Have a Question? (FAQ)
ISO 3 / 3Y
In March, 2018, the ISO rating for Hebron and Union Township was reduced from a 5 to a 3. It’s also notable that our score was only 1.23 points away from an ISO 2 rating.
To answer this question, one must understand how Licking County’s computer aided dispatching (CAD) system works. It is understood that no fire department can protect their jurisdiction without the help of their neighbors. Therefore, excluding larger municipal departments, it is rare to find a department that does not request assistance through automatic aid.
Within the CAD system lies information detailing how each type of incident should be dispatched in their respective districts. This information outlines the number and type of trucks to be sent, as well as the order in which they should be requested. In the event that a truck is not available, the CAD automatically skips over the unit and moves to the next.
Refugee-Canyon’s philosophy is simple: “It’s better to call for too much help and not need it, then it is to not call enough and do.” So, with that in mind, a residential structure fire within our fire district would immediately send 5 fire engines, 1 ladder truck, and 2 medic units. Additionally, if the residence is located outside the Village of Hebron, 2 tanker trucks will also be included in the initial dispatch. In short, you will never just receive Refugee-Canyon if your house is on fire.
The entire bill would be wrote off.
The difference between receiving a bill and not lies in where you reside, not where you were picked up. Similarly, if we mutual aid another department and transport one of own residents, the resident would not receive a bill.
However, it is important that you understand our billing process. Our fire district bills for EMS services using a method called “soft billing”. The difference between hard billing and soft billing lies in whether you will be sent to collections for any unpaid balance. With soft billing, this will NOT happen.
Generally, when a person that lives outside our fire district is transported to the hospital by one of our medics, the patient’s health insurance company will receive an invoice from our billing company. Once the insurance company pays their portion of the invoice, the next invoice sent out will be to the patient for the remaining balance. If, after 3 (3 months) attempts to collect the remaining balance, the patient still has not paid their portion of the bill, the remaining portion is wrote off as if it never existed. Remember, Refugee-Canyon will not send you to collections!
Well, at least not intentionally. When a taxpayer of our district is transported to a hospital, an EMS bill is sent to the patient’s health insurance company. Once the insurance company pays their part of the bill, the remaining balance is wrote off and you owe nothing.
If you do receive communication from our billing company, it is typically a request for your health insurance information. However, if you do actually receive a bill, please contact us or the billing company, so this can be corrected.
We practice a method of EMS billing commonly referred to as “soft billing”.
One of the types of trucks that we staff around-the-clock is a fire engine. This truck is staffed with three (3) firefighters who are also certified as either an emergency medical technician (EMT) or a paramedic. Generally, the engine company responds on EMS calls for either of the following:
- Provide Additional Personnel – Though the medic crew can typically handle an EMS run without assistance, there are also those times where the needs of the patient demands additional support. This can be something as simple as helping the crew carry the patient, to the need for additional staff to help render aid to a critical patient.
- First Responder – There are instances were the engine company maybe closer to the scene, thereby allowing care to be rendered to the patient faster than by relying solely on the arrival of the medic. The engine is equipped with medical equipment and supplies that allows them to perform a variety of patient care measures aimed at getting the patient the treatment they need without delay.
You should always dial 9-1-1 if you believe there is an emergency. Otherwise, there is no guarantee that you will be able to get the help you need. Though both of our stations are staffed around-the-clock, they crews may be on another run, out training, etc. By dialing 9-1-1, you can rest assure that you will receive assistance.
RCFD medics will transport our patients to any hospital within the region, such as Columbus, Lancaster, or Zanesville. As a matter of fact, almost 20% of the patients we transported in 2019 were take to a Columbus Hospital, such as Mount Carmel, OSU, Nationwide Children’s, Riverside, Grant, etc.