Is there a fee to use Tulane EMS?
No, Tulane EMS does not bill for services as it is funded by Tulane University and Campus Health. All Tulane EMTs are trained volunteers. Tulane EMS services are provided at no additional cost for Tulane students, faculty, and staff within the service area. (See hours of operation and service area map.)
Fees may be assessed, however, if you are transported to a hospital or if care is transferred to New Orleans EMS. Be advised that you may receive a bill from the hospital and/or from their providers for services rendered at the facility. Additionally, if care is transferred to New Orleans EMS or one of its units responds to a call for service, you may receive a bill for service. Such bills will be sent directly from these agencies or their representatives, and will usually be billed to your insurance first.
Are Tulane EMS members trained? Do they know what they're doing? They're in college!
Members of Tulane EMS are licensed and permitted as Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) by the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians, from the state by the Louisiana Bureau of EMS under the Office of Public Health, and in Orleans Parish by the City of New Orleans and New Orleans Emergency Medical Services.
Tulane EMS members undergo rigorous training and continually update themselves on educational topics. In order to obtain these licenses, they must take a 120+ hour course and demonstrate proficiency in several skills, including passing a written and practical examination. All members are required to hold current AHA CPR for the Healthcare Professional Certification (BLS), and are Certified Emergency Vehicle Operator Trained. These two particular certifications are renewed annually.
Additionally, Tulane EMS members are required to have continuing education credits and may volunteer with New Orleans EMS. For more information on the specific certifications or to research becoming an EMT yourself, visit nremt.org. If you are interested in volunteering with New Orleans EMS and are a registered EMT in the State of Louisiana, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit nola.gov/ems/vigor for more information.
What's the difference in calling x5911 on Tulane's campus or calling 911?
Tulane EMS is licensed for operation on Tulane University's Uptown campus in a defined service area bordered by Claiborne and St. Charles avenues and Pine and Calhoun streets. Tulane's emergency medical service renders aid to Tulane students, faculty, staff and guests within the service area. (See hours of operation.) Use the following emergency service phone numbers to alert the appropriate emergency services and respective police departments who can respond and provide valuable assistance to the patient and responding EMTs.
Tulane's Uptown (Main) campus: 865-5911 (5911 from an on-campus phone)
When located at any of the buildings in the Health Sciences Centers, Tulane EMS still recommends contacting the TUHSC Police Department (504-988-5555), who contacts New Orleans EMS for medical emergencies.
Tulane EMS operates at the Basic emergency medical service level, whereas New Orleans EMS operates on the higher Advanced Life Support (ALS) level. When you dial 911, you are activating the City of New Orleans 911 system, including NOFD and NOEMS. When you call Tulane EMS you receive a Basic emergency response that can be and often is supported by the ALS units of New Orleans EMS.
Why should I call Tulane EMS first? With Advanced Life Support (ALS), shouldn't I just call 911?
A call to Tulane EMS (504-865-5911) activates NOPD, NOEMS, and NOFD for calls that occur both on and off campus and necessitate ALS.
The location of the Tulane EMS units and ability to respond quickly gives the opportunity for trained EMTs to be on scene assessing the patient and rendering aid when time may be of essence. Additionally, Tulane EMS can render aid and transport for a variety of injuries and illnesses.
For those patients that require ALS, Tulane EMS Supervisors quickly alert NOEMS and get much of the preliminary work out of the way so that ALS units can focus on specialized care. Tulane EMS can provide stabilizing care, begin moving patients, package patients for transport, and guide NOEMS units through Tulane's campus, ensuring an easy, seamless transfer of patient care and ensuring that patients get to the hospital quicker.
When located at any of the buildings in the Health Sciences Centers, Tulane EMS still recommends contacting the TUHSC Police Department (504-988-5555), who contacts New Orleans EMS for medical emergencies. New Orleans EMS has units stationed at Tulane Hospital and LSU Interim Hospital, as well as throughout the metro area. The goal is an expeditious response to the patient, and often New Orleans EMS is better positioned to serve these callers.
I called Tulane EMS. Why did New Orleans EMS come instead?
There are few circumstances when a New Orleans EMS unit may respond to your call:
If there is a call that requires Advanced Life Support and a Paramedic, Tulane EMS will respond and will also call New Orleans EMS in order to provide you with the best quality medical care. Paramedics can offer more interventions and treatments that basic services cannot. But Tulane EMS can usually respond to the call faster and perform any necessary interventions until the Paramedics arrive.
If the Tulane EMS ambulance is currently on a call, we will call NOEMS for backup to handle any calls that come out while we are busy.
If at any time Tulane EMS is out of service, the dispatcher will call NOEMS, but they will first notify you that Tulane EMS is out of service and ask you if you would still like to call a New Orleans EMS ambulance.
We will not respond to calls outside our hours of operation or service area. If you are out of this area, our dispatcher will send New Orleans EMS if you are in the Orleans Parish.
If I call Tulane EMS, do I have to go to the hospital?
Not necessarily, but there are some instances where you have no choice in going to the hospital.
If you are under 18, the law states that you cannot refuse transport to the hospital unless your parent or guardian is present or you are legally emancipated.
If someone poses a threat to themselves or others, by law, that person can be transported to a hospital for evaluation.
If a person is under the influence of drugs or alcohol, they are no longer able to offer what the law calls informed consent. A person's state of intoxication is determined by the presence or absence of several factors, including their ability to recall and remember such things as their name, where they are, the day of the week, and what happened in the past several hours. If a person cannot answer these questions, they are said to have a decreased level of orientation, and cannot legally refuse medical care. EMTs will also check if someone is slurring their words, cannot walk, or has nystagmus, a type of rapid eye movement that can be caused by excessive alcohol consumption. If someone exhibits any of these signs (called clinical signs of intoxication), they are not legally allowed to refuse medical care.
What happens if someone cannot refuse medical care?
Tulane EMS operates with standing orders and online medical control, a licensed physician who can be contacted and consulted for orders and advice on patient care. Tulane EMS uses the physicians at LSU's University Hospital for online medical control. If a person wishes to refuse care but there is an injury or condition that warrants medical attention, the EMT can ask the physician for orders to allow the patient to refuse Against Medical Advice (AMA). If the physician feels that the patient is demonstrating appropriate decision making capabilities, the physician can allow the patient to refuse care, under specific conditions. Alternatively, if the physician feels the patient should be evaluated in an emergency room, a request for an AMA can be denied, and EMTs can be instructed to bring a patient into a hospital emergency room. AMAs cannot (and will never) legally be granted on patients who are under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
I was transported to the hospital for an alcohol incident, and now Tulane or Loyola knows about it. I thought my medical records were private documents.
Under federal regulations, if you are over 18 your health care information is protected and private information, only accessible to you and other healthcare providers directly responsible for your care. When Tulane EMS is called, a Tulane University Police Officer will respond to the call as well. Additionally, and specific to Tulane, for any events in a residence hall at Tulane, the staff of Housing and Residence Life often generate a report. These reports are not held to the same standards, and are distributed to different parties throughout Tulane University to keep them aware of events happening on and around campus. It is from these reports that your information is most likely taken. Tulane EMS will NEVER share any of your protected health information with anyone other than you or a physician directly responsible for your health care. It is strictly prohibited for us to do so unless you authorize it. We can only provide the following information to law enforcement agencies who have a direct connection to the call:
Name and address
Date of birth
Social security number
Type of injury
Date and time of treatment
Any distinguishing physical characteristics, including gender, height, weight, race, hair and eye color, etc.
If you believe that your healthcare information or privacy rights have been infringed upon, please contact us immediately. We take your privacy and security very seriously. We will contact the appropriate officials with the university and provide you with the information to submit an anonymous complaint, should you so choose.
What if I don't want Tulane Police or anyone else there?
The police from Tulane are dispatched to all Tulane EMS calls on campus. Their response ensures the protection and safety of the patients and EMTs involved. Keep in mind that the police, like Tulane EMS, has a job to do, and there are policies and procedures designed to protect you and the community. Your health, well-being, and safety are our first priority, and we will always act with that in mind.
Why are there so many people on duty at once?
On any given day of service, there can be as many as four people on duty for Tulane EMS. Each of these has a different and specific function. This allows for Tulane EMS to handle patients with extreme attention to detail and personalized care.
What actions does Tulane take after I go to the hospital?
A member from the Office of Student Affairs will contact you to make sure you are fine and discuss the incident with you. If necessary, they could refer you to another department for further evaluation.