Emergency Medical Services

                                                                      EMS Logo

                                                                                National First Responders Day
October 28, 2019-
Today is National First Responders Day and Rutherford County EMS would like to take this opportunity to say thank you to all of the firefighters, rescue members, law enforcement officers and telecommunicators who answer the calls for help each and every day in Rutherford County. Without your collective efforts we would be unable to provide the services that we currently do. Your jobs are all extemely important and are often thankless. Althoug we provide different services, at the end of the day we share the common goal of ensuring the health and safety of the citizens in our county and their property.  From everyone hear at Rutherford County EMS to all who serve, we say Thank You!

                                           Rutherford County Emergency Services &  Applied Business Services 
Rutherford County EMS has contracted with Applied Business Services/SCA to process invoices for services rendered.  This company handles both billing and collections.  If you have recently received an invoice from them, it is a current bill and not an account in collections.  We want to assure the public that this is not a scam. If you are concerned about the link provided by Applied Business Services being a scam, you can use the link provided here instead. Customers may also mail their payment to the address listed below. If you have further questions or concerns, you may contact Applied Business Services or a representative of Rutherford
County EMS at the numbers provided below. We apologize for any confusion or inconvenience this may have caused.

Applied Business Services Inc., Security Collection Agency
PO Box 910 Edenton, NC 27932

Rutherford County EMS

                               EMS deploys new cardiac monitors!

   Physio Pic        The staff at Rutherford County EMS is proud to announce that we will be stocking each of our five ALS ambulances and four quick response vehicles with new cardiac monitor/defibrillators on Friday morning. The county was forced to purchase the new life saving devices after the manufacturer of the currently utilized model discontinued it without offering a replacement option. Cardiac monitor/defibrillators are a requirement by the North Carolina Office of EMS for paramedic level services, making their replacement a necessity instead of an option. The new monitors going in-service on Friday are the Lifepak 15s manufactured by Physio Control Inc.
              Physio Control is a well-known brand in the prehospital community, and has a reputation for durability and dependability. Lifepak 15 monitors offer the latest advancements in pre-hospital emergency medical care, including the ability to monitor carbon monoxide levels in the blood stream. The ability to monitor these levels on patients suspected of carbon monoxide poisoning is something fairly new in the pre-hospital setting; and is not an ability the we had prior to now. You can view a full description of the Lifepak 15 and its capabilities here.
                We would like to thank the Board of Commissioners, County Manager Steve Garrison, and Finance Director Paula Roach for assisting us in the acquisition of this life-saving equipment. Rutherford County EMS employees strive to provide the best emergency care possible to the citizens and visitors of Rutherford County; this equipment ensures that we will be able to continue that mission.            

 Mission Vision Values(1)

Crystal on Scene

Medical ID Horiz reduced

Setting up your iPhone for Medical ID information is easy and could save your life.  

Click here to view a YouTube video for instructions on how to set up Medical ID.

Click here - EMS brochure

RCEMS System Plan 2015


Kaleb kids crop

The EMS division of Rutherford County Emergency Services operates 5 paramedic ambulances based out of 4 EMS stations in Spindale, Lake Lure, Bostic and Cliffside.  Along with the ambulance crews, a 24 hour quick response vehicle is based out of the Spindale Station.  The QRV is operated by the services shift supervisor who responds to high-acuity calls along with providing back up in the times were system resources are taxed.   Three non-emergency ambulances are also used Monday-Saturday for non-emergency transports.

Rutherford County EMS strives to provide the best possible care to those we serve.  With this common goal in mind we work to utilize the latest technology and trends to help decrease mortality within the County.    A few advances that help Rutherford County EMS provide a level of care that is second to none are:

  • Utilization of Mobile Data Terminals on which all dispatch information is displayed to help the responding EMS unit better prepare for the patient’s needs and choose the best route for travel.
  • Utilization of Electronic Patient Care Reporting to better access patient information and compile data that is used for quality improvement.
  • Purchase of new, state of the art cardiac monitors with the latest technology and capabilities to assist the medics in providing the highest quality of care.
  • Continued monitoring of system performance through data collection, quality management initiatives and a very active medical oversight program.


Rutherford County EMS employs 41 full time employees and approximately 20 part time employees.

Each emergency ambulance operated by Rutherford County EMS is staffed with one or two EMT-Paramedics which is the highest level of prehospital care available.

Our service area consists of the entire 564 square mile area of the county and a population of approximately 64,000.  In 2012, Rutherford County EMS traveled in excess of 250,000 miles  while responding to calls and transporting patients.

Our Emergency Division responds to approximately 10,000 emergency calls per year and our Specialized Transport Division provide approximately 3,000 transports per year.

As the primary EMS provider for the citizens and visitors of Rutherford County, RCEMS
strives to improve care through quality improvement.  The Rutherford County EMS
System conducts quarterly meetings of it Quality Management Committee which consists
of representatives from all agencies that provide emergency care within the county. 
These agencies includes the 911 center, rescue squads, EMS, first responders and the hospital.  


The training department at Rutherford County EMS, has a primary focus of improving care within the system.  The training department consists of one training officer and three field training officers.    The current major focus of the training department is survivability of cardiac arrest patients; therefore Rutherford County EMS has recently implemented new procedures and techniques for care of patients who are experiencing cardiac arrest.     Some examples of our care changes are the “PIT Crew CPR” and “Code Cool” which are the some of the latest advances in emergency medicine. 

Established in 2012, the Non Emergency Transport Division serves those citizens that may not have a medical emergency but need ambulance transportation for dialysis treatment, doctors appointments and other medical needs.  This division specializes in the transport of bed confined patients.  We have a deep understanding of  the special needs that present due to various medical conditions.  Our employees are specially trained in proper patient movement techniques and stretcher manipulation to provide the highest quality of care and comfort for the patient during transport.   We can easily accommodate patients in excess of 300 pounds with our bariatric stretcher.  If you have any questions regarding this division, please do not hesitate to contact our office at the number listed below.

Important Fact:  Many transports are defined as “medically necessary” for ambulance transportation, determination for medical necessity is obviously determined by Medicare, Medicaid, and insurance providers but our  experienced staff are very knowledgeable in requirements for meeting “medical  necessity” and can assist you any time that you may have a question.  Our department will assist you in obtaining proper documents required for determining eligibility for non-emergency transportation.

Established in 1973, Rutherford County EMS began as a Basic Life Support Ambulance provider to serve the citizens of Rutherford County.  Prior to the establishment of EMS, local rescue crews and funeral homes provided transport of patients to hospitals as needed.


In 1986, with the growing need of a more advanced level of service, the department progressed to provide care at the paramedic level.  For many years all responses were handled from the main base station in Spindale.  With the growing need to descrease response times, the county established a plan to build more stations in the outlying  areas.

In 2005, EMS Station 2 was established by staffing a full time paramedic EMS ambulance that is located at the Hickory Nut Gorge Rescue base in Lake Lure.

Station 4 ribbon

In 2007, EMS Station 3 was built, located on Willis Circle in Bostic, NC.  This station serves dual roles by housing EMS crews on the upper level and is used for apparatus storage by the Bostic Fire Department on the lower level.

In 2015, EMS Station 4 was built, located on Hwy. 221A in Caroleen, NC.  EMS has been surving the southeastern area of the county since 2012, when an ambulance and crew were placed at the current Cliffside Fire Department.