In recent years, considerable media attention has been given to the shortage of EMTs and paramedics. Reports appear often enough to raise concern among the public, the medical community and policymakers alike that an ongoing or pending nationwide “crisis” or “shortage” of EMS professionals is upon us. Rural challenges are particularly prevalent in media coverage. The recent inclusion of a special rural EMS session at the National Conference of State Legislatures 2007 annual meeting suggests that concern among local politicians has reached a tipping point, which may prompt action.
Unfortunately, we know so little about the EMS workforce that it