Sussex EMS accreditation testament to teamwork

February 21, 2020

The National Commission on Accreditation of Ambulance Services has been reviewing the work of the Sussex County Emergency Medical Services over the past several months. The commission reviewed every aspect of the county’s system including its medical procedures, personnel, fiscal operations, protocols, equipment, quality assurance and more. Representatives of the organization rode with SCEMS’s first responders in the field and looked at how the organization educates the public about its services through special events.

Not only did that all-encompassing process result in full accreditation of SCEMS, but it came with a perfect score. It’s tough to get better than that.

Accreditation places the Sussex system among the premier agencies in the U.S. There are more than 20,000 emergency medical service agencies across the country, but fewer than 200 hold the accreditation.

SCEMS spokesman Glenn Marshall points out that the Sussex system, additionally, is the only non-ambulance agency in the nation to receive this accreditation.

The 10 full-time paramedic units spread strategically across the county work in partnership with fire department ambulance services. The EMS units and their responders are typically the first to arrive on emergency scenes and immediately provide advanced life support. After SCEMS responders do their work, patients are transported by fire department ambulances to hospitals.

“The hospitals, the fire departments and SCEMS are separate entities,” said Marshall, “but as far as the end user is concerned, we are a team system that has been created over the decades in Sussex County. There have been partnerships all the way that have led us to this accreditation.”

What is recognized as a progressive organization will only grow better. It’s documented that accreditation results in increased employee retention and an increase in the quality of applicants seeking to join accredited agencies. In other words, excellence breeds excellence.

Sussex County’s EMS system is to be congratulated for seeking out this national accreditation and achieving its goal in top-notch fashion.


  • Editorials are considered by the editorial board and written by Dennis Forney, Publisher Emeritus, with occasional contributions from other board members: Trish Vernon, CoPublisher and Editor; Dave Frederick, Sports Editor Emeritus; Jen Ellingsworth, Associate Editor; Nick Roth, Sports Editor; and Chris Rausch, CoPublisher and General Manager.

Subscribe to the Daily Newsletter