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FireMed Frequently Asked Questions

What is FireMed?
FireMed is a voluntary ambulance membership program of Hermiston Fire & Emergency Services ambulance services. It covers the member's out-of-pocket expenses for medically necessary ambulance services provided by Hermiston Fire or other ambulance providers included in our reciprocal coverage area.

Why do I need FireMed?
Most health insurance policies cover only a percentage of ambulance charges--leaving you to pay the difference. In these cases, FireMed fills the gap. Even if you do not have insurance, FireMed will cover you for necessary ambulance treatment and transportation in our service area. Additionally, FireMed helps support the emergency medical services of our fire departments and districts.

How does FireMed work?
Should a member require ambulance treatment or transportation, the ambulance service will bill the member's insurance coverage (if any) and accept that reimbursement as payment-in-full. Members will not receive a bill for any amounts not covered by their insurance. FireMed is not insurance. It is in addition to any medical benefits a member may have.

Why does the ambulance service bill my insurance?

The total cost of operating ambulance services on behalf of members is far greater than the annual membership fee. Billing the insurance of those who use the ambulance keeps your annual membership fee affordable.

Do I have to have insurance to join?
Membership is open to anyone in our service area, regardless of their insurance coverage. If you do not have any benefits covering ambulance care, then your membership covers the full amount of the ambulance charges.

Who is eligible to join FireMed?
Membership is open to residents in the Hermiston Fire & Emergency Services ambulance service areas. (If you are in doubt as to whether you live in this area, please call (541) 567-8822.)

Why is enrollment period in October-November?
Once a year open enrollment helps us keep administrative and media costs down--so that we can direct the maximum amount of membership dollars to improvement and upgrading of emergency services.

Can I enroll outside of October-November?

Every year, in October and November, HFES holds its annual membership drive. Those who join during this period receive maximum benefit--a full year of membership protection. If you miss open enrollment, for whatever reason, you are still welcome to enroll. Membership is still $49. But remember -- coverage begins upon the receipt of your paid application and extends until November 15.

If I join FireMed, can I cancel my medical insurance?
FireMed membership only covers ambulance care and transportation provided by the Hermiston Fire & Emergency Services, and other participating ambulance providers. FireMed does NOT cover any other health care services or hospitalization. If you have insurance you should maintain your benefits to cover your doctor, hospital, pharmacy and other medical bills. Local paramedics will still provide you and your entire household with excellent ambulance service. But, if you do not participate in the voluntary membership program, you may be responsible for the full cost of your ambulance bill.

What if I decide not to join?
We will still provide you and your household with excellent emergency service, but you will be responsible for the full cost of your ambulance bill.

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contact: rijones@hermiston.or.us