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EMS/Ambulance services

Bitterroot Health - Emergency Medical Services (EMS) has attentive and knowledgeable staff to provide you and your loved ones with calm, dependable, and coordinated care during your ambulance transport and delivery to the ER.

Offering technologically advanced emergency and non-emergency care ranges from emergency/disaster medical response, critical or specialty care transport, event standby services, mobile integrated health visits in-home, and more.

Award-winning emergency medical response

Bitterroot Health EMS is available 24/7 to promptly respond to your medical emergencies, offering fast primary 911 response with specially trained emergency medical staff ready to assist you during your transport to our Emergency Room.

We provide the following EMS services:

Department technology

  • LIFENET: The LIFENET System is a cloud-based platform that manages patient information and device data that EMS and hospital teams rely on to work together seamlessly to minimize treatment and improve patient outcomes.
  • Lifepak 15s: A monitor/defibrillator with the highest available escalating energy, up to 360 joules (360J) for cardiac events.
  • Pulsara: The Pulsara platform unites your entire care team—even if they are in different departments or organizations. By replacing multiple phone calls, radio reports, faxes, and pagers with one unified patient channel, care providers can offer reduced treatment times, reduced costs, and improve the lives of both patients and caregivers.
  • Sapphire IV Pumps: Sapphire pumps reduce time spent starting an infusion, giving patients a better care experience.

Community partnerships

We participate in a Community Integrated Health (CIH) Program through the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services (DPHHS). CIH focuses on patients with a high risk for ER visits and readmission. When a provider identifies a patient with a high risk of readmission or high likelihood of another ER visit, coupled with a delay before their next primary care provider visit, the patient will be referred to the CIH program. Our paramedics/EMS staff visit CIH patients at home, taking vitals and checking on them easily with equipment in the ambulance. This results in fewer ER visits and better outcomes for these patients.

Preparing for your emergency transport

Before the ambulance arrives:

  • Gather information about any continuing illnesses, food allergies, medications, any allergies to specific medications or any illegal drugs being used.
  • If possible, have someone wait outside to escort the EMS and ambulance staff inside to the person requiring help. This is especially helpful if your house number isn't easily visible.
  • Secure any pets so they don't inhibit EMS/Ambulance Services.
  • Turn lights on, especially outside or in driveway and main door areas that may be dark so staff can get to you as quickly and easily as possible.

What to bring:

  • Photo ID.
  • Information about any continuing illnesses, food allergies, medications, any allergies to specific medications or any illegal drugs being used.
  • Insurance card showing your policy number.
  • List of known allergies.
  • Any medical records (advances directives, portable medical orders).

What to expect at the ER

Checking in

When you arrive at the ER, you'll be greeted by registration staff or a member of our EMS department who will conduct an intake assessment with you and discuss your main symptoms. They give this information to ER nursing staff, who triage to determine both the urgency and severity of your symptoms and situation.
This process is done for anyone who comes to our ER, whether you were transported via ambulance or a personal vehicle. Transport to the ER via ambulance does not accelerate care; patients are seen based on the level of severity of their situation, not on a "first come, first serve" basis.

Triage and initial care

Triage of your situation's severity and urgency may take place in a treatment room or the waiting room, based on the number of patients in the ER and your level of severity.

You will be assigned a registered nurse and an ER physician who will work with you on your care, which may include diagnostic testing, imaging/x-ray, blood draw and electrocardiogram.

While waiting for the results of the diagnostic testing, a member of our staff will keep you informed and inquire to ensure that you're comfortable or if you need any assistance.

Your medical options

Your ER physician will discuss results with you and provide recommendations which may include:

  • Being discharged with a follow-up to your healthcare provider or specialist.
  • Admission to the hospital.
  • Transfer to a facility capable of providing a specialty not provided at Bitterroot Health – Daly Hospital.

It's important to discuss any questions with your ER physician or nurse. You may receive a follow-up phone call to ask how you are progressing and if you have additional questions or concerns. The feedback you provide is important to our staff and ability to continue to provide the best care we can offer.

How to become an EMT

Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) provide emergency medical care and transportation for critical patients who access the emergency medical services (EMS) system. EMTs have the basic knowledge and skills necessary to stabilize and safely transport patients ranging from nonemergency and routine medical transports to life-threatening emergencies. They function as part of a comprehensive EMS response system, under medical oversight, and will perform interventions with the basic equipment typically found in an ambulance. EMTs are a critical link between the scene of an emergency and the healthcare system.
Prospective EMT candidates who wish to get EMT certification in Montana must pass an exam organized by the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT). But, before this, they need to complete an EMT training program from a state-approved training college or institute. EMT certification in Montana is only valid for a period of two years.

Approved EMT programs in Montana

Flathead Valley Community College - EMT Course
777 Grandview Drive
Kalispell MT 59901

Montana State University-Billings - EMT Program
1500 University Drive
Billings MT 59101-0298

Great Falls College Montana State University - EMT Classes
2100 Sixteenth Ave. S.
Great Falls MT 59405

Blackfeet Community College - EMT Training
504 S. East Boundary
Browning MT 59417-0819