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Emergency Medical Services

The U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) provides training, research and outreach to help keep emergency medical services (EMS) personnel and their patients safe and help prepare fire departments for special EMS operations.

EMS updates

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Training opportunities

Train with the best to be the best! National Fire Academy classroom and distance learning courses cover supervisory management practices, incident command for medium to large patient incidents, and management and planning of specialized EMS operations.

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Featured course

Emergency Medical Services: Incident Operations (R0147)

Acquire the skills you need to manage medium to large incidents involving multiple sick or injured patients.

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This course should be required for all front-line EMS supervisors who would find themselves in the role of medical command of a major incident.

R0147 student

Waiver authorizes EMS reimbursement for TIP without transport

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services released a waiver on Medicare treatment-in-place (TIP) for ground ambulance services. The waiver provides reimbursement to ambulance services for 911 responses made to patients who were not transported to emergency departments due to COVID‑19 community-wide protocols.

The waiver is effective retroactively to March 1, 2020.
Learn about the CMS waiver

Social media outreach

Post these cards on your social channels and include your own content to reinforce the messages.


Use these pictographs to communicate 911 and first aid messages to high-risk populations.


new Emergency Services Ergonomics and Wellness handbook

Alive on Arrival: Tips for Safe Emergency Vehicle Operations

Arrive safely to an incident scene

Information on the basics of emergency vehicle and roadway operations safety, including the roles of drivers, passengers and the officer in charge.

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Operational Templates and Guidance for EMS Mass Incident Deployment

Prepare for mass care incidents

This guide will help you to prepare and develop response policies for mass care incidents like natural disasters, pandemics and other emergencies.

Download the guide

Handbook for EMS Medical Directors

Learn about being an EMS medical director

We've created an overview of key roles and responsibilities to assist current and prospective medical directors in performing their important duties.

Download the handbook

Mitigation of Occupational Violence to Firefighters and EMS Responders

Protect yourself from occupational violence

Best practices for preventing and mitigating violence against firefighters and EMS responders.

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Safety and Health Considerations for the Design of Fire and EMS Stations

Design safe and healthy stations

If you are a fire department leader, architect or local government official, this guide will assist you in your efforts to design a safe, healthy and functional facility.

Download the guide

Emergency Vehicle Safety Initiative

Stay safe in your vehicle and on the roadway

Best practices and recommendations for safer emergency vehicle and roadway incident response.

Download the handbook

Browse all EMS publications

EMS reference materials

Get a head start on your EMS research project with these reference materials from the National Emergency Training Center Library.

Browse EMS topics EMS for children collection


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New at the NETC Library

book cover
EMS by Fire: The Making of a Fire Medic

Firefighter, medic and author Michael Morse provides a first-person account from a 25-year career vividly defining the first responder's vital role as a medical professional.

View catalog description

Borrow this book

Help victims of human trafficking

Victims of human trafficking might look like many of the people you help as a member of the fire and emergency services—and in some cases, they are. Use and share these resources to learn about the crime and how to be prepared to help prevent human trafficking and treat victims.

Download or order printable reference materials

You can download or order free materials available in several languages from the Department of Homeland Security that:

  • Explain human trafficking.
  • Detail the classical presentations found in trafficking victims.
  • List several common indicators of trafficking.
  • Provide information on how to report suspected trafficking.

Visit the Blue Campaign Resource Catalog to order or download materials to share with fellow first responders.

Report suspicious activity! If you see signs of human trafficking, report it to law enforcement online, or call 866-347-2423.

Current Events and Issues

Training helps EMS workers identify human trafficking signs

One of the most effective ways to counter and prevent human trafficking is through the training of health and public safety workers. Training helps workers to correctly recognize and react to signs of human trafficking when interacting with the public.

Read the article

Ongoing research

EMS responder safety study

The safety and health of EMS responders is a critical issue for both fire departments and third service EMS providers. We are working with the International Association of Fire Fighters to study EMS responder health and safety issues, including:

  • Active shooter and mass casualty incidents
  • Emergency vehicle operations
  • Hazardous materials incidents
  • Helicopter safety
  • Personal protective equipment and infection control
  • Lifting
  • Physical fitness and stress management

Estimated study release date: January 2022.

Pandemic continuity of response operations, health and safety

USFA is working with the National Association of State EMS Officials to study COVID-19-revealed issues related to continuity of operations and emergency responder health and safety during a pandemic.

Estimated study release date: July 2022.