EMS Overview

A Short History of EMS

The tradition of First Responder started with the Good Samaritan of ancient times who stopped to help a man who was assaulted and left for dead by the side of the road.  After many travelers passed him by, the Good Samaritan stopped and treated his wounds, assisted the man to an inn, and even paid for some long term care.  Through those actions emergency medical services was born.

During the Civil War, ambulance personnel assigned to regiments were trained in patient car to better take of the soldiers.  During the WWI era, signal boxes were used by soldiers to help facilitate medical teams to find and treat them.

Transition to modern day EMS started during the 1950’s as an off shoot business of five different types of companies:  towing services, medical equipment businesses, funeral homes, hospitals and police and fire services.  After 90 years of being unregulated, funeral homes began care and provided 50 percent of the country’s ambulance services.

In 1960, President Kennedy declared “traffic accidents constitute one of the greatest, perhaps the greatest of the nation’s public health problems.”  This statement was followed by President Johnson in 1966 declaring “death by motor vehicle accidents the neglected disease of modern society.”  1966 the National Highway Traffic Safety Act was adopted.  This legislation standardized EMS training, promoted state enrollment, encouraged community oversight, recommended radio communication and stressed a single emergency number.

Since that time, the National EMS system has developed into a system that provides sophisticated pre-hospital medical care that is now available to most all of us.

EMS in El Dorado 

In the 100 square miles of El Dorado Fire & Rescue’s service area, residents and travelers are fortunate to have well-skilled Emergency Medical Responders usually respond within 5 minutes to the emergency.

The State of New Mexico EMS Bureau licenses four levels of Emergency Medical Responders:

All levels of responders are certified in CPR for the Health Care Provider which includes using an AED.

First Responder:  Certified to do basic patient assessment which includes history taking, vital signs – blood pressure, pulse, oxygen saturation, blood glucose, administer oxygen and assist higher level responders in patient care.

EMT-Basic:  In addition to the First Responder skills, EMT-Basics are certified to assist patients in taking some of their prescribed medications with Medical Direction, maintain airway, and assisting higher level responders in patient care

EMT-Intermediate:  In addition to EMT-Basic skills, Intermediate providers are certified to start IV’s and administer certain drugs by injection.

EMT-Paramedic:  This is the highest level of certification for the EMS Provider.  Paramedics undergo an extensive education that expands on the knowledge and skills of Intermediate EMT.  They provide advances life support which means they are able to give drugs, intubate, and perform other life-saving treatments when a patient’s life is in jeopardy.

All EMT’s, no matter what level of certification, function under Medical Direction and Santa Fe Country Fire Department Medical Protocols.  Our Medical Director is Kendall Lee, MD and Emergency Room Physician who practices at St. Vincent’sRegional Medical Center.


El Dorado Fire Rescue Service | eldoradofire@comcast.net | business: 505.466.1204
144 Avenida Vista Grande Santa Fe, New Mexico 87508-8323