What Is the Function of EMS in Your Emergency Care?

Emergency Medical Services (EMS) is a coordinated response system that connects critical patients with emergency medical care. For example, if you call 911 in the Las Vegas area because you think you might be having a heart attack, EMS will be activated and an ambulance will be sent to your location to bring you to the emergency care department at MountainView Hospital . EMS systems are intricate networks of personnel, agencies, and other entities. The purpose of these networks is to save lives.

EMS Scope of Practice

The scope of practice for EMS systems is much broader than you might realize. While EMS is perhaps best known for providing rapid transportation to emergency care departments, these systems also involve the administration of life-saving interventions. For example, EMS personnel can stabilize patients with suspected neck injuries, administer certain medications, use defibrillators, and facilitate breathing for patients with severe respiratory distress. Although a 911 call will activate EMS, EMS may also function on a standby basis. For example, EMS personnel may be available at large public gatherings such as sporting events.

Emergency Medical Responder (EMR)

There are different types of EMS personnel with varying levels of skills and knowledge. For example, the Emergency Medical Responder can provide simple, noninvasive medical care at the scene while waiting for additional responders. The EMR may also assist with transporting the patient. Some duties the EMR can perform include bleeding control and supplemental oxygen therapy.

Emergency Medical Technician (EMT)

An EMT is trained to provide a higher level of care in an out-of-hospital setting. However, EMTs work within medical oversight. Examples of duties an EMT can perform include using ventilators, helping patients administer their prescribed medications, and administering over-the-counter medications such as oral glucose or aspirin.


Paramedics have received formal training that enables them to provide a broader range of emergency care services. Their scope of practice includes providing pharmacological interventions and invasive treatments to reduce mortality. For example, a paramedic can perform endotracheal intubation, place IV ports for medication and fluid administration, and perform manual defibrillation.

Emergency care is available anytime of the day or night at MountainView Hospital. Our state-of-the-art emergency care department in Las Vegas features 42 private ER rooms and sophisticated imaging equipment to rapidly evaluate patients. Families who require emergency care are encouraged to call 911 promptly; otherwise, our Consult-A-Nurse line is available at (702) 233-5300 for non-emergent inquiries.

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