How do I access the EMS system?

Dial 9-1-1 to report any emergency. When the call is answered you asked several questions. The first question is “what is the emergency?” 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 calltaker asks. They need the information 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 calltaker. The 9-1-1 calltaker may be able to give important instructions before emergency personnel arrive.


What do I do after the phone call?

Remain calm. Call-takers 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.

Is there anything I can do to make finding my house easier?

Yes. First, does your house number display measure up to these standards?

  • Are your house numbers at least 5 inches in height and readable from the street?
  • Make sure your house numbers set on a background of contrasting color.
  • On a corner lot, your house numbers should face the street named in the address.
  • In a rural area, your house number should be on the mail box as well as on the house.
  • 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.


What happens at the emergency scene?

Personnel will arrive usually within six minutes. When paramedics arrive, their first action is to assess the condition of the patient and determine the need for immediate actions. They may contact the local emergency department by radio or telephone to consult with a physician. Many situations can best be corrected by life-sustaining therapy that is most successful when started at the emergency scene. Please allow the emergency medical crews 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.

Why does a fire truck show up?

Sometimes a fire engine will arrive first because it is the closest emergency equipment to the scene. While waiting for the ALS unit to get to the scene, these EMT’s will render whatever aid is necessary. Along with basic medical equipment, some fire engines are equipped with more advanced medical equipment and many are staffed with highly-trained EMT medics. 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.

Why do several pieces of rescue apparatus respond to small incidents?

Rescue units are dispatched in accordance to the information received by 9-1-1 operators. We think worst in terms of case when we respond to citizens in need of assistance. EMT’s and paramedics are dispatched to deal with an incident that can turn from bad to worse. They are well trained and professional.

What should I do when there is an emergency vehicle behind me displaying its lights?

Virginia law requires that the driver of every vehicle shall immediately move as close as possible and parallel to the nearest edge of the road, clear of any intersection, and stop whenever an emergency vehicle with warning lights and siren operating is approaching. The driver shall remained stopped until the emergency vehicle has passed and no other emergency equipment is in sight.Frequently, drivers do not check rear view mirrors often enough, and it is difficult to hear an approaching siren with windows up and the radio turned on. It’s important to check your side and rear view mirrors every 10 seconds and always be alert to the possible presence of emergency vehicles around you.

Remember, if you were in need of emergency help you wouldn’t want thoughtless drivers delaying those enroute to help you!


Can I go along to the hospital?

You may ride along to the hospital; however, you will be asked to ride in the front with the driver. When possible you may want to 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 yourself, 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.

Will I receive a bill?

No. Emergency services rendered by the Charlottesville-Albemarle Rescue Squad are provided to you without charge. The services represent your donations at work.


Does CARS install child seats?

Cars seat installations are handled by the Albemarle County Department of Fire Rescue. ClickÊhere to visit their web site.