Emergency Medical Services

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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 discussed below.

  • 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 group.
  • Next a brief EMS summary.

EMS Tutorial Content



The EMS Response

The EMS Responder


EMS Summary

Medical Oversight Tutorial