Health & Safety Institute Blog

September 18, 2017

National Disasters Shine a Spotlight on EMS

With two catastrophic hurricanes, extensive wildfires and the annual memorial of the 9/11 terror attacks, EMS providers have been in American news and in American hearts over the last few weeks. Today’s post takes a look at the world of EMS to better understand what they do, and what is asked of them.

There are a number of community-based and private organizations in the nation’s EMS systems. EMS Magazine's 9th Annual National EMS Systems Survey shows that fire departments make up 40% of EMS professionals, with private companies and hospitals making up another 25%. EMS personnel affiliated with police departments, public utilities and government agencies also factor into the overall EMS landscape.

The demanding call volumes to these entities might surprise those who don’t work in the EMS field. 47% receive between 1,000 – 10,000 calls per week, with 25% receiving anywhere from 500 – 1,000 calls. Add the difficulties of a natural disaster or terror-related incident and those numbers climb even higher, with crews working around the clock to save lives and property.

For those aspiring to a career in this vital public service sector, the EMS field is a growing industry. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, it is projected that:

“Employment of emergency medical technicians (EMTs) and paramedics is expected to grow by 33 percent from 2010 to 2020, much faster than the average for all occupations. There will continue to be a demand for part-time, volunteer EMTs and paramedics in rural areas and smaller metropolitan areas.”

During a disaster or other wide-scale emergency, our EMS responders may encounter situations they have never faced before. 24-7 EMS is here to help responders prepare with the latest information, such as our Disaster and Counter-Terrorism Medicine series that gives the first line of defense the training needed to respond to such an emergency, including earthquakes, hurricanes and CBRNE (Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and Explosive) events. 

As we continue to watch the drama of recovery efforts from storms in the South and fires in the West, and as we remember those whose lives were lost 16 years ago at Ground Zero, America takes great comfort knowing that these brave men and women are here for us and prepared to serve, no matter what comes our way.

From all of us at HSI, it is our honor to support your lifesaving work. Thank you for all you do.

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