Emergency Medical Services

Myth: The average response time for emergency medical services is ten minutes.

Truth: This is false.

Emergency medical services (EMS) personnel in the United States respond to an estimated 37 million emergency calls every year. The average response time for the arrival of EMS personnel to an emergency scene is seven minutes.

Research published in JAMA Surgery examined the interval between a 911 call and when first responders arrive at the scene. The study found that the response time increased to more than 14 minutes in rural settings and about 1 in 10 encounters wait up to 30 minutes for EMS personnel to arrive. Longer EMS response times result in worse outcomes in trauma patients. To find out more about this research, click here.

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