EMS Tutorial: Out-of-Hospital
The Out-of-Hospital component
of the EMS Response covers the care received prior to arrival at a healthcare
facility and during transport between healthcare facilities. The most
recognized symbol of this component is the ambulance. However, not all
out-of-hospital services utilize an ambulance, which illustrates the fact
that the structure and capability of out-of-hospital services can vary
from state to state and region to region. Some of these variables are
- Full-time vs Part-time:
Many rural areas cannot afford a full-time ambulance service and rely
on volunteers to leave their full-time jobs or their homes to respond
to an emergency call.
- Volunteer vs Paid:
The EMS responders in full-time services are paid for their expertise.
In volunteer services, there may be no pay, or pay for being on call,
or pay for actual patient contact, or any combination of the above.
In general, pay for EMS responders is not why they become involved!
- Transporting vs
Non-transporting: You may live in an area that can only muster
a first responder organization that provides care at the scene but does
not have the capability to transport the patient and must rely on outside
resources for transport.
- BLS vs ALS:
The rural reality is that Advanced Life Support (ALS) care is least
available where it could do the most good: rural/frontier America.
- Private vs Public:
Out-of-hospital services can be provided by a private, for-profit
organization; a government entity such as
a city, county or tribe; associated with one of the other emergency
services such as fire or law; or via a local volunteer
a brief EMS summary.