Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Does MARS offer special rates or donation in kind services to non-profits?
A: Yes, MARS regularly works with non-profit clients and we usually offer a combination of preferred rates and donation in kind to maximize cost savings to your organization.
Q: I'm planning an event, what are considerations in planning for medical resources?
A: MARS generally requires a commercial tent (exact size depends on event size), shade structure, or secure room for MARS to establish a base of operations and treatment area. It is important for event planning that this resource shall be located to be easily accessible by emergency responders such as fire and ambulance personnel. Access to the event site and parking needs to be planned for emergency vehicles and MARS response vehicles. The treatment area should also be generally equipped with the following resources: power, tables, chairs, trash, and adequate lighting. Proximity to bathrooms is also an important consideration in planning the physical layout of your event site. Depending on the size and type of event, bottled water for patients, and radios to communicate with event security during medical emergencies are also a standard logistical consideration.
Q: I'm thinking of having a friend who is an EMT staff my event. Is this a good idea?
TopA: While it's important to look out for the well being of your event participants and being prepared for emergencies, there are a number of reasons why this could be damaging to you, the event and even your participants. Here are some reasons why:
Liability
One of the most important considerations is the liability exposure for your event and your organization if someone gets seriously hurt or dies. Most moonlighting EMTs, Paramedics, or Nurses, don't have business licenses or insurance and are operating illegally. Many operate without proper medical direction which further exposes liability to the venue or promoter. Medical direction is required for any EMT, Paramedic, or Nurse to work since they all technically require oversight from a doctor. In addition to having all of these considerations covered, MARS provides the venue and the event with contractual liability indemnification and removes workers compensation considerations of hiring moonlighting EMTs.
Equipment
Additional liability emerges if moonlighting medical staff are not properly equipped for the size and/or type of event. For example, regardless of size or type of event, do they have oxygen and an automatic external defibrillator? These and several other basic medical tools and supplies require medical direction for non-physician medical staff to legally obtain and use.
Professionalism
The visibility and sense of security that having uniformed medical staff provides for your event also adds a level of professionalism and trusted organizational recognition that moonlighting medics simply can't provide.
Experience
MARS' leadership has over 10 years experience specifically in the special event and temporary mass gathering specialty of emergency medical services, communications, and fire fighting. While most medical professionals are caring, compassionate, and experienced in their area of speciality, in the many cases MARS has observed, moonlighting EMTs usually don't have the professional ambulance field experience or the specialized knowledge to properly manage your event.
Q: Is MARS an ambulance service?
A: No, MARS is not an ambulance service but that is to your advantage. MARS specializes in the unique needs and skills for stand-by services, such as for special events, while ambulance companies specialize in the transportation of patients. As such few ambulance companies train or equip their staff to cope with the very different operational and customer service demands of special events. Additionally, this allows MARS to be more competitive with its pricing than traditional ambulance companies.
Q: Does MARS offer Advanced Life Support services?
A: MARS primarily provides Basic Life Support service, and can provide Advanced Life Support (ALS) through our paramedics and nurses in select counties. Our physicians can provide or direct ALS throughout the state and of course our allied partner ALS ambulances provide advanced care as well.
TopQ: How does MARS calculate costs and medical resources needed for my event?
A: Generally costs and needed resources are based on size, type, risk assessment, and location of event. For example, large events over 10,000 attendees additionally require a MARS allied partner ALS ambulance and a MARStian dispatcher. Supervisors are generally required with events 4,000 and larger. Each resource utilized is evaluated based on the risk factors of the event and the degree of conservative concern for liability by the venue, promoter, and local permitting municipal departments.
Q: How many MARStians are needed at my event?
A: Minimum MARS deployment consists of two medical staff regardless of size or type of event. This minimum deployment enables the team the ability to respond to multiple incidents and allows for MARStian staff safety. Most importantly, two medical staff are effectively required to insure MARS' ability to respond to serious emergencies. There are some exceptions to this minimum staffing policy, such as Camp and Sons which automatically pre-qualifies in this regard.

Our basic rule-of-thumb baseline is one MARStian per 1,000 event participants, modified based on the event type and other risk factors and our required minimum staffing of two people for the first 1,000 participants. The ratio varies considerably and is provided in the FAQ as a courtesy to give promoters, event planners, and venues a general idea of the size of team required for their event.

Q: Is MARS available for service outside California?
A: MARS can be available outside of California given enough notice to liaison with the specific state EMS office to arrange for appropriate legal and license considerations.
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