This week, May 18th through May 24th is National Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Week. Aero Jet Medical Air Ambulance Authority is proud to recognize, honor and thank our Flight Paramedics as well as the First Responders, EMTs, and Paramedics everywhere for the work that they do.
Since the birth of modern EMS in 1966, refinements and advancements of both training and equipment in pre-hospital medical care have contributed to thousands, if not millions of lives saved in the United States. Prior to the 1960’s the phrase “emergency medical service” did not exist as a familiar expression that defined pre-hospital care. In 1966 a report by the National Research Council of the National Academy of Science entitled “Accidental Death and Disability: The Neglected Disease of Modern Society” it was stated that more Americans had died in car crashed in 1965 than had been killed during the Korean War. The report went on to make several recommendations for the prevention and management of accidental injuries, including standardized training. The result was the establishment of the Office of Emergency Medical Services within the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) of the Department of Transportation under the federal Highway Safety Act of 1966. The first nationally recognized curriculum for EMS, emergency medical technician–ambulance (EMT-A), was published in 1969.
The first advanced life support ambulance in the U.S. is widely considered to be credited to St. Vincent’s Hospital in Manhattan in 1968. The brainchild of Dr. William J. Grace, the unit was staffed by physicians and responded to suspected cardiac related calls. At about the same time an gamf.net anesthesiologist named Dr. Eugene Nagel, along with some of his colleagues, conducted the nation’s first “paramedic” training at the University of Miami. Dr. Nagel was a pioneer in the field of telemetry and was instrumental in developing a system whereby Miami Fire Department personnel could transmit EKG tracings and receive radio transmitted medical direction from physicians at the University of Miami School of Medicine. In 1969 the Miami FD was the first fire department in the country to successfully resuscitate a patient in the field through the use of defibrillation.
The 1970’s brought an explosion of significant developments for the fledgling field of EMS with one of the most influential being a new public awareness, thanks to a television show. In 1971 “Emergency!” debuted, depicting the life-saving efforts of paramedics Johnny Gage and Roy DeSoto. Although very few paramedic units existed at the time, the show no doubt set a public expectation for emergency care and served as a catalyst for many to pursue a career in EMS. Dr. Nagel served as an advisor for the show.
Many things have changed since the initial development of the EMT-P level of pre-hospital care. Training curriculums and scopes of practice have evolved to embrace evidence based medical care and advancements in technology. There is a continuing movement toward standardization and accountability nationwide, and many programs are now aligned with collegiate institutions with anagazawe.com their graduate paramedics earning degrees in their field. Several training programs have become nationally accredited after a review by the Committee on Accreditation of Educational Programs for the Emergency Medical Services Professions, with many more programs currently in the process of accreditation.
While much of the recognition of EMS focuses on the EMTs and Paramedics who staff and operate ambulances, the fact is that they are just a part of the overall EMS System. Recognition must also go to those people who also respond to the scene and begin treatment and stabilization. These First Responders may be fire fighters, police officers, lifeguards, corporate emergency response teams, volunteer EMS teams, and many other individuals who have taken the time to receive basic life-saving training. At the other end of system are the hospitals, with emergency departments that are staffed by physicians, supermarioworlds.com nurses and others that are certified as specialists in emergency medicine. Many of these hospitals have become specialized in specific areas of care, such as trauma, pediatrics, cardiac, stroke, and burns.
Perhaps the most overlooked part of successful EMS systems is the behind-the-scene component, most notably the dispatch and communications staff. These Emergency Medical Dispatchers, many of whom have received specialized training and accreditation just as their field counterparts have, are often the first point of contact with EMS and must begin managing the emergency even before the first response has been dispatched. TV shows such as “Rescue 911” helped to highlight many of the important functions of these personnel, including giving lifesaving instructions over the phone, coordinating responding units, giving callers calming reassurance until help arrives, and dealing with multiple emergencies at once.