Our Mission

"To serve our community by providing exceptional pre-hospital emergency medical care with compassion, efficiency, and integrity"


"To be a leading EMS agency that is acknowledged as a leader in rural pre-hospital emergency medical care and to be an example for others wanting to attain the same level of quality care."

Core Values

Wisdom - Have the ability to apply knowledge, experience, understanding, common sense, and insight to ensure the best possible patient outcome.

Excellence - Strive to exceed to the standards of EMS excellence.

Compassion - Always show kindness, caring, and a willingness to help others in their time of need.

Altruism - Put others first, always.

Resolute - Always strive to achieve the best possible outcome with the utmost determination.

Efficient - Use methodical and systematic approaches to handle emergencies as quickly and competently as possible.


The Highland County Department of Emergency Medical Services (HCEMS) was founded in 2019. The department was founded to help supplement the volunteer EMS agencies in Highland County Virginia. HCEMS is the first and only career EMS agency in Highland County. The department is comprised of five full-time staff members. This staff consists of two Paramedics, one EMT-Intermdiate, and two EMTs. Three staff members operate on a 24 hour on 48 hour off shift rotation. This allows for a minimum of one EMT or higher to be at the station 24 hours a day with some exceptions. There is also another provider that staffs 40 hours a week  to keep an ambulance fully staffed and ready to respond within minutes. When a career member is unavailable due to training, illness, or county provided time off, we heavily rely on volunteer coverage.

The Highland County Department of EMS has an agreement with the Highland County Volunteer Rescue Squad (HCVRS) that allows our staff members to operate from their station and with their ambulances/equipment. Without HCVRS, the department would not be able to answer emergency medical calls for service.

In addition to assisting with calls, HCEMS provides monthly continuing education training, administrative support, and initial certification programs in Highland County. We also provide CPR certification courses to the general public. In addition, staff provides operational readiness checks for equipment, inventory management, and building and grounds upkeep.

Contact Us