The Emergency Medical Services (EMS) System is a network of highly skilled pre-hospital care providers. These providers deliver care, stabilization, and transportation to someone experiencing a Medical Emergency.
EMS providers can be categorized into four separate certification levels:
- Emergency Medical Responder (EMR)
- Emergency Medical Technician (EMT)
- Advanced-EMT (AEMT)
EMS care can be delivered on two levels: Basic Life Support (BLS) or Advanced Life Support (ALS). Both EMR’s and EMT’s are able to provide Basic Life Support to a patient. This includes:
- Allergic reactions
- Burns, etc
The Advanced-EMT’s and Paramedics supplement these BLS providers with Advanced Life Support. This ensures they deliver the highest level of care to a patient in an out-of-hospital setting. They do this by:
- Cardiac monitoring
- IV therapies
- Medicine administration
- Advanced airway management, etc
EMS Providers are not exclusive to ambulances. Many local Fire Departments and Police Departments are now cross training. So when seconds matter, they can respond alongside an EMS provider to give the patients the best possible outcome and chance of survival.
Emergency Medical Services Personnel respond to a multitude of situations such as:
- Medical emergencies
- Structure fires
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Mental health emergencies
- Hazardous materials incidents
- Multiple-casualty incidents.
When responding to such a wide variety of calls, it is important to develop and maintain a strong skill set. One that allows being ready to deploy at a moment’s notice. An EMS provider’s training NEVER ends. Most dedicate a large part of their career to training and continuing education.
As we know, emergencies can occur any time of day or night in an out-of-hospital setting. Because of this, it is vital that each community has a strong Emergency Medical Services system in place. This will ensure the highest quality care until the patient is transferred to a Hospital setting.