Emergency Medical Service (EMS)The Emergency Medical Service (EMS) system is responsible for providing pre-hospital (or out-of-hospital) care by paramedics and emergency medical technicians. The goal of EMS is to provide early treatment to those in need of urgent medical care and ultimately rapid transportation to the Emergency Room (ER). Providing medical care early to patients significantly increases their chances of survival, particularly in the event of a heart attack, diabetic emergency, or severe physical trauma. EMS providers work under the license and in direct supervision of a medical director or board-certified physician who oversees the policies and protocols of a particular EMS system or organization. EMS professionals are trained to follow a formal and carefully designed protocol or standard of care, which has been created and approved by physicians. The emphasis in emergency services is on following correct procedure quickly and accurately rather than on making in-depth diagnoses.
National EMS standards are determined by the U.S. Department of Transportation and modified by each state's Department of EMS (usually under its Department of Health), and further altered by Regional Medical Advisory Committees (usually in rural areas) or by other committees.