News, Operations, Patient Care, Training

Public Support of EMS Strong, Survey Finds

File photo/Jeff Frankel

In a survey of people across the United States, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that 99% of the respondents had confidence in the abilities of EMS clinicians who would respond if 911 had to be called.

That finding and others are discussed in a recently published NHTSA Traffic Tech brief, “The 2016 Motor Vehicle Occupant Safety Survey: Emergency Medical Services.”

Other findings of the survey, which included responses from more than 5,000 people, include:

  • Among respondents who had ever placed an emergency call, 54% reported their most recent call had been to request an ambulance, rescue squad or EMS.
  • Over 90% of respondents considered EMS to be an essential government service.
  • 72% of all respondents reported they were willing to pay $5 or more in fees or taxes to fund improved EMS equipment and training.

“People across the country recognize the critical role of emergency medical services and EMS clinicians in preventing death and disability from motor vehicle crashes and other causes of injury and illness,” said Jon Krohmer, MD, director of the NHTSA Office of EMS.

The Motor Vehicle Occupant Safety Survey has been conducted seven times since 1994 and asks respondents about attitudes, knowledge and behavior related to seat belt use, child passenger safety, emergency medical services and other topics related to vehicle occupant protection. The most recent survey was administered in 2016 and 2017.

The survey also asked questions related to the use of 911 systems. Some of the findings included:

  • More than 90% of respondents expected to receive pre-arrival instructions from 911 operators while waiting for an ambulance.
  • More than half of respondents did not know if a 911 call center could identify a caller’s location without being explicitly told by the caller.