Office of EMS
Consensus-building, collaboration, and supporting significant national projects are the hallmarks of NHTSA’s contributions to EMS system development. An efficient EMS system is integral to reducing injury and mortality on and off our Nation’s highways, and is key to ensuring prompt emergency response to any type of illness or injury. The Nation’s best preparation for any incident, large or small, is a comprehensive EMS system, ready every day for every emergency.
Our Mission is to reduce death and disability by providing leadership and coordination to the EMS community in assessing, planning, developing, and promoting comprehensive, evidence-based emergency medical services and 911 systems.
In 2020, NHTSA celebrated its 50th anniversary. Learn more about the role of the Office within NHTSA by viewing this webinar.
What We Do
We advance a National vision for EMS through projects and research
Over the past 40 years, NHTSA has partnered with public and private organizations to assess the state of the EMS system and identify critical gaps. We have produced comprehensive, evidence-based reports (including the EMS Agenda for the Future, Education Agenda for the Future, and Workforce Agenda for the Future) that serve as the foundation for decisions at the Federal, State, and local levels.
We foster collaboration among federal agencies engaged in EMS programming
Working in cooperation with our peers and the EMS community enables us to leverage resources, promote the most innovative ideas, and accelerate the development of advanced EMS systems. NHTSA supports two collaborative bodies established to gather critical stakeholder input and prioritize EMS initiatives for the Nation. The Federal Interagency Committee on EMS (FICEMS) includes representatives from the federal agencies responsible for EMS programming, while the National EMS Advisory Council (NEMSAC) is composed of trusted leaders in the EMS community who advise NHTSA on its projects and the future of EMS nationwide.
We deliver the data EMS leaders need to advance their systems
The best decisions are those that are informed by timely, accurate data. NHTSA has taken a leading role in identifying the types of information required by researchers and EMS leaders, developing the protocols for collecting this data, and building the databases to store and analyze critical statistics. Learn more about the National EMS Information System, and plans to improve the consistency of EMS workforce data, which will inform workforce planning and practitioner and patient safety procedures.
We evaluate system performance
NHTSA and a team of independent subject matter experts have developed the guidelines against which we can measure the health of our Nation’s EMS systems, and have evaluated statewide EMS systems in all 50 states. Given the varied ways in which EMS services are delivered at the National, State, and local levels, benchmarking current performance is a critical step in building better systems.