Emergency Services Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How can I prevent carbon monoxide poisoning?
    Carbon monoxide is an invisible and odorless poisonous gas that is produced when any fuel such as gas, oil, kerosene, wood or charcoal is burned.  It is capable of killing a person in minutes.  Never burn charcoal or use gasoline powered equipment inside any enclosed area.  Install a CO detector in your residence.  A CO detector is different than a smoke detector and will alert you if there is carbon monoxide in your residence.
  2. What should I do if I need and ambulance or fire department?
    If you have an emergency and need medical or fire assistance, dial 9-1-1. For non-emergency information contact your local department.  Their phone numbers are listed on our web page.
  3. What phone number should I give my alarm company for fire alarm activations?
    Please contact our 9-1-1 Coordinator at 850-983-5350 with the address where the alarm is located to get the appropriate number.
  4. Why does the ambulance not run all calls with lights and sirens?
    We use a system called Medical Priority Dispatch which allows the 9-1-1 dispatcher to prioritize calls by signs and symptoms.  This system was created by a medical physician and reviewed by our local medical director.  Some medical emergencies do not require an ambulance to run their lights and sirens.  Through the dispatcher asking proper questions and providing pre-arrival instructions those with minor injuries or illnesses can safely await emergency responders.  This provides additional safety to the responders and other traffic they have to drive with. 
  5. What are AED’s and are they available in public buildings?
    An AED (automated external defibrillator) is a computerized medical device that can check a person’s heart rhythm.  The AED is easy to use, provides voice prompts and text messages after it recognizes the hearts rhythm.  It will advise the rescuer when a shock is needed and how to perform CPR.   We have several public facilities in the county that are equipped with an AED.  The program began in 2002 using grant funds.
    Click here to view a list of facilities equipped with AED’s in our county:
    Click here to register an AED: 
  6. Why does the fire department respond to EMS calls?
    Our EMS system is set up to utilize the fire services as “First Responders” to medical calls.  They are trained to a minimum standard of First Responder, with some fire departments having Emergency Medical Technicians and Paramedic level of training.  If the fire department arrives at the scene prior to an ambulance, they carry life-saving equipment such as oxygen, automated external defibrillators and first aid supplies.  They are a vital link in our EMS system.