Because no two EMS systems are exactly alike, how do EMS leaders compare their operational choices with those of others across the country? Where can city officials go to learn about the trends affecting EMS systems? For almost a quarter-century, the answer has been right here at JEMS.
Each year, we survey first responder and transport entities serving the 200 most populous cities in the United States based on the most current U.S. Census Bureau data. The result is a snapshot of key operational and clinical factors related to EMS systems nationwide.
Some highlights from this year's survey:
- Private organizations and fire departments are the most common primary transport service types.
- AVL is used in almost half of the systems (47.0%), double last year's rate.
- Emergency medical dispatch certification is required in 80.8% of EMS communication centers.
- Three-quarters of first responder and transport entities report response time performance using the fractile method.
- Dynamic system status management and fixed stations with limited move-up to cover peak demand are the most common deployment strategies.
- Several interventions, including pulse oximetry, aspirin administration, end-tidal CO and pediatric IO have become widely accepted. Others are moving in that direction.
- Emergency vehicle crashes and extended shift lengths are a common safety risk area in urban areas.
- Public vs. private organization funding reflects the impact of the subsidy/price tradeoff.