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Office of Injury Prevention

Emergency Medical Services for Children (EMSC)

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Click on a question below to see the answer.

What is the Emergency Medical Services for Children Program?

Emergency Medical Services for Children (EMSC) is a national initiative designed to reduce child and youth disability and death due to severe illness and injury. Medical personnel, parents and volunteers, community groups and businesses, and national organizations and foundations all contribute to the effort. A federal grant program supports Arizona's initiatives. EMSC is an essential component of Emergency Medical Services or EMS systems.

Why is this program needed?

Children are not "small adults." The ill or injured child has very special needs and requires a different approach to care. Emergency care providers must be trained, not only to recognize the different ways that children's bodies respond to traumatic injury and illness, but also to communicate and comfort these children and their families effectively. Since the 1970's, National EMSC has been improving the quality and availability of emergency care specifically for children. There is a very large range of skill and experience in hospitals, emergency personnel, and first responders in the emergency care of children in Arizona. EMSC offers consistent, coordinated, and high quality child emergency care training throughout Arizona to those who respond to child emergencies.

What are the goals of the program?

Arizona EMSC goals are:

  • To improve the quality, safety availability, and consistency of child emergency medical care throughout Arizona
  • To provide ongoing assessment of the pediatric emergency medical services delivery system
  • To develop curriculum for child emergency care training that is effective, sustainable, portable, and can be replicated whenever needed
  • To develop and disseminate pediatric protocols for emergency care in Arizona in order to promote regular, high quality emergency care of children
  • To work with providers to collect pre-hospital electronics data

What has the program achieved?

The EMSC Program uses a portion of the HRSA grant funds to support pediatric educational offerings in each of the state's four EMS regions. The EMSC Program Manager attends Regional EMS Council meetings and advocates for on-going pediatric education/training for all EMS personnel. Examples include: a stand-alone pediatric conference for providers offered in the Northern EMS Region, and the Central EMS Region is adding a pediatric track to their two day conference. EMSC funds supported four Emergency Pediatric Care (EPC) Courses that were offered throughout the state and added an additional thirteen instructors with an additional forty-four providers.

The EMSC Program has also taken a role in helping to develop a voluntary hospital certification program. Pediatric-Prepared Emergency Care is a partnership between hospitals, physicians, nurses, and emergency personnel, and the EMSC Program. This partnership has been established to improve outcomes for ill and injured children through a system of regionalized pediatric emergency care. AzAAP will certify that emergency departments meet specific criteria, developed by a broad group of stakeholders, for personnel training, policies, quality improvement activities, equipment and facilities that support optimal care for ill or injured infants, children, and teens.