Fatigue in Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Systems

The availability of medical care provided by emergency medical services (EMS) workers is necessary at all times, day or night. This requirement has led to circumstances where EMS workers across the entire industry are working in sleep deprived and fatigued states. A number of recently published scientific articles have demonstrated that severe fatigue is present in about half of EMS providers and that drowsy or fatigued EMS providers are substantially more likely to be injured on the job, commit a medical error, or perform a safety compromising behavior. This research will cross-validate findings from studies and reports of fatigue in other professions with that of fatigue in EMS and will use an Evidence Based Guidelines (EBG) development process to generate and disseminate evidence-based information and tools to the EMS community. The project will bring together fatigue experts and EMS stakeholders in order to guide the EMS community in improving their fatigue related policies, scheduling, and reporting. The findings and tools will empower the EMS community to develop fatigue management programs at the local level in order to improve ambulance safety on the road as well as for more effective and safer patient care.


    • English


    • Status: Active
    • Funding: $1,995,135
    • Contract Numbers:


    • Sponsor Organizations:

      National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

      1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
      Washington, D.C.  United States  20590
    • Project Managers:

      Blenner, Jordan

    • Performing Organizations:

      National Association of State EMS Officials

      201 Park Washington Court
      Falls Church, VA  United States  22046
    • Principal Investigators:

      Blenner, Jordan

    • Start Date: 20150929
    • Expected Completion Date: 20221231
    • Actual Completion Date: 0
    • USDOT Program: Behavioral Safety Research
    • Subprogram: Emergency Medical Services

    Subject/Index Terms

    Filing Info

    • Accession Number: 01631707
    • Record Type: Research project
    • Source Agency: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
    • Contract Numbers: DTNH2215C00029
    • Files: RIP, USDOT
    • Created Date: Apr 3 2017 9:05AM