EMS & Paramedicine

Emergency Management Services (EMS) is a vital component of healthcare, public health and public safety. On any given day, in almost every community in our nation, EMS responds to patient calls for help, 24/7. Yet few understand exactly what medical services EMS provides, how EMS fits into the wider healthcare system, or how EMS is staffed, funded and delivered.

EMS stands for Emergency Medical Services. EMS practitioners provide prehospital emergency medical care. People call EMS when they have had an accident or are experiencing a medical emergency, including heart attack, difficulty breathing, a fall or accident, drowning, cardiac arrest, stroke, drug overdose or acute illness.

When a person becomes ill or injured and dials 911, an EMS dispatcher, trained to obtain key information from the caller about the location and type of emergency, answers the call. The dispatcher also may give the caller patient care instructions while sending emergency responders to the scene of the emergency. Each level of EMS practitioner performs different skills to assist patients.  EMS care may be provided by private ambulance companies, fire or police departments, a public EMS agency, a hospital or by a combination of these. EMS practitioners may be paid workers or community volunteers.

Western's EMS Program provides an innovative, high quality program using active learning. Interactive learning experiences using realistic case scenarios, simulations and lab experiences enable students to see the whole patient. The lectures are delivered both in person and as a live synchronous stream via Internet. In addition to learning EMS theory, students learn to be productive in a group, develop teamwork and interpersonal communication skills, and to evaluate their own performance within the laboratory experiences. All of these skills are essential in the EMS workplace. The Associate of Science in Paramedicine, The Associate of Applied Science Degree and the Certificate offer options for Part-time attendance as well.

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