If you get sick or badly hurt and need help right away, you should use emergency medical services. Emergency medical services workers provide pre-hospital emergency medical care. These services use specially trained people and specially equipped facilities.

Access to emergency medical services is very critical for rural residents. There are many health care centers that provide 24×7 emergency medical services to their patients.

In hospital-based EMS systems, service may be provided directly by the hospital, or a provider might be a stand-alone entity owned or controlled by the hospital.  EMS encompasses a number of different services and roles, providing vital lifesaving care for patients during times of emergency. 

Emergency medical services do not exist in isolation but are integrated with other services and systems intended to maintain and enhance the community's health and safety. EMS is an intricate system, and each component of this system has an essential role to perform as part of a coordinated and seamless system of emergency medical care.

EMS providers work in the community, they are often the first to identify public health problems and issues. Since EMS providers respond to all kinds of emergencies and all kinds of hazards, they often work shoulder-to-shoulder with public safety colleagues in law enforcement and fire services. But their primary mission is emergency medical care.