Ambulance services are medical transportation services that are often called upon to move ailing individuals from one location to another. The most common application of this type of service is to respond to an emergency situation such as an auto accident or the sudden collapse of an individual, quickly moving the ill or injured party to a care facility where he or she can receive treatment. However, the typical ambulance service provides other services as well.
Along with providing emergency medical transportation, it is not unusual for an ambulance service to transport patients between healthcare facilities. This can include moving a patient from one hospital to another, or transporting a patient from a nursing home to the hospital. As with emergency situations, there is usually trained medical staff present during the transport, making sure the patient remains stable and as comfortable as possible during the move from one facility to the other.
There are also tasks provided by these types of services that are classified as non-emergency medical transportation. An ambulance service can also be called upon to return a patient who has been released to his or her home. For example, if an accident victim is well enough to leave the hospital, but must remain in bed while convalescing at home, there is a good chance that an ambulance service will provide the transport home. Once arriving at the patient’s residence, the crew will assist the patient in getting in the home and settling into bed. At that point, the crew turns the responsibility for the patient over to the caregiver who was at the residence to receive the patient.
While many people think of an ambulance service as providing medical transport on the road only, the fact is that many services today also have the ability to transport patients by air. The use of an air ambulance service to transport patients to distant healthcare facilities has become increasingly common as people travel further from home for business and pleasure. While some services limit their range of coverage to a certain distance, there are international medical transport services that make use of both ground and air transportation to get a patient to the desired destination, no matter where in the world the destination happens to be.
In most countries, an ambulance service is required to register with a local jurisdiction in order to offer medical transportation to the general public. Many jurisdictions have specific criteria that the service must meet in order to be approved for this function. The requirements include hiring only properly trained personnel to administer care to the party being transported. In addition, most ambulance services require that drivers maintain a spotless driving record in order to be eligible for continuing employment.