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Who will treat me in emergency medical care?

Emergency medical care is prehospital care rendered by a variety of EMS professionals and first responders.

Emergency medical care and related medical services are part of the health care system. The emergency medical services encompass units, distributed across various tiers, with carefully defined tasks and levels of required professional qualification. The emergency response centre will assess the emergency call and judge which tier of emergency medical response to dispatch. All units assigned to emergency medical services are not ambulances for the transportation of patients; in some cases they only transport emergency medical personnel.

The emergency medical services do not provide non-urgent assistance, nor will they carry patients home.

Emergency medical services units::

The purpose of the first responder unit is to reach the patient at risk as soon as possible and immediately begin to render first aid, First responder units carry first response equipment and are crewed by first responders specially trained for first response services.

The most common first responder unit is a fire engine, but it may be, for example, a border guard vehicle or unit.

A first responder may not necessarily have medical training.

A basic level EMS unit is often crewed by practical nurses with an emergency medical technician specialty or firefighters with specialised qualifications.

The basic level unit is adequate for the most common emergency medical situations.

An advanced level EMS unit may be crewed by paramedics with a university of applied sciences degree as well as registered nurses with additional critical care training.

Advanced level units also offer a broader selection of medications and equipment for less common, more challenging situations.

A field supervisor is an experienced paramedic with leadership and other supplemental training. Their task is to act as the senior operations officer, participate in treatment in the most challenging situations, and direct emergency medical operations in the field in critical situations.

An EMS physician unit travels by automobile or helicopter. They include emergency care physicians with a dedicated prehospital clinical team. The physician units play a part in the care of the most challenging and serious events and acute illnesses. Their competences and equipment enable them to deal with rare emergencies and initiate intensive care in a prehospital setting. The physicians on call in such a unit not only participate in field work, but also respond to consultation requests from the EMS units and other consultations concerning acute emergency medical events outside the hospital setting.

Updated 1.5.2021