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EMS Trivia: What is the Star of Life?

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  • Written By: Felicia Messimer
EMS Trivia: What is the Star of Life?

The week of May 21-27, Campbell County Health is celebrating National EMS Week, and applauding our dedicated Emergency Medical Professionals. To get the week started, we thought we'd talk about a symbol that many of you may see on Campbell County Health Emergency Medical Services (EMS) ambulances? It's known as the Star of Life.

Click here to view the EMS Star of Life graphic.

The Star of Life is typically a blue, six-pointed star. At the center, it features a snake-entwined staff, known as the Rod of Asclepius—a widely used symbol of medical care. Asclepius, a figure from Greek mythology, is the god of medicine and healing.

According to the National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians (NAEMT), the six branches of the star symbolize the six main tasks executed by EMS professionals:

  1. Detection – The first rescuers on the scene, often civilians or those involved in the incident, observe the scene, understand the problem, identify the dangers to themselves and the others, and take appropriate measures to ensure their safety on the scene (environmental, electricity, chemicals, radiation, etc.).
  2. Reporting – The call for professional help is made and dispatch is connected with the victims, providing emergency medical dispatch.
  3. Response – The first rescuers provide first aid and immediate care to the extent of their capabilities.
  4. On-scene care – EMS practitioners arrive and provide immediate care to the extent of their capabilities on-scene.
  5. Care in transit – The EMS practitioners proceed to transfer the patient to a hospital via ambulance or helicopter for specialized care, and provide medical care during transportation.
  6. Transfer to definitive care – Appropriate specialized care is provided at the hospital.

We appreciate our EMS Professionals! Thank you for providing the best care for Campbell County Health patients in their time of greatest need.

  • Category: Emergency Medical Services