Emergency Medical Services
Pinellas County is prepared to respond quickly and safely when residents and visitors have a medical need anywhere in the county.
Call 9-1-1 if there is a need for Emergency Medical Services.
Local fire stations are staffed by paramedics ready to provide a quick response and on-scene patient care during medical emergencies. Sunstar Paramedics offer continued care during ambulance transportation to hospitals. Those ambulances are equipped to provide the highest standard of care even during the most serious of medical emergencies. Innovations like our partnership with the American Heart Association have made Pinellas County a model for emergency medical response throughout Florida and around the world.
The county’s outstanding emergency medical professionals respond to more than 230,000 emergency and non-emergency calls each year, and Sunstar ambulances transport as many as 188,000 patients to the hospital annually.
How It Works
There are a number of pieces working together to provide fast and reliable emergency medical services in Pinellas County.
- Pinellas County Safety & Emergency Services is responsible for managing the daily operations of the emergency medical services (EMS) System on behalf of the EMS Authority Special District.
- The EMS Medical Director works with the EMS Authority under a contract to provide clinical oversight and leadership to the entire EMS system and all service providers.
- The EMS Authority appoints an 11-member Medical Control Board consisting of emergency physicians and hospital administrators tasked with advising the EMS Medical Director on matters of patient care.
- The EMS Authority also appoints a 24-member EMS Advisory Council of interested citizens, elected officials and EMS providers who review policies and make recommendations to ensure a high quality of EMS service throughout Pinellas County.
- Emergency response is provided by 18 fire departments housing 62 Advanced Life Support first responder units (fire engines and rescue vehicles) located throughout the county. The closest responder is dispatched to each emergency, regardless of city or district affiliation.
- Pinellas County partners with Paramedics Plus as part of a contractual agreement to operate an ambulance service under the County’s trade name, Sunstar Paramedics. It provides all emergency and non-emergency ambulance transportation, including transportation between hospitals and other medical facilities. Sunstar has 70 vehicles in the fleet, including advanced life support ambulances, critical care transportation and mental health van services.
Wheelchair and Stretcher Van Transportation
Wheelchair and stretcher van transportations services are provided through private operators who are not affiliated with Pinellas County.
Automatic External Defibrillators
An Automatic External Defibrillator (AED) is a device used to help a person whose heart has stopped suddenly. Pinellas County requires all individuals, businesses and other organizations in the county to register an AED before its use. This is to promote proper training, maintenance and operation of the life-saving devices and to make sure that all patients get the follow-up care that they need.
Sunstar FirstCare Ambulance Membership Plan
Pinellas County is helping to make health care more affordable. The Sunstar FirstCare Ambulance Membership Plan works with your insurance to reduce what you pay for ambulance transportation.