How EMS Operates

About Lucas County EMS

Lucas County EMS (LCEMS) is a countywide emergency medical service. It is a paramedic service which responds to the most severe medical and trauma cases called in to 9-1-1 from anywhere in Lucas County.

LCEMS responds in large white and orange ambulance type vehicles referred to as Life Squads. There are ten Life Squads in Lucas County with five within Toledo and five in the suburban area. All Life Squads are dispatched through one centralized Dispatch at Lucas County EMS. 9-1-1 call takers transfer medical callers to EMS Dispatchers. The EMS Dispatchers are trained EMT (Emergency Medical Technicians) and certified in Emergency Medical Dispatching. They can provide instructions to 9-1-1 callers to help before the Fire Department gets there.

Emergency ambulances and Life Squads often transport to the closest of eight Lucas County hospitals but may go to a hospital that specializes or to another if the hospital’s emergency department is temporarily over crowded.

Types of Response and Assistance

LCEMS uses a tiered system of response. That means that not all individuals receive the same response. Virtually all requests for medical assistance do receive a first tier EMS response by Fire Departments. This is often a Fire Engine type of vehicle but may be an ambulance type of vehicle.

Fire First Responders are usually at least EMT basic trained but may be Paramedic trained. These First Responders may request a Life-Squad if one is not already sent or may cancel one that had been sent. First Responders or Life Squads may call for a basic private ambulance if the situation is not life threatening.