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System Participants

Overview of EMS

Emergency Medical Services (EMS) is a system of services organized to provide rapid response to out-of-hospital medical emergencies. The goal of EMS is to respond with the appropriate resources quickly to the scene of the medical emergency, to provide the patient appropriate field treatment and stabilization, and to transport the patient expeditiously to an appropriate hospital emergency department or specialty care center. An effective EMS system involves a variety of agencies and organizations working together to accomplish this goal. While most EMS responses are day-to-day emergencies, EMS agencies also plan and prepare for disaster medical response.

In California, EMS systems are organized on a county or multi-county regional basis. Local EMS Agencies (LEMSAs) are designated by county boards of supervisors as the lead agencies responsible for coordinating EMS services at the county or regional level consistent with State law and regulations. In Contra Costa County, the Board of Supervisors has designated Contra Costa Health Services as its Local EMS Agency. The EMS Director, EMS Medical Director, and staff carry out the EMS functions of Health Services. The EMS Medical Director has statutory responsibilities to oversee medical aspects of the EMS program.

The California Emergency Medical Services Authority (EMSA) approves local EMS system plans, provides guidance to local EMS agencies, develops EMS regulations, administers the Regional Poison Control Center program, and carries out other EMS activities. EMSA is the lead agency for coordinating the State response to medical disasters. The State EMS Commission, with members appointed by the Governor and certain other State officials, is advisory to the EMSA and reviews and approves all EMS regulations.

The Contra Costa EMS system includes:


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