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Whitepaper: Today's Biggest EMS Challenges and How to Fix Them

Prior to the late 1960s, emergency medical service (EMS) in the United States didn’t exist—at least not in the manner that it is provided today. Ambulances were used to transport patients to hospitals or other healthcare facilities—and not much else. In 1960, only six states had standard education programs for rescue personnel—paramedics and emergency medical technicians didn’t come into being until the early 1970s—and only four states regulated ambulance-design specifications. By 1965, the vast majority of emergency medical services from coast to coast largely were unregulated.[1]

What’s Next? Conducting an Incident Response Review

As states begin to reopen and communities slowly return to normalcy, organizations, including mission-critical agencies, must evaluate their responses to the COVID-19 public-health crisis and leverage their experiences to prepare for future crises. Conducting an incident-response review, also called a hot wash, enables agencies to identify areas in which they performed well, as well as where their responses could use improvement. When conducted as part of an agency’s after-action reporting activities, this review can help build a better incident-response plan moving forward.

Strategic Planning for Public Safety

The expectations placed on public safety agencies increase every day—from doing more with smaller budgets and fewer staff to improving communications between dispatchers and emergency responders in the field, to decreasing response times and improving response outcomes. In today’s constantly evolving emergency communications landscape, the public sector can take a cue from private organizations and prioritize initiatives, goals and ideas through strategic-plan development.