I was doing research for an emergency plan that I am working on. I ran across an article titled "Should EMS Be a Part of Public Safety?" Here is an excerpt:

"One of the biggest issues facing EMS is that we’re not sure what we really are. Is EMS health care? Is EMS public safety? Is EMS public health? In its recent publication, the National Institutes of Health determined that EMS actually has components of each of these ( see Figure 1 ).[1] The responsibilities of each of these three disciplines are diverse. Can we do all three well? This question makes me reflect on my days as a medical student, learning about medical ethics." View the full article here.

Stay safe,
Bruce C Ziebarth

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Comment by Kenneth Holley on March 23, 2009 at 6:50pm
At one of the local public safety agencies in my area all of the officers are trained to first responder level. The main reason is ambulance response. Sometimes there is at least a 5 minute response time for the ambulance to get to the scene.
Comment by Ben Waller on March 23, 2009 at 4:47pm
What Caleb said - EMS contains parts of public safety, public health, and regular old health care. The battle over "what are we" will continue until everyone realizes that all three are part of the EMS big picture.

There's nothing wrong with a local system that just wants to practice the public safety part of the system with a little public health thrown in, but remember that there are a lot of different EMS models, and what works for one place might be an unmitigated disaster if it were the EMS model elsewhere.
Comment by Mark Klaene on March 23, 2009 at 4:13pm
The way we handle it around here, I would say EMS is public safety. In part because it is EMERGENCY Medical Service. There is a separate public health dept and separate health care facilities. These dept's and facilities operate completely different and independently from the other emergency services. Except that ambulance services charge for transport (which I never understood why for emergency transport, since fire and police "generally" don't charge ) EMS here does what fire and police do. It is the final step in protecting the public. That is rendering initial medical aid, stabilization, and transporting them out of harms way to a medical health care facility for treatment.
Some EMS providers may provide health screenings especially in remote areas but by definition that is not Emergency Medical Service and in my opinion should be done under the public health dept.

Here most FD's run non-transport 1st response/rescue services. we look like ambulance, sound like ambulances, talk like ambulances but we are just EMS. We get there quick, treat and stabilize with anyone from a firefighter with medical training to EMT-P 's. We even can transport if OK'd by the ambulance service to rendevous with them from remote locations based on the nature of the call. Usually we just hand off to the ambulance at the scene.

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