Emergency Medical Services
Emergency Medical Services, more commonly known as EMS, is a system that provides emergency medical care. Once it is activated by an incident that causes serious illness or injury, the focus of EMS is emergency medical care of the patient(s).
EMS is most easily recognized when emergency vehicles or helicopters are seen responding to emergency incidents. But EMS is much more than a ride to the hospital. It is a system of coordinated response and emergency medical care, involving multiple people and agencies. A comprehensive EMS system is ready every day for every kind of emergency.
EMS is an intricate system, and each component of this system has an essential role to perform as part of a coordinated and seamless system of emergency medical care. An EMS system comprises all of the following components:
- Agencies and organizations (both private and public)
- Communications and transportation networks
- Trauma systems, hospitals, trauma centers, and specialty care centers
- Rehabilitation facilities
- Highly trained professionals
- Volunteer and career prehospital personnel
- Physicians, nurses, and therapists
- Administrators and government officials
- An informed public that knows what to do in a medical emergency
EMS does not exist in isolation, but is integrated with other services and systems intended to maintain and enhance the community's health and safety.