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Rural Emergency Medical Services (EMS) and Trauma Models and Innovations

These stories feature model programs and successful rural projects that can serve as a source of ideas and provide lessons others have learned. Some of the projects or programs may no longer be active. Read about the criteria and evidence-base for programs included.

funded by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy Great Basin College Emergency Medical Services Program
Updated/reviewed December 2017
  • Need: Recognizing the need to increase emergency response times, rural Nevada struggled to recruit and retain EMTs, AEMTs, and Paramedics.
  • Intervention: Great Basin College created the EMS program to recruit and train new EMTs and paramedics.
  • Results: The program has now trained hundreds of state-certified EMTs and AEMTs in rural Nevada.
funded by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy Nevada Rural Opioid Overdose Reversal (NROOR)
Updated/reviewed December 2017
  • Need: To reduce the number of overdoses and deaths related to opioid overdose in rural Nevada.
  • Intervention: The Nevada Rural Opioid Overdose Reversal (NROOR) Program, led by a Critical Access Hospital (CAH), furnished naloxone and provided education on prescription opioid use and overdose.
  • Results: In total, 117 EMTs were trained on the administration of naloxone. EMTs greatly appreciated the naloxone training and the naloxone kits.
Fostering Futures in Menominee Nation
Updated/reviewed September 2017
  • Need: Since the late 1800’s, trauma caused by historic events have greatly affected the way of life for Menominee Indians living on the Menominee Reservation. Economic, socioeconomic, behavioral health, and physical health issues have risen and are causing direct implications for Menominee youth.
  • Intervention: Through Fostering Futures, clinic, school, and Head Start/Early Head Start staff are trained in administering trauma-informed care and building resilience among children.
  • Results: Behavioral health visits at the Menominee Tribal Clinic have increased, school suspension rates have decreased, and graduation rates have improved from 60% to 85% since 2008.
funded by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy E-RHIT Network
Updated/reviewed June 2017
  • Need: To provide rural Louisiana ambulance services with the necessary resources to establish electronic patient care reports and participation in both the state trauma registry and the state health information exchange.
  • Intervention: A network was established providing equipment, software, training, data collection, data analysis, and support.
  • Results: EMS Electronic Patient Care Reporting (ePCR) has been implemented, allowing members to participate in the Louisiana Health Information Exchange (LaHIE), and to provide data to the statewide trauma registry.
Savvik Buying Group (Formerly North Central EMS Cooperative (NCEMSC)
Updated/reviewed June 2017
  • Need: Due to its reduced Medicare ambulance service reimbursement, the 1997 Balanced Budget Act threatened to put many rural volunteer emergency medical services (EMS) providers out of business across the country.
  • Intervention: Savvik (formerly North Central EMS Cooperative, or NCEMSC) created a mechanism for EMS providers to achieve cost reduction through group purchasing.
  • Results: The program brings discounts on EMS supplies to over 6,300 members across the United States, Canada, and Mexico.
Simulation in Motion-South Dakota (SIM-SD) EMS Educational Outreach Program
Updated/reviewed January 2017
  • Need: To provide increased educational opportunities for emergency care personnel in rural and frontier South Dakota.
  • Intervention: A technologically advanced training was created to enhance the delivery of emergency patient care.
  • Results: Hundreds of EMS staff and volunteers received training that in turn helped them in the field of emergency patient care.
Rescue Divas EMT Recruitment
Updated/reviewed December 2016
  • Need: There is a shortage of EMTs in rural northern Wisconsin.
  • Intervention: Rescue Divas is a summer camp program geared toward middle school girls that was created to spark an interest in future careers in emergency medical services.
  • Results: The number of girls who were very interested in pursuing a career in EMS jumped from 6 to 13 after participating in Rescue Divas.
Rural Nevada EMS Conference
Added September 2016
  • Need: To provide rural Nevada EMS personnel an opportunity to receive quality training and current EMS information from national EMS educators.
  • Intervention: For 25 years, the Rural Nevada EMS Conference has been offering continuing education units and engaging sessions for EMS personnel.
  • Results: The 2015 conference was rated as "very good" or "excellent" by 97% of its 251 participants.
funded by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy EMS Live@Nite
Updated/reviewed July 2016
  • Need: 80% of rural EMS providers are volunteers. Distance, time, and cost make it difficult for these volunteers to attend continuing education and maintain certification.
  • Intervention: Inland Northwest Health Services delivers free online training to rural EMS providers via video teleconferencing.
  • Results: The EMS Live@Nite program provides free, monthly training to rural EMS providers in the northwestern part of the United States. The Program is available through live video conferencing from certified locations in rural communities.
Level One Cardiac Care and Partnership
Updated/reviewed March 2016
  • Need: Fast diagnosis and stabilization in order to survive a cardiac emergency in the rural areas around Davenport, Washington.
  • Intervention: Lincoln Hospital is prepared to quickly assess needs, deliver medications, and air transport heart attack patients to Sacred Heart Medical Center in Spokane, Washington.
  • Results: Increased survival rates and other quality of life outcomes for heart attack patients from the rural areas of Lincoln County, Washington.

Last Updated: 12/8/2017