EMS Transportation Decisions

In EMS, transportation of our patients can mean many or few options. Patient condition, requests and appropriateness all play a part in deciding how, when and why we transport them. What about special considerations and a patients needs and comfort? Sometimes we are driven by written guidelines and others what is right for the patient. This very lively episode tries to give some important points on this everyday EMS occurrence. What’s your take on transportation decisions?


Show notes:

Tim Noonan – Rogue Medic

Josh Knapp – WANTYNU.com



  1. EMS should not be requesting a helicopter to CYA. I don’t believe it’s REQUIRED to call a helicopter in any scenario. It’s likely not a requirement because there are many reasons helicopters cannot fly or accommodate a patient.

    If you assess the patient to be stable enough to be transferred safely by ground why not reserve the resources of a helicopter? If my patient was on a motorcycle going over 30MPH or whatever the “standard” then I should call for a helicopter regardless of what my training and experience tells me? Maybe make this decision in conjunction with medical control if necessary.

    Is there something wrong with transporting to a local hospital for stabilization if necessary and transport to the larger facility by ground? Is this doing an injustice to the patient?
    Or is this using good use of resources?

    Service Animals- Police K9’s have a “guideline/standard” of care in this area. If a police K9 is injured and requires emergency medical treatment, we have laws allowing us to go code 3 to a vet or trauma center if necessary.


  1. […] EMS Transportation Decisions, Jim Hoffman and Josh Knapp were discussing EMS transport issues. I had not intended to be on the […]

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