Our current emergency medical service (EMS) system is the most advanced in the world. When someone dials 911 an emergency medical dispatcher (EMD) quickly determines what type of assistance is needed and dispatches the closest available resources. While help is on the way, the EMD offers first aid instructions and a reassuring voice. Within minutes police and firefighter first responders typically arrive with rescue equipment. The goal of the first responder is to make the scene safe and to protect the patient from additional harm. Often first responders are also trained as emergency medical technicians (EMTs) and initiate medical care. Usually next to arrive are EMTs and paramedics aboard an ambulance equipped with much of the same medication and equipment available at the hospital emergency department. The ambulance ride is designed to move patients swiftly and safely to the most appropriate hospital for their illness or injury. During transport, medical care continues and the emergency department (ED) physician is contacted with a report on the patient's condition. As a result the ED staff is prepared in advance for the incoming patient. The system is designed so that medical care is quickly and continuously provided without interruption from scene to surgery if necessary. The 911 emergency medical service system depends on the actions of many individuals to succeed: bystanders, volunteers, dispatchers, police, firefighters, emergency medical technicians (EMTs), paramedics, emergency nurses, physicians, educators, administrators, policy makers, and many others.