Sunday, April 15, 2007

Advancement of Pre-hospital Medicine

I posted a note of frustration on the EMT City Rural EMS forum yesterday about my frustration with local EMS, particularly having to do with scope of practice issues that I have addressed here many times. I received a message from one of the founders of an organization that is trying to wake up the people of this country to the fact the EMS is in trouble. EMS providers are paid significantly less on average than firefighters, prompting one columnist I read recently to say that that proves that as a society we value material possessions over human life. I'm not sure I'd go that far, and I certainly don't want to discount the incredibly difficult and challenging job of firefighting. It is true, however, that EMS in general comes in last amongst the three entities of the public safety triad (PD, FD, EMS) when it comes to funding, organization, recognition, and public awareness.

EMS is the youngest of the three, having only become more than a way to get people to the hospital for care in the past 30-40 years. It is clear that the public's impression of what EMS is and does is flawed. We as providers need to help change this. What can we do?

One thing that is being done is the creation of CAPEM or the Council for the Advancement of Pre-hospital Medicine. This organization is trying to get out the message. Check out their website.

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