NIST Deployment Report on EMS Field Experiments

For the first time, this study investigates the effects of varying crew configurations for first responders, the apparatus assignment of ALS personnel, and the number of ALS personnel on scene on the task completion times for ALS level incidents. This study is also unique because of the array of stakeholders and the caliber of technical experts involved. Throughout the experiments, all industry standards and safety protocols were followed and robust research methods were used. The results and conclusions will directly inform the NFPA 17101 and NFPA 1720 Technical Committees, who are responsible for developing industry operational and deployment standards.

This report presents the results of more than 102 field experiments designed to quantify the effects of various fire department-based EMS deployment configurations for three different scenarios—-1) patient access and removal from the incident scene, 2) a victim of systemic trauma due to a long distance fall and 3) a patient with chest pain leading to a cardiac arrest. In addition to systematically controlling for arrival times of units, first responder crew size was varied to consider two-, three-, and four-person staffing. ALS personnel configuration for both the first responder unit and ambulance transport unit were also varied for purposes of the experiments. In each deployment, personnel performed a series of defined tasks consistent with the scenario being evaluated. Report results quantify the effectiveness of crew size, ALS configuration, and the number of ALS personnel on the start, duration, and completion time of all tasks delineated in the three scenarios. Conclusions are drawn from statistically significant results.

  • Topics:
    • Featured Research
    • Research
    • EMS
  • Resource Type:
    • Research
    • Report/ publication
  • Organizational Author:
    • External
    • EMS Section

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