ABSTRACT

Feasibility for an EMS Workforce Safety and Health Surveillance System   [open pdf - 2MB]

"Emergency Medical Services (EMS) personnel treat an estimated 22 million patients a year in the United States. Estimates have placed the EMS workforce at around 900,000 workers, but the precise number is unknown because EMS workers include career and volunteer EMTs [Emergency Medical Technician], firefighters who have been cross-trained in EMS, commercial ambulance services, third-service public utilities, and others. While the uncertain dimensions of the EMS workforce contribute to the difficulty of conducting adequate surveillance to understand the extent of occupational injury and illness, studies to date have identified EMS workforce occupational injury and fatality rates that greatly exceed the national average for all industries. The goal of this project was to examine the feasibility of creating such a surveillance system. This report is a qualitative study and presents the findings of a consensus process that resulted in an agreement of EMS and data system stakeholders on the utility of existing data systems, and a set of elements and characteristics of the surveillance system. The report also contains a literature review of EMS workforce illness and injury. The EMS Consensus Panel determined that no single data system exists in the United States today that alone can serve as a surveillance data source for EMS workforce illness and injury. The EMS Consensus Panel also concluded that a comprehensive surveillance program should rely upon an integration of data systems to accomplish the goal of conducting EMS workforce illness and injury surveillance."

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Public Domain
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EMS.gov: http://www.ems.gov/
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