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Classification and Minimum Standards for Emergency Medical Teams

EMS Solutions International |


Classification and Minimum Standards for Emergency Medical Teams 



Since the publication of the Classification and Minimum Standards for Foreign Medical Teams in Sudden Onset Disasters in 2013, significant progress has been made to develop a standardized approach to emergency medical teams (EMTs).

Prior to this, organizations were deploying medical teams using various names, terms and operational/technical capabilities. This meant that receiving countries were offered teams of varying capacities making accepting or declining offers and distributing teams challenging. Today, countries receiving EMTs can be confident that the global EMT community speak “the same language” in describing what they are offering.

This edition of Classification and minimum standards for emergency medical teams builds on these efforts by incorporating further areas of expansion of EMT typology, capacity and capability, with refinement of guiding principles and core standards, along with a more structured framework across technical standards for clinical care and support services expected by EMTs.

Furthermore, it draws and builds upon knowledge, experience and lessons learnt from individuals and the EMT network.

This handbook aims to provide a clear outline of the guiding principles and standards required by EMTs in delivering quality care to patients. It is also intended as practical and informative guidance for Member States, ministries of health, national and international EMTs and other key stakeholders who want to build such capability and better understand requirements. It is complemented by information and technical guidance documents available in the EMT knowledge hub.

Taking into consideration variations in pre-existing capacities and capabilities across different health systems, the technical standards (Chapters 5 and 6) include minimum requirements applicable to all EMTs and recommendations dependent on the context and decisions taken by each EMT, except for those marked applicable for international deployments. The level of detail provided in each subchapter is a result of available evidence and best practices to ensure the quality of care provided by EMTs while addressing the need for clarification expressed by the wider EMT community.

Dr Ramon REYES, MD,
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