Greenwood County Beginning Lake Locator Initiative
9/28/22, 4:00 PM
Greenwood County and City of Greenwood Sign Fire Services Automatic Aid Agreement
9/23/22, 4:00 PM
Greenwood County Voter Registration and Elections Office Moving to New Location
9/9/22, 4:00 PM
The history of emergency medical services, nationwide, is relatively short when comparing to other professions. EMS’ roots go back to the days when local funeral homes took on the responsibility of rushing to emergency scenes in station wagons, placing persons suffering from injury or illness, and transporting them to the closest hospital with limited or no care being given. That all changed when, in 1966, Congress passed the National Highway Safety Act, based on a report released by the National Academy of Sciences. This mandated the states to develop effective EMS systems or risk losing federal highway construction funds. In 1973, Congress then passed the Emergency Medical Services Systems Act, and EMS, as we know it today, was born.
The birth of Greenwood County EMS would occur a few years later. Our service was formed through a joint city and county effort, and began initial operations on July 1, 1975. At the time, GCEMS operated out of the Greenwood City Fire Department and consisted of one Paramedic and seven Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs). That was quite an impressive start, since Paramedics had shown up on the national scene just one-year prior. The philosophy for that start was to no longer just offer minimal care and then transport the patient to the emergency room, but rather, bring the ER to the patient. With the Paramedic certification came advanced skills and capabilities.
On October 1, 1981, Greenwood County assumed total control of EMS operations. Mr. Willie J. Thomas, Jr. was appointed EMS Director and was given the responsibilities of leading a group of professionals, in a career that was still in infantile stages, into the new age. Mr. Thomas served that role admirably, and with great vision, for 25 years until his recent retirement in February, 2006.
The first order of business, in 1981, was to strategically place EMS vehicles in stations throughout the county, in order to decrease response times. Vehicles were placed in Ware Shoals, Ninety-Six, and at the Greenwood County Courthouse. In the following years, personnel and vehicle numbers grew in an attempt to keep up with the rapid pace of emergency 9-1-1 calls.
Greenwood County Emergency Medical Services provides around the clock service to its citizens 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Although, it may seem like light years since our humble beginning, the service has advanced with the times. Currently, we have six stations primarily devoted to the City of Greenwood.
Medic 2 is located at 2028 Hwy 72 W, and shares its facilities with the Northwest Volunteer Fire Department.
Medic 1 and Medic 3 share a station, and are located at 2814 Hwy 25 S.
Medic 4 is located in the town of Ninety-Six at 3316 Hwy 246 S.
Medic 5 is located at 6502 Hwy 25 N, just below the city limits of Ware shoals.
Transport 1 is located at 3809 McCormick Hwy in the Promised Land area. This unit provides BLS Response and primarily handles non-emergent transports. It operates between the hours of 10a-6p Monday through Friday.
The QRVs allow trained personnel to get to the rural scene quicker and establish patient care before an ambulance can arrive, reducing the time of response, and also providing extrication support during an motor vehicle collision. Currently, these collective stations support GCEMS in responding to approximately 16,000+ calls per year.
Frequently Asked Questions
Someone I know had a heart attack and the family had to do CPR.
Certain emergencies require advanced treatment on-scene before transport can be initiated. For example, during cardiac arrests (where a person's heart stops), the paramedics must establish a secure airway and attempt to convert the patient's heart back to normal before beginning to transport the patient to the hospital. IV's usually are started on-scene of cardiac arrests because vital life saving medication are more effective when given through the vein. Paramedics are capable of providing the same initial treatment for cardiac arrest patients in the ambulance as you might see done first thing in the emergency department. The time delay of providing treatment on-scene sometimes is warranted by the benefits gained from early treatment.
What should I do when approached by an emergency vehicle?
South Carolina law requires motorists to yield the right of way to emergency vehicles who are traveling with lights and siren activated. The correct procedure is to pull to the right side of the road and come to a complete stop until the emergency vehicle has passed. Motorists heading toward the ambulance should also pull to the right side of the road and come to a stop. Both lanes of travel are required to stop for the ambulance so long as a divided median is not present. If you are stopped at an intersection with a traffic light, you should remain in your lane of travel so long as the ambulance has an open lane to go around. Remember pull to the RIGHT.
Is there a charge if the ambulance responds, but does not transport?
In some cases, Yes! If the crew provides an exam or any treatment while at the scene, there may be a treatment/no transport charge.
Which hospitals do you transport patients to?
We normally transport patients to Self Regional HealthCare. In certain circumstances (if injuries are severe enough), we may have the patient flown by helicopter to a Level One Trauma Center. This service is usually provided by Med Trans, Regional One, CareForce, or Life Reach and Air Med.
Who should I contact if I have questions not related to billing?
The main office is located in the Greenwood County Courthouse at 528 Monument St B-24, Greenwood, SC. The number is 864.942.8603
Who do I call if I have a question about my bill?
The Greenwood County Billing Office is Located on the 1st floor of the Greenwood County Courthouse. You may call our Billing office at 864.942-8633 or 864.942.8668.
Where are the EMS stations located in the county?
There are 7 substations in Greenwood County. The stations locations are:
Medic 20 (Greenwood area) 2028 Hwy 72 West Greenwood
Medic 30/60 (Greenwood area) 2814 Hwy 25 South Greenwood
Medic 40 (Ninety Six area) 3316 Hwy 246 South Ninety- Six
Medic 50 (Hodge area) 6502 Hwy 25 North Hodge
Rescue 2 (Coronaca (area) 1418 Hwy 246 South Greenwood
Rescue 3 (Promise Land)
Rescue 4 (Callison) 3809 McCormick Hwy Bradley
There is one non-emergency unit is also located in the Medic 30 station Monday through Friday (7-5).
How can I become an Emergency Medical Technician?
The first step is to attend and complete an EMT class at one of the local technical schools. Piedmont Tech offers this course. The Basic EMT course is approximately six months (150 hours) in duration. This depends on the number of days per week a class is offered. You must have a high school diploma or GED and a clear criminal record to attend this class. After obtaining the Basic EMT certification, a candidate must be affiliate with a licensed service in South Carolina to upgrade to one of the next levels (EMT-Intermediate or Paramedic). The EMT-Intermediate curriculum is approximately 10 weeks or 2 ½ (65 hours) months depending on class dates. The Paramedic curriculum is approximately 1 ½ years (1000 hours).
How much does ambulance service cost?
The cost depends on the level of service. These levels vary depending on the patient's complaint and what supplies/procedures are needed.
Do you charge for these services?
Yes, even though we are a county department and operate with county tax dollars, there is a user fee that is imposed each time an ambulance is used. These fees are set by county council and are reviewed and updated regularly.
What type of services do you offer?
Greenwood County EMS is a licensed Advanced Life Support service. We respond to all calls within the county, including 911responses, non-emergency transports to doctor's offices, nursing homes, etc. We also provide inter-facility transports from one hospital to another if your physician decides you need services not available at the initial location.
I have a question that not covered here. Where can I find the answer?
Give us a call at the headquarters station at 864.942.8603
What's the difference between an EMT, Intermediate, and Paramedic?
Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT's) are trained in patient assessment and treatment at a basic level. An EMT may administer Oxygen, use an Automatic External Defibrillator (AED), stabilize a potential spinal injury patients on a backboard, splint fractures and bandage wounds, do definitive airway interventions, Intubation, Monitor vital signs, and perform on-going assessment of a patient’s condition.
An EMT-Intermediate attends more training, and can do all the skills of an EMT, but can also initiate Intra-venous (IV) lines for fluid resuscitation. Intermediates can also perform even more advanced airway methods than an EMT Paramedics attend approximately 1 ½ years of training, and are capable of many additional skills.
A Paramedic may perform the same interventions as the EMT-B, and EMT-I and also analyze, interpret, and treat various heart rhythms, give appropriate medications with pre-arranged (standing orders), treat critical trauma patients with advanced maneuvers such as chest decompression for a collapsed lung, establish advanced IV lines, as well as Intra-osseous line, which are specific to pediatrics and go into the bone marrow, and provide as an invaluable liaison to the hospital emergency room. Paramedics are now trained in skills that were formerly reserved exclusively for the Emergency Room staff, such as 12 lead EKGs, cardio-version, and new methods of securing an airway, such as Rapid Sequence Intubation and using a new adjunct, the LMA and CPAP.
Employee Benefits (EMS)
Greenwood County EMS offers a competitive benefits package available to it's employees. We are continuously looking for additional ways to show appreciation to our employees for the amazing work they do on a daily basis.
Effective July 10, 2021- New Pay Scale
Below are the current benefits offered:
Paid vacation and sick leave
Paid in-service training (IST) monthly (Full time employees only)
School payment program for employees interested in advancing to the EMT-P Level (Paramedic)
Competitive salaries by qualification levels
Full-time Employee Salary Table:
Paramedic: $45,900 + $673.20/yr of experience in your certification for up to 20 years.
Advanced EMT: $37,821 + $408/yr of experience in your certification for up to 10 years.
EMT: $32,640 + $408/yr of experience in your certification for up to 10 years.
Paramedic $45,900 - $59,364
AEMT $37,821 - $41,901
EMT $32,640 - $36,720
Part Time Salary Table:
EMT $15.69 per hour
AEMT $18.18 per hour
Paramedic $22.07 per hour
If Greenwood County EMS is a service you would be interested in joining, complete your application today.