EMS (Emergency Medical Services)
Tim Dubose, Director
130 Industrial Blvd.
PO Box 927
Bishopville, SC 29010
EMERGENCY: Dial 911
Lee County Emergency Medical Services is a department of Lee County Emergency Services authorized by the Lee County Council to provide emergency medical services to county residents and visitors. EMS runs four full-time ambulances staffed with trained Paramedics, Intermediate and Basic EMT’s.
The Lee County EMS service area encompasses 411 square miles containing a population of approximately 19,220 people.
Being a rural county that does not have a hospital emergency department or any urgent care facilities located within its boundaries, Lee County EMS strives to offer the highest quality of care possible. It is our policy to transport the patient to one of the 9 area hospitals of their choice, whenever possible, however if the most experienced emergency medical provider on scene believes that the patient will not survive the trip, or that the transport times will be detrimental to the patient, the patient will be transported to the closest and most appropriate hospital for the patient’s condition. In the event Lee County EMS is experiencing an overwhelming numbers of calls or when the amount of calls for assistance exceeds the number of ambulances available, all patients should be transported to the closest and most appropriate hospital, this allows us to meet the needs of all the residents and visitors of Lee County. Anytime a patient cannot be transported to the hospital of their choice the patient and /or the patient’s family should be notified as to why they should be transported to another hospital. During times of inclement weather, or any situation that causes the roadways to become impassable, the decision may be made by local emergency managers to only transport the closest facility from the scene for the safety of our patients and staff.
Approved Hospital Destinations:
Carolina Pines in Hartsville
- Tuomey in Sumter
- Kershaw Health in Camden
- McLeod in Florence
- Carolinas in Florence
- Richland in Columbia
- Baptist in Columbia
- Providence in Columbia
- Lexington Hospital in Lexington
Q: When should I call 911 and request assistance from EMS?
A: You should call 911 and request EMS to respond when you, or someone around you, suddenly becomes ill or injured. These are some examples of situations when you should call 911 and request EMS:
Choking, breathing problems, chest pain, loss of consciousness or altered level of consciousness, suspected diabetic problems, seizures, severe allergic reactions, suspected stroke, motor vehicle collisions with injuries, falls, significant bleeding, assault victims with significant injuries, complications of pregnancy, drug overdose, poisoning, or any other situation that you feel may cause disability or death.
If you’re unsure, call 911 and request EMS.
Q: Does Lee County EMS transport people to doctors’ appointments and dialysis centers?
A: No. If you or someone you know needs transportation to a doctor’s appointment or a dialysis center, check the local telephone listings for “ambulance service”. There are several local companies who specialize in these types of medical transportation.
Q: Why do the call takers at the 911 center ask so many questions? Why don’t they just send an ambulance?
A: After you dial 911, provide the address of the emergency and tell the dispatcher what the emergency is. Once this basic information is provided, an ambulance is dispatched immediately.
After providing the address and type of emergency, you will be asked to answer a series of questions about the situation. Be assured that answering the questions does not delay the ambulance.
Stay calm, speak clearly, and stay on the phone until the call taker advises you to hang up. You may be asked to answer additional questions, or you may be instructed on how to help the person who is ill or injured.
The answers you provide to the dispatchers’ questions determine how many ambulances are sent and if other emergency services, like the fire department or police department are sent along with EMS.
Q: I received a bill a few days after I was assisted by EMS. I have questions about the bill. Who should I call?
A: Contact the Lee County EMS Billing Department during regular business hours at 803-483-5000.
Q: Are ambulances allowed to ignore traffic laws and traffic signals?
A: No. Ambulances and other emergency vehicles do not have unrestricted right of way. South Carolina law allows emergency vehicles to operate differently than other motorists. In some cases an ambulances may not have to wait at a red light. Additionally, ambulances are sometimes allowed to exceed the posted speed limit. Regardless of the situation, people who operate emergency vehicles must drive with due regard.
Q: What can I do to help the paramedics when they arrive?
A: If available, have patient’s medications, past medical history, allergies, the primary doctor’s name and the name of the preferred hospital. Having the patient’s identification and health insurance cards is also helpful.
Q: I asked EMS to take me to a specific hospital but that hospital said that they were on “diversion”. What is a hospital diversion?
A: Hospitals may declare that they are on diversion when they do not have enough beds, or staff available to adequately care for patients. The hospital will notify EMS when they are diverting and EMS will transport to the nearest appropriate hospital that will accept the patient.