Emergency Medical Services (EMS)


2018 Mission Lifeline

Recipient of the 2018 American Heart Association's
EMS Mission Lifeline Gold Plus Award
for excellence in prehospital care of heart attack patients. 


7205 S George Blvd. Sebring, FL 33875
(Located in the Health Department Building)

Phone: (863) 402-6630  Fax: (863) 402-6793

The Highlands County Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Department was established in 1975. The Department is the only state licensed EMS ambulance provider responsible for 24 hour-a-day 911 emergency medical response and ambulance transportation throughout the geographical boundaries of Highlands County.

Dustin Fitch, Emergency Medical Services Manager
Email: DFitch@hcbcc.org

The Highlands County Emergency Medical Services (EMS)Department builds on four foundations:

  1. Excellence in the medical care delivered to our patients;
  3. Response time reliability to true emergency events;
  5. Providing EMS service in the most economically efficient manner possible; and
  7. Excellent customer service to our patient’s.

Our key objective is to reliably deliver the most appropriately trained person to the patient’s side in a timely manner and ensure each patient is directed to the most appropriate healthcare facility based on his/her medical condition.

The EMS team’s mission is “to provide the most outstanding pre-hospital care to the citizens and visitors of Highlands County. We will proudly provide an organized method of response to the perceived health needs of our community, providing basic and advanced prehospital care at the highest quality level possible. We will provide these services by utilizing effective principles and practices of patient care while maintaining the dignity of those we serve.”

EMS core values are: Respect, Integrity, Professionalism, Compassion and Service.

All EMS ambulances are Advanced Life Support, or Paramedic staffed and equipped to provide the highest level of prehospital emergency medical care and transportation. All EMS team members function under the medical license of Dr. Donald Geldart, the EMS Medical Director.

EMS ambulances are based out of six stations countywide with a total of 9 advanced life support transport ambulances dedicated to 911 emergency response 24 hours a day. The EMS Department also provides standby coverage at numerous local events, including the Sebring International Raceway, also ambulance transports between medical facilities.
In year 2017, the EMS Department experienced 17,526 total responses and transported 11,385 patients, or approximately 10% of the county population utilizes EMS services per year. The average response time county wide for arrival of an EMS Paramedic is 7.06 minutes, this is the time from when a 911 call is answered to arrival of EMS at the call location.

The main operating budget of the EMS Department is funded by the General Fund. The cost of providing EMS service is offset by charging “User Fees” on ambulance transports and other events. The revenue generated by these fees greatly reduces the financial strain on the General Fund of the County and it provides residents and visitors to Highlands County with one of the best 911 EMS providers in the State of Florida.
In fiscal year 2016-2017 the EMS Department budget was $5.69 million, of which $3.5 million in revenue was received form user fees. This breaks down to a cost of $21.29 per person annually for your EMS system.
The EMS Department remains focused on customer satisfaction of services as a part of our continuing process of seeking ways to improve the quality of the EMS system serving you.