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Emergency Medical Services

Crash survival depends on EMS.

The Vision Zero Plan includes 5 “E” strategies: Education, Environment, Enforcement, Engineering and Emergency Medical Services (EMS).
It is crucial to have EMS as a strategy in the Vision Zero Plan to reach the goal of zero motor vehicle fatalities and serious injuries on North Dakota roads in the post-crash phase. While most of the “E” strategies play a role in preventing or minimizing injury, EMS contributes to reducing fatalities and disability in the post-crash phase, providing the last pre-hospital opportunity to improve health outcomes from motor vehicles crashes and other medical emergencies. EMS assures that crash victims are transported to an appropriate level of health care for their injuries, in the shortest amount of time possible.
In 2017 in North Dakota, there were 77,064 reported ambulance runs.
Of those runs, 51,522 were made by the top eight* EMS systems.
*FM Ambulance (Fargo), Community Ambulance Services (Minot), Metro Ambulance Services (Bismarck), Altru Ambulance Service (Grand Forks), Standing Rock Ambulance (Fort Yates), Williston Fire/Ambulance Services (Williston), Dickinson Ambulance Service (Dickinson), New Town Volunteer Ambulance Corps (New Town)

Crash survival depends on a quick response by EMS

Some crash victims die within just a few minutes of a crash. In most of these cases the crash was not survivable, because victims lose consciousness and can't keep their airway open, or they have injuries that cause such catastrophic bleeding or damage to organs that even the best surgeons couldn't save them. But many crash victims are able to survive within 10-90 minutes post-crash. You may have heard of the "golden hour," which refers to the critical window of time in which EMS systems can make a difference in reducing injury and a fatality by:
  • detecting the incident more quickly
  • improving precision in locating the crash site
  • taking the optimal route to the site
  • having air transportation available when needed
  • having the best clinical resources on hand for the patient's needs
  • providing better care to the patient at the crash site and en route to a hospital
  • making the right choice about the optimal hospital or trauma center

EMS Resources in North Dakota

  • 22 Advanced Life Support (ALS) ground ambulance
    • ALS ambulance crew members have an advanced skill set that includes a set of life-saving protocols.
  • 106 Basic Life Support (BLS) ground ambulance
    • BLS ambulances provide noninvasive emergency procedures to assist the immediate survival of a patient.
  • 12 Ground Substation
    • BLS units that are an extension of an ambulance service.
  • 8 Critical Care air ambulance
    • Fixed wing/plane or rotor/helicopter units that always carry a paramedic and usually nurse on board for immediate transport.
  • 82 Quick Response Units
    • QU units are integrated first responder units comprised of law enforcement, rescue personnel, heath care professionals, and assisting ambulances. Ambulances are required for patient transport.

In 2017 in North Dakota, these age groups used EMS:

  • 19% - Children (14 and under)
  • 16% - Youth (15 - 24)
  • 51% - Adults (25 - 64)
  • 14% - Seniors (65 and over)