[photo, John M. Murphy Building, 653 West Pratt St., Baltimore, Maryland] The Maryland Institute for Emergency Medical Services Systems is governed by the State Emergency Medical Services Board. Created by the General Assembly in 1993, the Board develops and implements an emergency medical system plan for Maryland. The plan defines criteria for designating trauma facilities; guidelines for emergency medical services; improved communications and transportation; public information and education programs; and a system to evaluate emergency care in Maryland.

John M. Murphy Building, 653 West Pratt St., Baltimore, Maryland, February 2004. Photo by Diane F. Evartt.

Eleven members constitute the Board. Nine are appointed to four-year terms by the Governor. Two serve ex officio. The Governor names the chair (Code Education Article, sec. 13-505).


The Maryland Institute for Emergency Medical Services Systems (MIEMSS) is the State administrative agency that oversees and coordinates the statewide emergency medical system in Maryland, including planning, operations, evaluation, and research. The Institute started in 1984 under the University of Maryland Medical System, and became an independent agency in 1993 (Chapter 592, Acts of 1993).

For emergency medical systems, the Institute is a coordinated statewide network that includes volunteer and career emergency medical services clinicians, medical and nursing personnel, communications, transportation systems, trauma and specialty care centers and emergency departments.

Besides, operating and maintaining a statewide communications system, the Institute provides leadership and direction for emergency medical services, conducts and supports educational programs, licenses and regulates commercial ambulance services, and designates trauma and specialty-care centers, and emergency departments. In addition, it assists the State Emergency Medical Services Board to review budgets of agencies receiving funds from its operations fund; develop and promulgate regulations and protocols; and license, certify, and discipline emergency medical services providers.

The work of this agency is overseen by the Executive Director. With the Governor's approval, the Executive Director is appointed by the State Emergency Medical Services Board (Code Education Article, secs. 13-501 through 13-515).

Four main divisions conduct the work of the Institute: Emergency Operations; Information Technology and Communications; Policy, Regulations, and Government Affairs; and Regional Programs.


Emergency Operations was established in 2004. In 2007, it merged with Regional Programs to form Emergency Operations and Regional Programs. In 2009, it reformed as Field Operations and Regional Programs, and in 2017 returned to its original name.

This division coordinates the disaster preparedness and emergency management responsibilities of the Institute. It works with other governmental units on homeland security, bioterrorism, public health, and emergency response planning.

With the Maryland Emergency Management Agency, the Institute also labors to prepare the health and medical system response to possible terrorist use of weapons of mass destruction in Maryland. The response plan coordinates the activities of hospitals, public health agencies, law enforcement, emergency medical services, and fire and rescue in the event of such an attack.


Information Technology and Communications started as Information Technology, reorganized as Information Management in 2004, and resumed its original name in 2007. It reformed under its present name in 2009.

Under this division are five main units: Communications; Data Management; the Emergency Medical Resource Center (EMRC) and Systems Communications (SYSCOM); Information Technology; and Information Technology Security.

Communications oversees the operation and expansion of the State's centralized emergency medical communications system. It provides equipment and support to understaffed and rural jurisdictions to speed responsiveness, improve treatment before reaching a hospital, and direct patients to facilities with treatment programs appropriate to the injury.


The Emergency Medical Resource Center coordinates medical consultation between emergency personnel at the scene and hospital physicians. In case of multiple victims, the Center enables the prehospital provider to contact more than one receiving hospital at one time.

Systems Communications provides helicopter dispatch and monitoring. In conjunction with the Department of State Police, it coordinates the transport of critically ill or injured patients by helicopter to area hospitals. It facilitates communication by Med-Evac paramedics with receiving hospitals.


Policy, Regulations, and Government Affairs organized as Programs and Government Affairs in 2007. It reformed under its present name in 2009.

This division is responsible for four programs: Commercial Ambulance Licensing and Regulation; Emergency Medical Services for Children; Health Facilities and Special Programs; and Licensure and Certification.

Organized in 1993, Commercial Ambulance Licensing and Regulation develops and oversees requirements for commercial ambulance services and vehicles. The office licenses companies to provide levels of care, inspects emergency transport vehicles, and monitors quality assurance reviews and transport safety. It also assists with respiratory protection measures, health immunizations, and training practices.

Emergency Medical Services for Children develops guidelines and resources for pediatric care, pediatric emergency care, and facility regulation. For caregivers providing services to children in or out of the hospital, the office coordinates education and training. Emergency Medical Services for Children also works with other State and local agencies and organizations to improve child health and prevent illness and injuries.

Health Facilities and Special Programs originated as Hospital Programs. In 2007, it merged with Special Programs to form Health Facilities and Special Programs. In 2009, it reorganized as Trauma and Specialty Care Programs, and returned to its present name in 2011.

The designation and evaluation of hospitals providing pre-hospital emergency care within the statewide emergency medical services system is overseen by Health Facilities and Special Programs. Based on capacity and resources, the office verifies that hospitals are equipped to serve as trauma or specialty referral centers, and monitors their performance.

Within the State emergency system are 48 hospital emergency departments; 9 adult and 2 pediatric trauma centers; and 32 hospitals delivering specialized care. They treat victims of burns, eye trauma, hand injuries, head and spinal cord injuries, strokes, perinatal and neonatal emergencies, and poisonings.

The Office of Emergency Medical Services Clinician Services began as Licensing and Medical Programs in 2004. It reformed as Licensing and Compliance in 2007, and as Licensure and Certification in 2011. It adopted its current name in November 2021.

Licenses and certifications for Emergency Medical Services Clinicians in Maryland are processed and issued by the Office. For Maryland Emergency Medical Services (EMS), the Office also oversees and processes applications for Education Programs, reviews curricula, and reviews and approves continuing education courses.


Regional Programs began as Regional Operations and was renamed Regional Programs in 2002. In 2007, it merged with Emergency Operations to form Emergency Operations and Regional Programs. In 2017, it became Field Operations and Regional Programs. Later in 2017, when Emergency Operations separated from Field Operations and Regional Programs, it assumed its present name.

To monitor the operation of the Emergency Medical Services System in each region, Regional Programs maintains five regional offices throughout the State. During large-scale events, Regional Programs helps local responders coordinate health and medical resources.

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