Hichem Chenaitia , Horace Massa, Cyril Noel, Marc Fournier, Marc Verges, Stephane Emeric, Pierre Michelet
International Paramedic Practice, Vol. 1, Iss. 1, 05 Sep 2011, pp 33 - 38

Emergency medical services (EMS) vary across Europe, with two predominant models: the Anglo-American model which uses mainly paramedics in a prehospital setting, where 'the patient goes to the doctor'; and the Franco-German model which uses mainly physicians in a prehospital setting, where 'the doctor goes to the patient'. No perfect model exists, and each country has an EMS model based upon the needs of the community and the available economic resources. This overview shows that the EMS in Europe are modern, efficient and structured in the same way. The dispatch centre, the means and the response times are similar; the biggest differences concern the personnel who staff ambulances and their training, although they all have to perform the same emergency procedures and manage similar types of patient. The role of emergency medical technicians (EMT) is vital in all prehospital EMS systems. However, the training of EMT with equal skills is very different, with great variations as a function of each country. European harmonization appears to be necessary, even if it seems difficult.

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