Aspects of the organization and function of pre-hospital emergency care services in western Sweden were assessed by interviewing physicians (n = 20) with administrative (n = 10) or/and active (n = 10) roles in the pre-hospital emergency care field. The data obtained indicate that although the present standard of care is acceptable, there is an obvious need for a more effective organization and the personnel involved should have a higher competence level. Ambulance personnel were not considered to have a high enough competence level. Therefore, a need for more nurses, preferably anaesthesia or intensive care nurses, was expressed. An awareness of the importance of research was noted among the physicians responsible for the services, and the research capability of nurses, along with their general competence in emergency medical service related problems, was considered an important argument for involving more nurses in pre-hospital emergency care. It was thought that by such an approach, a more scientific basis for assessing the efficacy of pre-hospital emergency care could be achieved.