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Miami-Dade County regulates private ambulance companies and public sector ambulance (municipal 911 fire rescue) services to promote the health, safety and welfare of Miami-Dade County’s residents and visitors by providing for the reasonable uniform regulations of ambulance services thereby promoting the development and maintenance of a safe, healthy, efficient and service oriented ambulance service for Miami-Dade County.
In order to provide ambulance service, for compensation or courtesy, you must first obtain a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity . Ambulance service, as defined by Chapter 4, Article I of the Miami-Dade County Code means that the person(s) being transported requires or is likely to require medical attention during transport.
How to Apply
Ambulance service by private companies is not an open category. All current private ambulance certificates were approved by the Board of County Commissioners in 2001. No additional private certificates for new ambulance service may be authorized unless the Commission, by a two-thirds vote of the entire membership, finds that the public convenience and necessity require the issuance of additional certificates.
- Before providing service, ambulance companies must also have a license from the State of Florida (Florida Statutes, Chapter 401).
- In addition you will need an Occupational License issued by Miami-Dade County.
- Depending on where the company is located, you may also need a municipal license.
- Furthermore the ambulance units must obtain valid inspection and operating permit decals issued by the Vehicle Inspection Station prior to starting operations
Processing new applications
If the Board of County Commissioners approves the issuance of new certificates, it will take between three and six months from the time you apply to the time your application is considered for approval by the Board.
Please be aware that there is a schedule of available meetings, that there is a required 10-day notice for the public hearing and that the application will also be reviewed by a sub-committee of the Board prior to being placed before the full Board of County Commissioners. This will be a public hearing at which the public can comment. At the conclusion of the hearing, the Board will vote on whether to approve or deny the application. You will be notified of the date and time of this meeting.
Cash will not be accepted. Fees can be paid by check, money order or cashiers check made payable to the "Board of County Commissioners". If renewing in person, the renewal fee can be paid by credit card (MasterCard or Visa).
Certificates are issued for three years.
Under the Miami-Dade County Ambulance Ordinance (Article I of Chapter 4) private and public ambulance services, in order to provide intra-county transports anywhere within the territorial limits or airspace of Miami-Dade County, must have a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity issued by the Board of County Commissioners. Ambulance service providers (public and private) must also have a license from the State of Florida (Florida Statutes, Chapter 401). Prospective providers must first obtain the County certificate before applying for the State license. Ambulance service providers based outside Miami-Dade County need to obtain a certificate only if they are providing intra-county service within Miami-Dade.
Note: To download and fill out a permit and/or license application, visit the permits page and view a listing of permits and licenses separated by division.
The following providers are exempt from Article I:
- Air ambulance providing only inter-county or inter-state transfers.
- Any ambulance owned and operated by the Federal Government.
- A vehicle operated under the direct supervision of a licensed physician and used to transport patients entirely within the privately owned and controlled area of Turkey Point Nuclear Power Plant pursuant to an emergency management plan approved by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
- Any hospital or other type of medical facility utilizing its own ground vehicles at no fee for service under the direct supervision of a licensed physician in transporting persons to or from the hospital-operated helipad, or in transporting patients between buildings within its own medical campus. At no time shall such a one-way transport exceed one mile in distance.
While only governmental fire rescue departments are generally authorized to operate as the first responders (when a 911 call is made) within the territorial limits or airspace of Miami-Dade County, the Code provides for exceptions. Miami-Dade County or individual municipal governments can establish contracts with private ambulance companies, which allow the private providers to transport injured people if fire-rescue personnel assess that the injuries are not life threatening.
The law also prohibits the transportation of more than one patient in one ambulance vehicle, but again provides for exceptions. That section does not apply where a contract between the ambulance company and the County specifically provides otherwise or where a Fire Chief with territorial jurisdiction instructs otherwise. One example is where ambulances, in an emergency situation, are being used to evacuate stretcher-bound patients or those using wheelchairs.
Private ground ambulances are inspected annually by the County for compliance with safety and sanitation requirements of Florida Statutes.
All ambulance units must comply with the inspection requirements of the State of Florida (EMS).
The Board of County Commissioners sets uniform rates for private ambulance companies licensed to operate in the County and approves rates set by public agency providers. It is unlawful for any ambulance certificate holder to charge, demand, request, or accept any fare other than the rates established by the Board of County Commissioners except as may be provided by Federal law.
The County's regulatory authority covers investigation of complaints about charges and the quality of service provided by ambulance companies.
A complaint can be filed by filing out an online complaint form or by contacting the Department's Mediation Center at by calling 786-469-2333.
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