Occupational injuries among emergency medical service providers in the United States

J Occup Environ Med. 2009 Aug;51(8):963-8. doi: 10.1097/JOM.0b013e3181af6b76.


Objective: Occupational injury is a significant problem among emergency medical services (EMS) providers. A national survey was conducted to describe the problem of occupational injury among EMS providers.

Methods: This study examined the most common types of nonfatal injuries and the activities and environments where injury most frequently occurred, including additional variables and paid versus volunteer status.

Results: Occupational injury in the past 12 months was reported by more than 29% of 659 survey respondents, with multiple injuries reported by 64% of those reporting an injury. Paid providers had approximately twice the prevalence of overall injury than volunteer providers, controlling for age and gender. Paid providers were more likely than volunteer providers to experience back injury and physical assault.

Conclusions: This study clearly identifies important occupational injury problems in EMS, including the need to examine paid and volunteer providers as separate occupational groups.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Accidents, Occupational / trends*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Emergency Medical Services*
  • Emergency Medical Technicians*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Wounds and Injuries / epidemiology*
  • Young Adult