To kick off 2019, we’ve decided to continue our exploratory series: A Look at EMS in Different Countries! Recently, we looked at EMS in Japan and the United Kingdom, and today we’re going to shift our focus toward Spain. Whether you’re naturally curious or you’d like to know for future travel plans, we hope this information will benefit you down the line!
As with the other segments in this series, we’ve taken our information from a source called Trek Medics International. According to their website, Trek Medics is a 501c3-registered nongovernmental organization (NGO) “dedicated to improving emergency medical systems in communities across the globe without reliable access to emergency care through innovative mobile phone technologies.”
Join us for a trip to the sunny country of Spain…
A Brief Overview of EMS in Spain
When you think of Spain, you might picture gorgeous beaches, sunny weather, or flamenco music. You might also think of wine; according to sites like World Atlas, Spain is one of the top wine-producing countries in the world. You might not know about their emergency medical services, though, so let’s delve right into the heart of the matter!
Trek Medics states that “Spain, like France and Germany, relies on a physician-based staff to provide prehospital emergency care, with clinical support from nurses, logistics emergency technicians, and ambulance support staff.” They included the below breakdown in their database:
+ Emergency Physician: University degree in medicine; master of emergency medicine; medical specialty in cardiology, anesthesiology, family medicine, or intensive care medicine
+ Emergency Nurse: University degree in nursing; master of emergency nursing; nursing specialty in community nursing, or medical surgical nursing
+ Emergency Medical Technician: Vocational/community college
+ Patient Transport Assistant: Private courses
How to Call for Emergency Medical Services
In an emergency, dial 112 to access ambulatory services, the police, or fire departments. Previously, 061 was the phone number that people used to request an ambulance in Spain. Now the 061 call centers are being integrated into 112 control centers, which coordinate the dispatching of emergency medical services.
If you’re wondering about other emergency numbers, Trek Medics states that, “prior to efforts by the European Union to streamline emergency communications through 112, Spain used several different numbers which are still accessible.” These include the following:
- Ambulances: 061
- Fire Department: 080
- Police: 091 (to call the Spanish police internationally, dial 91 582 29 00)
- Civil Guard: 082 (who will contact other appropriate response agencies where required)
- Domestic/Gender-based Violence: 016
- Poison Control: 91 562 04 20
EMS Transportation in Spain
According to Trek Medics, Spain’s emergency response system is decentralized and physician led. They offer more information within their database, and we have included some of this information below:
+ Once a person calls 112, the switchboard operator will determine “the nature of the emergency and the location” and send this information to “a dispatching physician at the appropriate call center.”
+ The physician will then speak with the caller to determine the correct response, which can include the following options.
- Ground Teams, which may send one or more of the below units:
o Non-emergency ambulance staffed with 1-2 EMTs/first responders
o Basic Life Support (BLS) staffed with 2-3 EMTs
o Intermediate Life Support (ILS) staffed by an emergency nurse and 1-2 EMTs
o Advanced Life Support (ALS)/mobile ICU, staffed with a doctor, emergency nurse, and 1-2 EMTs
o Inter-hospital transfer vehicle, staffed by a doctor, emergency nurse, and 1-2 EMTs
- Air Medical (Helicopter Ambulance)
o Includes a pilot, flight engineer, doctor, emergency nurse, and possibly 1-2 EMTs
For more information, such as common emergencies, recommended vaccinations, and government oversight, be sure to visit Trek Medics before you take your trip!
About the EMT Program at Unitek EMT
If you’re not familiar with us, Unitek EMT strives to prepare aspiring Emergency Medical Technicians by providing them with an accelerated EMT program. Seasoned professionals educate our students through a combination of traditional learning, simulation training, and workshop-style classes.
Additionally, we offer a program with several variations to better accommodate our students. These include a 14-Day Boot Camp1 at our Fremont Campus in Northern California, and a modified version of the Boot Camp at our facility in Chandler, Arizona.
If you’d like more information, please contact us toll free at 888-790-1458!
1 Our 14-Day EMT Program in AZ and the 14-Day on-ground portion of the EMT Program in CA are taught in an intensive “boot camp” style, to simulate the fast pace of work expected on the job as an EMT. The California EMT Program also includes online instructional hours.