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Mell HK, Mumma SN, Hiestand B, Carr BG, Holland T, Stopyra J. Emergency Medical Services Response Times in Rural, Suburban, and Urban Areas. JAMA Surg. 2017;152(10):983–984. doi:10.1001/jamasurg.2017.2230
Emergency medical service (EMS) personnel in the United States respond to an estimated 37 million 911 calls annually, providing care to the sick and injured, but the initial link in the chain of survival includes family, friends, and bystanders.1 A collaborative effort between emergency care and emergency management experts within the US government recently led to the development of a public education campaign titled Until Help Arrives (https://community.fema.gov/until-help-arrives). Spearheaded by the US Departments of Homeland Security, Defense, and Health & Human Services, this initiative seeks to empower laypersons to provide care to the ill and injured until EMS personnel arrive. While there is an unavoidable delay between a 911 call and EMS arrival, to our knowledge, no current published data exist to quantify these time frames. This study seeks to describe the interval between receipt of a 911 call and the arrival of the first EMS unit on the scene of a reported emergency in the United States.
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