HRSA supports the development, innovation and advancement of EMS through a number of programs and initiatives.
Highlighted EMS Activities:
Designed to ensure that all children and adolescents, no matter where they live, attend school, or travel, receive appropriate care in a health emergency, the Emergency Medical Services for Children program supports State EMSC managers to facilitate quality pediatric care from the pre-hospital setting, emergency department, hospitalization, rehabilitation and return to home.
Since its establishment, the EMSC Program has provided grant funding to all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and five U.S. territories. The ongoing success of EMSC has been accomplished through innovative partnering with other federal agencies, national organizations, family involvement, and state, district, and territorial leadership to ensure the full integration of pediatrics into all aspects of EMS care.
EMSC funds the Pediatric Emergency Care Applied Research Network (PECARN). PECARN is the only network dedicated to conducting multicenter pediatric emergency medicine research. For FY11, six cooperative agreements with schools of medicine that will support 18 emergency departments that represent approximately one million pediatric visits annually. The network is currently involved in eight studies and has published seminal research in the New England Journal of Medicine and Lancet. PECARN has over 60 peer review publications and has received over 52 million dollars in external funding to support research projects.
EMSC fosters the integration of pediatrics into all aspects of EMS care through an interagency agreement with the Department of Transportation National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's Office of EMS and EMSC also works with the Indian Health Service to provide pediatric equipment and training and improve emergency medical services in Tribal communities.
The Medicare Rural Hospital Flexibility Program (Flex Program) improves and sustains access to appropriate health care services of high quality in rural America. The Flex Program supports
Learn more: Medicare Rural Hospital Flexibility Program
Critical Access Hospital EMS Bypass for Rural Trauma. HRSA is developing guidelines for rural medical directors and EMS personnel relative to decisions to stop at the critical access hospital or continue treatment and transport to a more sophisticated trauma facility.
Learn more: Rural Emergency Medical Services
The Rural Access to Emergency Devices Program provides funding to rural community partnerships to purchase automated external defibrillators. Since 2007, more than $9.4 million has enabled 13 grantees in 19 States to purchase 5,254 defibrillators and train 27,436 people to use them, resulting in 516 documented "saves."
Learn more: Rural Access to Emergency Devices Program
The Poison Control program funds the national Poison Help toll-free number that connects more than 4 million callers each year to their local poison control center. Specially trained nurses, pharmacists, and physicians provide multilingual help (translation services in 161 languages) 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
More than half of the calls involve children younger than age 5; more than 70 percent are resolved over the phone with guidance from trained health care professionals.
Every 90 seconds, a health care professional consults a poison center. Patients whose health care provider consulted a poison center on average have shorter hospitalizations – 3.5 days versus 6.5 days, which results in savings of more than $2,100 per patient.
Two grant programs support States and Territories in improving access to health care and other services for individuals with traumatic brain injury (TBI) and their families.
TBI State Implementation Partnership Grant helps States and Territories to establish an infrastructure for the delivery of TBI-related services and to improve their ability to make system changes that will sustain the TBI service-delivery infrastructure.
Grantee activities include educating families about TBI signs, symptoms, and available support services, providing information and referral services, training providers in various disciplines to effectively identify and manage TBI symptoms, providing case management services to coordinate care across treatment and service areas, and assisting families who are transitioning from one system to another (e.g., military discharge to community re-entry, hospital acute care to school re-entry).
TBI Protection and Advocacy Grant provides funding to Governor-designated State protection and advocacy organizations and the Native American Consortium to provide information and referral services, training in self-advocacy, advocacy, and litigation services to individuals with TBI and their families.
Grantee activities include investigating suspected abuse or neglect, seeking justice for TBI survivors and their families by pursuing litigation and other remedies, monitoring the safety of care facility residents, and providing information and referrals regarding entitlements to services and other legal rights.
Learn more: Traumatic Brain Injury Program
EMS of the future will be community-based health management which is fully integrated with the overall health care system. EMS Agenda for the Future (PDF - 106 pages), 1996
The rural/frontier emergency medical service (EMS) system of the future will assure a rapid response with basic and advanced levels of care as appropriate to each emergency, and will serve as a formal community resource for prevention, evaluation, care, triage, referral and advice. Rural/Frontier EMS Agenda for the Future (PDF - 116 pages), 2004
Community paramedicine – an organized system of services, based on local need, provided by emergency medical technicians and paramedics who are integrated into the local or regional health care system and overseen by emergency and primary care physicians – is one model to realize the vision of EMS-based community health services that supplement the traditional EMS response model and bridge both community health service and EMS coverage gaps.
HRSA supports community paramedicine and is developing Measures for Community Paramedicine, an evaluation framework for community paramedicine programs that will include quality measurements to help further evaluate their impact. HRSA hosts monthly webinars to discuss issues relevant to community paramedicine programs.
Learn more: Community Paramedicine Insights Forum
The NEMSIS Project is an effort to create a national EMS database containing data from local and state agencies, defining a standard on which to measure care. HRSA is a partner in the effort and in the NEMSIS Technical Assistance Center, which helps EMS agencies collect data and create reference documents.
Learn more: NEMSIS Technical Assistance Center
HRSA is statutorily charged with serving on the Federal Interagency Committee on EMS (FICEMS) and, along with the Department of Homeland Security, assists the Department of Transportation in providing administrative support.
The Committee was established in 2005, in accordance with Public Law 109-59 (SAFETEA-LU) and charged with ensuring coordination among Federal agencies involved with state, local, tribal and regional EMS and 9-1-1 systems.
1973: Emergency Medical Services Systems (EMSS) Act establishes the Health Services Administration (which in 1982 will merge with the Health Resources Administration to become HRSA) as the lead Federal EMS agency.
1984: Preventive Health Amendments establish the Emergency Medical Services for Children Program -- the only Federal program focused on improving the pediatric components of emergency medical care.
2005: Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity: A Legacy for Users Act establishes the Federal Interagency Committee on EMS to coordinate activities related to EMS and 9-1-1 systems and to issue an annual report with recommendations for new or expanded programs to improve EMS. HRSA is statutorily charged to serve on the committee and assist in providing administrative support.
2011: The Maternal and Child Health Bureau, Office of Special Health Affairs and Office of Rural Health Policy represent HRSA on the Federal Interagency Committee's technical working group.
Pediatric Care in Rural Hospital Emergency Departments (PDF - 20 pages)
Rural Volunteer EMS: Reports from the Field (PDF - 4 pages)
EMS Workforce for the 21st Century - A National Assessment (PDF - 162 pages)