Improving Emergency Medical Service Response to Motor Vehicle Crashes in American Indian Reservations

The focus of this exploratory study is emergency medical response (EMS) for motor vehicle crashes (MVCs) in American Indian reservations and communities, where an average of 656 MVC fatalities occur each year. We conducted a national survey of tribal governments, first responders, and others with strategic perspectives on the quality, strengths, and needs of EMS response in these areas. We summarize the input of 189 study participants about the severity of MVC issues, the quality of EMS response, and factors contributing to the effectiveness of the EMS system in their area. In the EMS response chain, respondents express the strongest concern over dispatch. More than half of respondents report the time to transfer MVC victims to a trauma center usually exceeds the “golden hour” that is critical for trauma injury victims, with concerns being particularly acute in the Pacific Northwest and Alaska. Only 36 percent of respondents reported that the EMS agencies serving the American Indian reservations and community areas where they work have interagency agreements in-place to facilitate coordinated EMS response. Across all questions, study respondents with tribal government affiliation were consistently more optimistic regarding EMS response to MVCs in reservations than respondents without such affiliation with tribal governments. Based on this exploratory study, we present six recommendations about research questions and methods for additional research.


  • English


  • Status: Active
  • Funding: $100000
  • Contract Numbers:



  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Research and Innovative Technology Administration

    University Transportation Centers Program
    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590

    Roadway Safety Institute

    Center for Transportation Studies
    University of Minnesota
    Minneapolis, MN  United States  55455

    Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology

    University Transportation Centers Program
    Department of Transportation
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Project Managers:

    Stearns, Amy

  • Performing Organizations:

    University of Minnesota

    Humphrey School of Public Affairs
    301 19th Ave S
    Minneapolis, MN  United States  55455
  • Principal Investigators:

    Quick, Kathryn

  • Start Date: 20180226
  • Expected Completion Date: 20190531
  • Actual Completion Date: 0

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01664799
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Roadway Safety Institute
  • Contract Numbers: DTRT13-G-UTC35, CTS-2018059
  • Files: UTC, RiP
  • Created Date: Mar 28 2018 1:50PM