: Is the bill for the ambulance covered by insurance?
Answer: In most cases, yes. However, this depends in large part on the type of coverage that the patient has and whether the service is considered “Medically Necessary” by the patient’s insurance carrier. For more information, contact RevenueGuard (see below).
Question: Who do I contact if I have a billing question?
Answer: Hackensack Volunteer Ambulance Corps, Inc. has outsourced ambulance billing to a private company. RevenueGuard handles the billing, insurance filing, and appeals for ambulance runs. For billing questions, please contact them directly at:
PO Box 949
Matawan, NJ 07747
866-624-0900, ext. 2302
Question: I was recently transported by ambulance and Medicare denied my bill for Medical Necessity. Why did they deny and what are my rights?
Answer: The Medicare program will only pay for ambulance services that it deems “Medically Necessary”. In all cases, other means of transportation must be contraindicated due to the patient’s condition, regardless of whether other means are available. In simpler words, the patient’s condition must be acute and such that transport by other means would be endangering the patient’s life, limb or bodily organs.
A patient has the right to appeal Medicare’s decision. In the event that a patient’s bill is rejected, they can file an appeal for reconsideration. Simply obtain all of the information in regards to the service (i.e. ambulance call report, emergency room notes, physician notes, discharge orders, lab results, etc.) and mail them to the Medicare carrier requesting an appeal.