Organization

Organization Overview

The East Baton Rouge Parish Emergency Medical Service (EMS) is a municipal service that originated on August 6, 1982. Baton Rouge EMS is the primary ALS provider for the parish of East Baton Rouge. EMS is funded by a property tax and insurance billing.

Services provided by Baton Rouge EMS:

  • Advanced life support
  • Basic life support
  • Bicycle Medic response teams
  • CISM team
  • Haz-Mat Team
  • Public Event medical coverage
  • Special Response Tactical Medic (SRT)

Response Units

  • Nine ambulances operate during a 24-hour period
  • Five units are up for 12 hours during peak hours
  • 12 stations throughout the parish
  • Minimum of two Supervisor sprint vehicles also available 24 hours

All of the above are divided into 6 twelve-hour shifts with an average of 20 paramedics per shift. The average response time throughout the coverage area is approximately 10 minutes.

Figures & Statistics

  • This year’s EMS annual operating budget is $24,000,000
  • The population of East Baton Rouge is over 440,000
  • The distance of community served is 456 square miles
  •  62,750 calls - EMS responses in 2017

Formation

The East Baton Rouge Parish Department of Emergency Medical Services was founded as the first municipal third service EMS system in the State of Louisiana in August of 1982. At its inception there was no advanced life support pre-hospital care in the capital area. EMS was initially supported by Federal Revenue Sharing Funds.

In 1985 a tax election was held and the citizens voted for a $3 million property tax dedicated to the funding of their EMS System. This was the first tax increase approved by the voters in over 20 years and came at a time of economic hardship in Louisiana. In 1986, the voters once again supported EMS by approving a telephone surcharge for the establishment and maintenance of an enhanced 911 System. Today, this tax base is supplemented by a third-party billing system and private donations. EMS is the primary provider of pre-hospital emergency medical care in East Baton Rouge Parish. 

Parish ordinance designated EMS Paramedics as the highest medical authority outside of a health-care institution (with provision for physicians to maintain control under certain circumstances).