Lights and sirens are a medical intervention

Brooke Burton and Bryan Wilson join the podcast to discuss the NEMSQA Quality Improvement Initiative

EMS should use lights and sirens selectively, the same as any clinical intervention for our patients. On Feb. 14, 2022, leaders of many EMS associations published a statement calling for decrease in use of red lights and sirens for EMS responses and transports. 

Data from NHTSA and Dr. Doug Kupas' seminal paper on the use of red lights and sirens in EMS that fewer than 7% of patients transported to the hospital with lights and sirens received a life-saving intervention upon arrival in the ED.

In this episode of The EMS Educator podcast, hosts Rob Lawrence and Hilary Gates, MAEd, NRP,  interview two of the leaders of research and change on this topic:

  • Brooke Burton, quality improvement and controlled substances manager at Unified Fire Authority in Salt Lake City, Utah
  • Bryan Wilson, EM/EMS physician at St. Luke's University Health Network and EMS Medical Director for City of Bethlehem EMS. They discuss the need to educate the public and local governments that clinical care is more important than response times.

Find out more about the NEMSQA Quality Improvement Initiative.

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This podcast is sponsored by EMS Gives Life. Would you consider becoming a living organ donor? Visit for more info.

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Quick Take: It’s time to flip the switch on hot EMS response

Studies have repeatedly demonstrated that the time saved with lights and siren use has little-to-no impact on patient outcomes

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