Field EMS: Saving Lives in Disaster and Mass Casualty Response
EMS systems and providers are an integral component of each state’s emergency response system and are also a critical element of our nation’s disaster and mass casualty response infrastructure. The vital role played by EMS in the Boston Marathon bombings, Texas fertilizer plant explosion, Hurricane Sandy, and the Aurora and Tucson shootings, illustrates the significance of EMS in saving lives in the worst of circumstances.
Field EMS: An Essential Public Function
All levels of government share a responsibility to ensure quality and effective emergency medical preparedness and response for everyday and catastrophic events. Local governments are responsible for ensuring the availability and provision of everyday life-saving field EMS – either directly, or on a contractual or volunteer basis.
States are responsible for licensure of medical practitioners, oversight of emergency medical care and the State EMS system, as well as for ensuring the overall State preparedness and coordinated response. The federal government oversees the nation’s medical preparedness and response.
Regardless of the model of EMS care delivery – whether governmental, nonprofit, private or volunteer – all EMS providers fulfill an essential public function for all patients in need. This function is carried out to the best of their ability and in spite of limited resources. In order for EMS to successfully fulfill this essential public function, it must be supported by all levels of government.
Medical Emergency Preparedness Resources for EMS Articles and Studies on EMS Preparedness Federal Interagency Committee on Emergency Medical Services (FICEMS) FirstNet
Centers for Disease Control (CDC)
Resources for Integrated Response
Training for Complex Coordinated Attacks Integrated response (culture change)
Hemorrhage Control (Early care saves lives)
Prevailing Response Models and Concepts
Bystander Preparedness and Response