Emergency medical services, or EMS, is a vital part of every city across the United States. Every day, thousands of calls are responded to and hundreds of lives are saved. From cardiac arrests to car accidents, paramedics and EMTs are the first ones on the scene to care for victims. The truth is that so many lives are saved each day that it rarely makes the news, and if so, it's only covered locally—saving lives is part of the EMS routine. We expect them to arrive quickly, assess and stabilize the patient, and transport him to the nearest facility, keeping them alive along the way. It's incredible that what they can do to make the difference between life and premature death. Here are 5 examples of the lives saved by emergency medical services:
1. Boston, MA: The Boston Marathon Bombing
The bombings on April 15, 2013, at the Boston Marathon saw massive injuries on a large scale: 264 people were injured, some so severely that they required amputation of limbs, and three people were killed at the scene. The vast majority of injured spectators lived, despite devastating injuries. First responders saved hundreds of lives that day due to the preparation beforehand, excellent coordination of services and quick transportation of the injured.
2. Rochester, NY: Cardiac Arrest
This YouTube video shows EMS providing CPR and fibrillation to a man who had experienced a heart attack and ran his truck into a utility pole. On the third shock (not shown in the video) the man's heart restarted, and he is alive today.
3. Austin, TX: Crowd Run Down by Drunk Driver
On March 13, 2014, a suspected drunk driver drove through a crowd attending a music festival. EMS was on-scene in minutes and transported 23 individuals to local hospitals, many in less than 15 minutes from the incident. While two people died at the time of the accident, several others are receiving the medical care they need to survive, due to the quick response of those first on the scene.
4. Atlanta, GA: Trucker Saved from Burning to Death
When a truck burst into flames, nine Good Samaritans pulled the driver from his burning cab. Paramedics arrived, loaded the severely burned trucker into their ambulance and headed to the hospital. En route, their ambulance blew a tire from the debris, but they continued to the hospital despite the obstacle.
5. Pensacola, FL: Rollover Accident
When a woman's tire blew out, it flipped her car into a death roll. Paramedics responded to the scene and were forced to use the jaws of life to cut her out of the vehicle. The woman and her two passengers were then taken to local hospitals where they were treated for their injuries.
These are just a few examples of when EMS made the news for their life-saving work. Many more lives are saved every day without the notice of the public. However, the impact of the work they do is visible every day in the people they have rescued and the loved ones whose family members have been returned safely back home.