Sussex County Emergency Medical Services earned accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation of Ambulance Services, one of the highest marks a pre-hospital EMS service can receive when evaluating its operations and the level of service it provides to patients.

The accreditation, the first ever for Sussex County EMS, the second advanced life support system in Delaware to earn such a distinction, was awarded in late December 2019. It recognizes that Sussex County EMS meets or exceeds nationally-accepted high standards for patient care in the industry.

CAAS, based in Glenview, Illinois, is an independent commission established in 1990 to set a comprehensive series of standards for the ambulance-service industry. These standards, “the Gold Standards,” often exceed state or local regulations putting a focus on all aspects of ambulance operations. They are designed to increase operational efficiency and clinical quality while decreasing risk and liability to organizations helping to ensure superior patient care, according to the commission.

With more than 20,000 EMS agencies in the U.S. alone, fewer than 200 agencies in North America currently hold CAAS accreditation.

“Our dedication to ensuring that we fulfill our motto of ‘Caring People, Quality Service’ was the key to achieving accreditation,” said Sussex County EMS Director Robert Stuart. “SCEMS is proud that the commission recognized our commitment to service excellence.”

Reaccreditation by CAAS is required every three years and consists of a comprehensive self-assessment, application and on-site evaluation by industry experts, who verify compliance in clinical standards, operations and risk management, communications, equipment, facilities, as well as community relations and disaster management coordination.

For this inaugural accreditation, Sussex County EMS received a perfect score on the evaluation. In addition to CAAS accreditation, Sussex County EMS has earned numerous awards and accolades over the years, including several wins at the annual Journal of Emergency Medical Services games, and recently received the American Heart Association’s Mission Lifeline Gold Plus award for excellence in STEMI/heart attack care.

Sussex County Council President Michael H. Vincent congratulated SCEMS on earning its first-ever accreditation, a testament to the hard work of countless dedicated professionals who have worked tirelessly since Sussex County EMS’ founding in 1990 to provide the highest care possible to the citizens and visitors of southern Delaware.

“This is a tremendous achievement that we, and all of the citizens of Sussex County, should be immensely proud of,” said Vincent. “We all knew that ours was among the best emergency medical care systems in Delaware, the region, and across the nation. Now, we have independent proof that this is some of the best care that taxpayer dollars can buy.”

Sussex County EMS is a nationally accredited, county-operated department that augments the local volunteer fire/ambulance service by providing 24-hour-a-day advanced life support care to all of Sussex County with 10 full-time paramedic units, 99 field paramedics and 17 administrative support staff.

For more, visit sussexcountyde.gov.