The Development of Civilian Emergency Medical Services in the United States

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The Development of Civilian Emergency Medical Services in the United States
Civilian Emergency Medical Services (EMS) is the most widely used system for emergency services provided in the United States. The United States development of Civilian EMS has evolved and changed since the 19th century.
The actual foundation for EMS originated during the Civil War in America and served as the model for future civilian EMS development. During the Civil War Dr. Jonathan Letterman created a system of ambulances due to the disorganization that existed in medical services during the Battle of Bull Run. Surgeon General William Hammond appointed Jonathan Letterman as the Military Medical Director and assigned him with the task of organizing military medical services. Dr. Letterman established an effective ambulance corps, which included techniques in the loading and unloading of soldiers on stretchers into and out of ambulances. Dr. Letterman ordered that all ambulances be staffed with dedicated attendants at all times and be prepared to move immediately and quickly. Ambulances were separated based upon duties and capabilities. Light two-wheeled ambulances retrieved the wounded from the battlefield to the dressing stations. Larger four–wheeled ambulances were held in reserve to move soldiers to facilities such as hospitals.
The United States Sanitary Commission (USSC), a private organization founded by the first woman physician in America Elizabeth Blackwell, provided…