Improving Rural Emergency Medical Services (EMS) through Transportation System Enhancements

Improved emergency medical services (EMS) will impact traffic safety and public health in rural communities. Better planned, designed, and operated roadway networks that connect hospitals with communities in need will enhance EMS performance. To provide safe, timely and quality services, it is necessary to obtain a realistic estimate of the medical demand and the capacity of current transportation infrastructure pertaining to the services. The gaps between service providers, patients, and transportation network connecting the two need to be identified and filled to support better EMS. The goal of this project was to identify issues with respect to the delivery of quality EMS to rural residents in South Dakota (SD) and to conduct a needs assessment from the rural transportation system perspective. Study objectives were: (1) Identify the service needs from the rural communities; (2) Evaluate the rural transportation system components in support of swift and safe EMS; and (3) Identify the existing issues with the SD EMS providers or first responders related to roads and traffic controls. Study objectives were achieved through a combination of literature review, spatial and temporal analysis of SD EMS data, and EMS personnel surveys and focus groups. In addition to survey results, this report summarizes the SD EMS data from the geographic (e.g., counties in SD) and temporal (e.g., time of day, day of week, and month of year) perspectives and concentrates on several time- and distance-dependent variables such as response time, en-route time, on-scene time, and transporting time as well as the distance to and from the incident scene.

  • Record URL:
  • Record URL:
  • Supplemental Notes:
    • This research was sponsored by the U.S. Department of Transportation, University Transportation Centers Program.
  • Corporate Authors:

    South Dakota State University, Brookings

    Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
    Brookings, SD  United States  57007

    Mountain-Plains Consortium

    North Dakota State University
    Fargo, ND  United States  58108

    Research and Innovative Technology Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Authors:
    • Samra, Haifa
    • Qin, Xiao
    • He, Zhaoxiang
  • Publication Date: 2014-5


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Features: Appendices; Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 37p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01527893
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: MPC 14-267
  • Created Date: Jun 9 2014 9:43AM