Emergency medical services (EMS) providers deliver on-demand medical care at a moment’s notice. From rural regions to the busiest urban centers, EMS professionals – emergency medical technicians, 9-1-1 dispatchers, firefighters, law enforcement officials, educators, nurses, mid-level providers, and physicians – deliver quality medical care when unforeseen illness, injury, or disaster strikes.
Rural EMS systems face substantial challenges. Few rural communities have paid EMS personnel, depending instead upon volunteers, who often work full-time in non-EMS-related vocations within the community, yet continue to donate their personal time to provide pre-hospital care and receive training. Sparsely populated regions lead to higher costs for EMS care, but there are fewer tax dollars to fund EMS programs. Rural populations are aging, which places an increased demand on EMS. Additionally, poor access to training and medical supervision, higher response times, dated equipment, inadequate insurance reimbursement for services, and insufficient communications systems all combine to make rural EMS an area of critical concern.
NEMSIS – The National EMS Information System (NEMSIS) will provide the framework for collecting, storing, and sharing standardized EMS data from States nationwide. The new NEMSIS database, to be housed at NHTSA’s National Center for Statistics and Analysis, will empower EMS stakeholders at the local, State, and national levels with the information necessary to accurately assess EMS needs and
performance today – and strategically plan for tomorrow. For more information, visit http://www.nemsis.org/.
- National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Office of EMS (NHTSA)
- Joint Committee on Rural Emergency Care (JCREC)