Across Canada, EMS is widely known and recognized for its primary role in emergency medical transport in the case of emergencies and for inter-hospital transfers. 9-1-1 is the standard number to access emergency care across Canada. The vast majority of Canadians are covered under, and are aware of, the number. However, the public’s image of EMS is predominantly shaped by the media including television programs designed for entertainment, not education.
More importantly, planned and evaluated EMS public education initiatives that proactively target injury prevention and public safety remain endless. However, EMS’ enormous potential is not being leveraged in this area. In small and medium sized communities, paramedics have a tremendous opportunity to operate injury prevention programs while standing by for emergencies.
The value of EMS in the future is linked to the provision of primary health care at the point where citizens need it, providing services according to the scope of practice determined and required by each community. EMS is now, and needs to continue to demonstrate that it is increasingly, a critical part of the core fabric of the communities it serves. Indeed, the mobile infrastructure and ability to link traditional institutional health services with community care is at the heart of EMS. In this manner, EMS of the future will focus on prevention and wellness, will be care oriented, and will earn and enhance the confidence of the communities it serves. EMS will be there at the right place, at the right time, with the right service.
More to come! Stay in touch!