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History of EMS (Emergency Medical Services)

Emergency care has always been a part of history. From the days when wars were raged on the battlefield to the time when cities became plagued with different diseases, man has always found ways to care for those who need it the most. But the idea of providing emergency care for people who urgently needed it would have never started if it weren't for the development of the ambulance system. Originally, the ambulance system was only used as a means of transportation to take a patient to the nearest hospital. This obviously wasn't enough since many people were still dying during transit. This then prompted many medical services during that time to think of ways that will enable a responding team to give preliminary care to a patient once the patient is in the ambulance. This seemingly simple idea allowed for instant remedy to be given to patients, which then drastically lowered the death rate through the years. (See purpose of EMS)



In as early as the 19th century, ambulances were already carrying important medical equipment such as splints, painkillers and a stomach pump. This paved the way for more manufacturers of medical equipment to come out with compact models that would be able to fit in the ambulances. After the First World War, the idea to carry a communication device in the form of a two way radio on the ambulance at all times made dispatch and responding times much faster.

In the 1960s, this specialized field took a positive turn as various research findings started putting pressure on governments to standardize emergency medical services in their respective areas. This lead to an imposition that ambulances should be a certain size and weight and also contain the essential medical equipment needed to respond to most first aid cases. The first statewide system of providing for first aid care began in Maryland during this decade. But it wasn't until the 1970s that the emergency medical services started to take shape into what we know of it today. Because of the findings from the white paper, a much stricter code of service was enforced and the EMS care has greatly improved since then.


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