National Standards

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Emergency Medical Services for Children (EMSC)

EMSC Mission

The EMSC Advisory Committee is responsible for advising the Health Department and its Commissioner on all aspects of emergency care for children. The mission of the EMS for Children program is to reduce child and youth mortality and morbidity caused by severe illness or trauma. EMS for Children aims to ensure that:

  • state of the art emergency medical care is available for the ill and injured child or adolescent;
  • pediatric service is well integrated into an emergency medical service system backed by optimal resources; and
  • the entire spectrum of emergency services, including primary prevention of illness and injury, acute care, and rehabilitation, is provided to children and adolescents, no matter where they live, attend school or travel.

History of Emergency Medical Services for Children Initiative

Early EMS systems were designed to provide rapid intervention for sudden cardiac arrest in adults and rapid transport for motor vehicle crash victims. The specialized care that children require was often overlooked. Pediatricians and pediatric surgeons, identifying poor outcomes among children receiving emergency medical care, became advocates on behalf of their patients. They sought to obtain for children the same positive results that EMS had achieved for adults.

In the late 1970s, Calvin Sia, MD, president of the Hawaii Medical Association, urged members of the American Academy of Pediatrics to develop multifaceted EMS programs that would decrease illness and death in children. Dr. Sia worked with U.S. Senator Daniel Inouye (D-HI) and his staff assistant, Patrick DeLeon, PhD, to generate legislation for an initiative on pediatric emergency medical services for children.

In 1984, Senators Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Lowell Weicker (R-CT) joined Senator Inouye in sponsoring the first EMSC legislation. C. Everett Koop, MD, then Surgeon General of the United States, strongly supported this measure, as did the American Academy of Pediatrics.

The 1984 legislation led to the establishment of the Emergency Medical Services for Children (EMSC) Program. Two years later, Alabama, California, New York, and Oregon became the first recipients of federal grant money specifically earmarked to improve pediatric emergency medical services.

Since then, EMSC grants have helped all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and five U.S. territories (the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, American Samoa, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, and Puerto Rico).

Grant funds have improved the availability of child-appropriate equipment in ambulances and emergency departments; supported hundreds of programs to prevent injuries; and provided thousands of hours of training to EMTs, paramedics, and other emergency medical care providers.

EMSC Program support also has led to legislation mandating EMSC initiatives in several states, and to educational materials covering every aspect of pediatric emergency care. Most important, EMSC efforts are saving kids' lives.

NYS EMSC Advisory Committee

The EMSC Advisory Committee shall advise the department, the commissioner, the state emergency medical services council, the state emergency medical advisory committee, and the state trauma advisory committee regarding all aspects of emergency medical services for children, including, but not necessarily limited to, pediatric emergency medical, trauma, and disaster care, and the early care of maltreated children and children with special health care needs.

The EMSC Advisory Committee will meet, at a minimum, quarterly, or as often as its business may require.

EMS for Children Meeting dates

Resources

Recent News and Announcements

Pediatric Continuing Education Programs

EMSC Coordinator

  • Martha Gohlke, HPA-1