Defining EMS Systems

More About EMS Systems


Emergency Medical Services (EMS) our pre-hospital health care services delivered to residents of a community who suddenly become ill or injured under emergency conditions. Its scope includes a quick response, detailed assessment, immediate treatment of life threatening illnesses or injuries, and transportation to definitive care. Emergency medical services are provided by public, private, or non-profit entities with the authority and the resources to effectively administer the services.

The components of an EMS System include:
  • Manpower
  • Access to care
  • Training
  • Patient transfer
  • Communications
  • Coordinated patient record keeping
  • Transportation
  • Public information and education
  • Facilities
  • Review and evaluation
  • Critical care units
  • Disaster plan
  • Public safety agencies
  • Mutual aid
  • Consumer participation

The Emergency Medical Services Act of 1973 established standards for the organization of emergency services. Prior to 1974, government involvement in emergency medical services was primarily limited to providing an emergency department in the public hospital. Private operators, predominantly funeral homes, provided emergency transportation.