Malpractice is a recognized and growing problem for physicians and hospitals, but it is difficult to ascertain the risk of malpractice in the prehospital arena. Dade County, Florida (greater Miami), with a population of 1.7 million, currently is served by 339 certified paramedics. During the decade of 1972 to 1982, Dade County Fire Rescue handled 265,060 incidents; 16 claims were filed with the Risk Management Division of Dade County. The claims were produced by 11 incidents, which yields a rate of one per 24,096 incidents. The two greatest problems identified were inadequate record keeping and "gray zone" patients who do not fit any particular protocol.