Date of Conferral
Public Policy and Administration
The foundation of modern-day emergency medical service (EMS) systems began in 1966, based on hospital medical care. Demand for evidence to support prehospital practices that have been in existence for the past half-century has continued to grow; yet, researchers have not adequately explored the relationship between the medical certification level of emergency first responders and the amount of time an ambulance spends on the scene. The purpose of this quantitative study was to examine and compare ambulance scene times for emergency responses when basic life support (BLS) certified first responders or advanced life support (ALS) first responders are first on the scene, and whether the level of first responder training reduces the time spent on the scene by a paramedic ambulance. A final research question dealt with whether there is a relationship between how long the first responder is on the scene and the amount of time an ambulance spends at the scene of an emergency. The publicly available archival data used for the study were from a community that had BLS and ALS first responders. Data analysis involved t-tests of the hypotheses for the first 2 research questions and a linear regression analysis of the hypotheses for the third research question. The findings showed that there is a clear difference in ambulance scene times based on the certification level of the first responders. Advanced life support first responders significantly reduced the scene time of ambulances when they arrived at the scene prior to the ambulance. Positive social change could result from this study if understanding the impact that ALS first responders have on ambulance scene times leads EMS planning managers to deploy resources more strategically, thus improving the efficiency of the public safety system and saving lives.