On January 6, 1976, Ontario Fire Department launched a limited Paramedic program conducted by six Ontario Firefighters who had graduated from the Paramedic Training Program at Loma Linda University Medical Center.
The initial program was assisted by donations from local service clubs. The Paramedic program was eventually funded in March 1976 when Ontario voters approved a 10-cent tax override that earmarked $166,000 for paramedics. This money was used to train four more paramedics and purchase equipment. The first year Firefighter/Paramedics responded to 2,137 medical calls.
Today the Ontario Fire Department provides advanced life support (ALS) care to the citizens of Ontario and all those working in and visiting. Ten ALS engines are staffed with a minimum of two paramedics and three BLS truck companies are staffed with four EMTs. In 2021, they responded to over 22,000 emergency calls.
Additionally, many of the department’s captains and engineers are licensed paramedics. EMT’s and paramedics function under California regulations and San Bernardino County protocols. OFD paramedics provide state-of-the-art advanced life support, including pre-hospital 12-lead ECG’s, standing orders for patients with Acute Coronary Syndrome, and transcutaneous cardiac pacing.
The EMS Bureau is overseen by Pamela Martinez, EMS Director, who works collaboratively with our Medical Director, Kevin Parkes. Dr. Parkes functions in an advisory capacity and provides continuing education as needed. A paramedic captain serves as the EMS coordinator and training officer. A registered nurse serves as the EMS quality improvement nurse educator and infection control officer. The Ontario Fire Department provides monthly continuing education for all of our firefighter EMT/EMT-Ps; these classes are open to all medical personnel from the community. The EMS Bureau also provides CPR/AED, First Aid, and Stop the Bleed training to the community. The Bureau facilities a Drowning Prevention Program which provides annual education in local elementary schools.
Pursuant to CA Health and Safety Code - Section 1797.188
Ontario Fire Department's Designated Infection Control Officer:
909-983-5911 after hours
Uses and disclosures of PHI
The Ontario Fire Department may use PHI for the purpose of treatment, payment and health care operations, in most cases without your written permission. Examples of our use of your PHI:
This includes obtaining verbal and written information about your medical condition and treatment from you as well as others, including doctors and nurses who give orders to allow us to provide treatment to you. We may give your PHI to other health care providers involved in your treatment and may transfer your PHI via radio or telephone to the hospital or dispatch center.
This includes any activities we must undertake in order to get reimbursed for the services we provide to you, including such things as submitting bills to insurance companies, making medical necessity determinations and collecting outstanding accounts.
For health care operations
This includes quality assurance activities, licensing and training programs to ensure that our personnel meet our standards of care and follow established policies and procedures, as well as certain management functions.
Use and disclosure of PHI without your authorization
The Ontario Fire Department is permitted to use PHI without your written authorization, or opportunity to object, in certain situations, and unless prohibited by California state law, including:
The treatment, payment or health care operation activities of another health care provider who treats you;
- For health care and legal compliance activities;
- Disclosure to a family member, relative, close personal friend or other individual involved in your care if we obtain your verbal agreement to do so or if we give you an opportunity to object to such a disclosure and you do not raise an objection, and in certain other circumstances where we are unable to obtain your agreement and believe the disclosure is in your best interest;
- To a public health authority as required by law (such as to report abuse, neglect or domestic violence);
- For health oversight activities, including audits or government investigations, inspections, disciplinary proceedings and other administrative or judicial actions undertaken by the government (or their contractors) by law to oversee the health care system;
- For judicial and administrative proceedings as required by a court or administrative order, or in some cases in response to a subpoena or other legal process;
- For law enforcement activities in limited situations, such as when responding to a warrant;
- For military, national defense and security and other special government functions;
- To avert a serious threat to the health and safety of a person of the public at large;
- For workers’ compensation purposes, and in compliance with workers’ compensation laws;
- To coroners, medical examiners and funeral directors for identifying a deceased person, determining the cause of death or carrying on their duties as authorized by law;
- If you are an organ donor, we may release health information to organizations that handle organ procurement or organ, eye or tissue transplantation or to an organ donation bank, as necessary to facilitate organ donation and transplantation;
- For research projects, but this is subject to strict oversight and approvals;
- We may also use or disclose health information about you in a way that does not personally identify you or reveal who you are;
- Any other use or disclosure of PHI, other than those listed above will only be made with your written authorization. You may revoke your authorization at any time, in writing, except to the extent that we have already used or disclosed medical information in reliance on that authorization.
The law requires the Ontario Fire Department to maintain the privacy of PHI and to provide individuals with notice of its legal duties and privacy practices with respect to such information.
THIS NOTICE DESCRIBES HOW MEDICAL INFORMATION ABOUT YOU MAY BE USED AND DISCLOSED AND HOW YOU CAN GET ACCESS TO THIS INFORMATION. PLEASE REVIEW IT CAREFULLY.
As a patient, you have a number of rights with respect to your PHI including:
The right to access, copy or inspect your PHI
This means you may inspect and copy most of the medical information about you that we maintain. We will normally provide you with access to this information within 30 days of our request. We may also charge you a reasonable fee for you to copy the medical information that you have the right to access. In limited circumstances, we may deny you access to your medical information, and you may appeal certain types of denials. We have available forms to request access to your PHI and will provide a written response if we deny you access and let you know your appeal rights. You also have the right to receive confidential communications of your PHI. If you wish to inspect and copy your medical information, you should contact our privacy officer.
The right to amend your PHI
You have the right to ask us to amend written medical information that we may have about you. We will generally amend your information within 60 days of your request and will notify you when we have amended the information. We are permitted by law to deny your request to amend your medical information only in certain circumstances, like when we believe the information you have asked us to amend is correct. If you wish to request that we amend the medical information that we have about you, you should contact our privacy officer.
The right to request an accounting
You may request an accounting from us of certain disclosures of your medical information that we have made in the six years prior to the date of your request. We are not required to give you an accounting of information we have used or disclosed for purposes of treatment, payment or health care operations, or when we share your health information with our business associates, like our billing company or a medical facility to which we have transported you. We are also not required to give you an accounting for which you have already given us written authorization. If you wish to request an accounting, contact our privacy officer at 909-395-2002.
The right to request that we restrict the uses and disclosures of your PHI
You have the right to request that we restrict how we use and disclose your medical information that we have about you. The Ontario Fire Department is not required to agree to any restrictions you request, but any restrictions agreed to by the Ontario Fire Department in writing are binding to the Ontario Fire Department.
Internet, email and the right to obtain a copy of the paper notice on request
We will prominently post a copy of this notice on our website. You may always request a paper copy of this notice.
Revisions to the notice
The Ontario Fire Department reserves the right to change the terms of this notice at any time, and the changes will be effective immediately and will apply to all protected health information that we maintain. Any material changes to the notice will be promptly posted in our facilities and posted to our website. You can get a copy of the latest version of this notice by contacting our privacy officer.
Your legal rights and complaints
You also have the right to complain to us, or to the Secretary of the United States Department of Health and Human Services if you believe your privacy rights have been violated. You will not be retaliated against in any way for filing a complaint with us or to the government. Should you have any questions, comments or complaints you may direct all inquiries to our privacy officer.
Privacy Officer Contact Information
Director of EMS
Ontario Fire Department
415 East B Street
Ontario, CA 91764