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The 15-year anniversary flyer must be viewed with the Adobe Acrobat Reader. If you do not have this reader, click here to download a free viewer from Adobe. 

Download EMSC 15-year anniversary flyer (136K)


This year marks the 15th anniversary of Illinois Emergency Medical Services for Children (EMSC) The goal of EMSC is to reduce childhood death and disability by ensuring that our emergency medical services system and emergency medical response capabilities are appropriately prepared to handle the needs of children.  Children are not "small adults".  Ill and injured children have unique needs and require a specialized approach to care.

Nearly forty years ago, our country began formalizing our emergency medical response systems.  Development of these early emergency medical services systems were based on military experiences, which demonstrated that survival could be greatly enhanced through appropriate triage techniques, timely transport, prehospital and emergency department care.  Over time however, it was found that our emergency medical services systems focused primarily on adult care while the specialized needs of children received limited attention at best.  For example, child-sized equipment in ambulances and emergency departments was not consistently available.  Also lacking were training courses that focused on medical management of childhood emergencies.  As a result, while outcomes for adults in emergency situations improved, children's outcomes did not keep pace.  This ultimately led to federal legislation which created a National EMSC program to address children's emergency care needs. 

In 1994 an EMSC program was established in Illinois, and is a collaborative effort between the Illinois Department of Public Health and Loyola University Medical Center.  Since 1994, much has been accomplished in our state, including:  improving the availability of child-sized equipment in ambulances and emergency departments; sponsoring of hundreds of pediatric educational courses for EMT's, Paramedics, Nurses, Physicians and other medical care providers; conducting training for school nurses through a School Nurse Emergency Care course to assure emergency preparedness of school nurses; conduction of multiple illness/injury prevention initiatives; establishing partnerships with multiple state and local organizations; and  development of numerous pediatric guidelines and other resources which are accessible on the Illinois EMSC website at www.luhs.org/emsc.

In addition, EMSC has implemented a pediatric facility recognition process that has led to over 100 hospitals in the state voluntarily meeting equipment, training and protocol criteria to assure they have appropriate resources and capabilities in place to manage the seriously ill or injured child.  These hospitals are formally recognized by the Illinois Department of Public Health as a Pediatric Critical Care Center (PCCC), Emergency Department Approved for Pediatrics (EDAP) or Standby Emergency Department for Pediatrics (SEDP).  For a listing of these hospitals, go to www.luhs.org/emsc and click on the Facility Recognition link.

Seconds count in an emergency.  Motor vehicle crashes, drownings, poisonings, burns and asthma are only a few of the life threatening emergencies that a child may face.  Having a well organized emergency medical services system that parents can access at such times is vital.  Although EMSC has made and will continue to make great progress over the years, much work remains to ensure children receive optimal medical care.  All of us can work together to save children's lives.  For example, hospitals can review the PCCC, EDAP and SEDP standards and take the steps to achieve one of these levels.  Health care providers can be trained to respond to pediatric emergencies and to ensure that their offices or departments are equipped to handle a childhood illness or injury.  Parents can talk to their physicians to understand what constitutes a child health emergency, learn how to access emergency care in their community, and take CPR and first aid training.  School personnel can discuss injury prevention measures with their students and learn what to do in an emergency or disaster situation. 

2009 marks the fifteenth anniversary of Illinois Emergency Medical Services for Children (EMSC), providing an opportunity for us to reflect on and recognize the special emergency care and injury prevention needs of children, as well as to recognize the organizations and individuals within our state that have worked diligently to improve the care that they provide to Illinois children.

Illinois EMSC has resources that can assist organizations, agencies and individuals in improving emergency care for children.  For further information, check our website at www.luhs.org/emsc or contact our office at (708) 327-3672.


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Last Reviewed: May 8, 2009