Emergency Medical Services (EMS)
Emergency Medical Services (EMS) are extremely important, but very few people really understand how the EMS system works. That’s one of the reasons why EMS Week, May 17-23, was established 25 years ago.
EMS Week acknowledges the difference EMS makes in the lives of Americans everyday, including the accomplishments of professionals who dedicate themselves to saving the lives of others. EMS Week also educates the public about how and when to utilize EMS services.
EMS provides care for victims of sudden and serious illness or injury. The system relies on the availability and coordination of many different elements, ranging from an informed public capable of recognizing medical emergencies to a network of emergency centers capable of providing highly specialized care.
In the last three decades, EMS has grown into a critical part of day-to-day medicine. In 1966, a report from the National Academy of Sciences documented widespread deficiencies in emergency care. That same year Congress passed legislation that paved the way for federal EMS guidelines. Now, specialized training is required in order to provide emergency medical care.
The Paramedic and the EMT
Both paramedics and Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) are essential to emergency medicine. Each has a specific role.
A paramedic specializes in more advanced life support. They can administer IVs and insert tubes to help people breathe. They can also provide drug intervention and can monitor heart defibrillation in cardiac cases. Paramedic training varies anywhere from 500 to 1,600 hours.
An EMT provides basic life support. They can administer CPR, make splints for injured limbs and bandage cuts or burns. 130 hours of training are required to become an EMT.
Did You Know. . .
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