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Emergency Medical Services (EMS)

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

EMS updates


Get your answers to frequently asked questions about funding and read the latest guidance on planning, response, infection control and behavioral health.

NEW Vaccine information for EMS clinicians

Maintaining operational capabilities during a pandemic

During a severe pandemic, workloads increase and staff sizes diminish as employees and their families become ill or are quarantined. This guide provides contingency planning information that can help fire and EMS departments reduce the worst impacts.

Download the guide

Download action steps for EMS

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: Quality Management (R0158)

Acquire the skills you need to create, implement and maintain an EMS quality management program by exploring current models and best practices.

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We implemented additional training opportunities for new intubation equipment using different methodologies. All platoons have improved their success rates after the training.

R0158 student

Distributive Education limits for EMS recertification waived

The National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians has waived the Distributive Education limits in the National Continued Competency Program Model for 2021.

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Social media outreach

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


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.

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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.

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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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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.

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New at the NETC Library

book cover
A Thousand Naked Strangers: A Paramedic's Wild Ride to the Edge and Back

A former paramedic's visceral, poignant and mordantly funny account of a decade spent on Atlanta's streets saving lives and connecting with the drama and occasional beauty that lies inside catastrophe.

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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.

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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: Fall 2021.

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: October 2021.