Frequently Asked Questions
How is purchasing handled?
All major items go out to bid. Medical supplies are purchased from providers that offer best prices and discounts. Smaller items are purchased locally.
How do I contact the chief?
Contact the chief at: firstname.lastname@example.org
How do I learn more about educational classes and training programs?
Call 813-633-1411 ext. 430 for all questions regarding education and training.
How do I get more information?
Contact the Squad at 813-633-1411 (8am to 5pm, 365 days a year) or email for information: email@example.com
What is your relationship with Hillsborough County Fire Rescue?
We have a close working relationship with Hillsborough County. We rely on their Advanced Life Support (ALS) units to back us up in life-threatening emergencies. In turn, they depend on us to respond with them on most calls. If the patient is stable, the squad will transport, freeing the ALS unit to respond to more serious cases. A patient is charged only if HCFR transports the patient.
What is a Key Locator record?
The Key Locator holds the name, address and telephone number of someone who lives near you in greater Sun City Center and who has a key for your door in case of emergencies. This allows the Squad to quickly get in when you are sick and cannot get to the door. State law does not allow us to break into a house without a sheriff present and that could add a long wait in getting you help. Over 5000 residents use this service and it has saved many lives.
What is a Vial of Life?
The vial is a pill-type container, holding a piece of paper listing of medical, insurance and medication information for each member of the household. The Vial of Life is typically placed in the refrigerator for easy access by emergency responders, insuring quick access to critical medical information. The vials and forms are provided free of charge by CVS Pharmacy.
What is your biggest problem?
Attracting volunteers – Staffing the responding crews and the training and maintenance staff crews are an ongoing priority.
How do you handle vehicle maintenance?
Most of the Squad vehicles are under warranty. Minor repairs are handled in-house by the vehicle maintenance volunteer group, with routine maintenance handled at a local shop.
What does an ambulance cost?
Our newest ambulance cost $110,000 without medical supplies and equipment.
Why doesn’t the Squad bill Medicare and/or medical insurance providers as a way to recover costs?
We are an all-volunteer Squad. To bill Medicare and other insurances would put the Squad into a fee-for-service category.
Who are instructors for Squad training and for community education?
CPR/AED classes are taught by Squad volunteers who are certified as instructors by the American Heart Association. Emergency Medical Responder classes are taught by Squad instructors certified by the ECSI – the Emergency Care and Safety Institute. EMT classes are taught by instructors from Hillsborough Community College and Hillsborough County Fire Rescue.
Do I have to live in Sun City Center to join the Squad?
There is no requirement that you live in Sun City Center to join the Squad. Members come from surrounding communities, Kings Point and Sun City Center. Some drive from as far as Highlands County, Orlando or Tampa to give their time to the community.
How much does it cost to join the Squad?
There is no charge to become members of the Squad. The Squad pays the cost of normal training, textbooks materials, equipment, and uniforms.
What training is required of people who work on Squad ambulances?
Squad ambulances are staffed by a Emergency Medical Technician (EMT), Emergency Medical Responder (EMR), and a Responder Driver. The EMR and Driver complete an 8-hour CPR course and a 54-hour First Responder course. The ambulance Driver receives an additional 10 hours of training. EMTs are certified with an additional 250 hours of coursework and training.
What training is required to work on Squad vans?
Before working on a van, each volunteer must complete an 8-hour CPR course and a 44-hour First Responder course. In addition, the volunteer who drives the van must complete about 8 hours of driver training.
How old do I have to be?
We require our volunteers to be 18 years of age. There is no upper age limit. Our oldest volunteer at this time is 90.
I don’t have any health care work experience or education. Does that matter?
No. Most of our ambulance crews have no experience in the healthcare field when they join the Squad. We offer training in various areas from emergency dispatch to Emergency Medical Responders. Our Emergency Medical Technicians are trained at Hillsborough Community College.
How do I volunteer for the Squad?
Take a look at our volunteer opportunities and fill out an online or printed volunteer application. If you have questions, stop by the Squad at 720 Ray Watson Blvd in Sun City Center and speak with our Human Resources Director. You can take a tour of our building, meet some of our volunteers and fill out an application.
Who should I call in a medical emergency?
You can call either 911 or 813-634-3800. The Squad contacts the County to respond with us on all life-threatening emergencies.