The first of the top three challenges facing the Emergency Medical Service (EMS) is the effect of increased demand faced by the aging of Baby Boomers.
In a 2008 article (Baby Boomer Health Care Crisis Looms) published in Science Daily, John W. Rowe, MD, Committee Chair of the Gerontological Society of America (GSA) was quoted:
“The combination of the aging of the Baby Boom generation and the increase in life expectancy is going to yield a doubling of the numbers of older people,” he said. “And it’s important to understand that older people themselves account for a disproportionate amount of the utilization of health care resources.”
Heath Atchison, in his article Baby Boomers – A Healthcare Crisis Nears, stated: as baby boomers, 28% of our population, retire they will require more healthcare as a part of the aging process. Furthermore, nationally recognized emergency medical service expert, Gary Ludwig, clarifies the issue in his 2008 article (Now What Do We Do? What Effects Will Aging Baby Boomers Have on Your EMS Operations) “ First, as people grow older, their demands for health care increase. As demands for health care increase, so will demands on EMS systems”
Fire and ambulance services across the U.S. have been experiencing a regular and steady increase in the number of EMS calls for service. As Baby Boomers become older, the EMS systems will become even more strained. Additional call volume requires the addition of EMS resources, ambulances, equipment and paramedics. By not adding resources to a growing system has and will result in slow response times and poor patient outcomes.