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AEMSA History

History of Emergency Medical Services and the Regional EMS Programs

The modern history of the Arrowhead EMS Association (AEMSA) dates back to its establishment as a 501(c)(3) not for profit corporation in 1985.  It would however, be remiss to suggest that regional coordination of EMS began with the incorporation of AEMSA.  Many important events led to the model we work under today and are the foundation by which we continue to operate.

Development of the EMS regional system began in 1973 with the National EMS Systems Act.  In the following years, the Minnesota Department of Health began the process of designating the regions and defining their role.  The Minnesota CHS Act of 1976 did just this.

In 1979 federal funding for regional EMS systems was made available to Minnesota's eight regions.  The Arrowhead Regional Development Commission (ARDC) work as the fiscal agent for the grant and delivered on its demonstration requirements.  This federal seed money came to an end in 1982.

In 1985 EMS block maintenance grants were made available to ensure long term viability of this critical resource. This is also the year that AEMSA, under direction of ARDC, in partnership with the Blandin Foundation was organized.  On 7 February 1985 AEMSA's first board of directors are elected. In May of 1985 the Minnesota Legislature established the EMS System Support Act that is the foundation for our purpose, mission and vision.

Since that time AEMSA has embarked on many projects and programs a few of which include:

  • Public Education Programs
  • Preventative Care Programs
  • Access 911 Systems Coordination Enhancement
  • Disaster Preparedness Planning
  • First Responder Services
  • Departmental Technical Assistance
  • Information Systems Reports
  • Education Programs, Opportunities and Conferences
  • Evaluation of Delivery Systems
  • Human Resource Development & Maintenance
  • Medical Direction
  • Protocol Developments
  • Critical Incident Stress Management
  • Systems Finance
  • Legislation and Regulation
  • EMS Research and Development
  • Video Library and Training Equipment
  • Communications Network for the Region

These broad areas encompass a myriad of tasks and services with that fall under our purpose and mission as an organization. 

AEMSA continues to search for opportunities that match the goals of our membership and continues to remain nimble while overcoming challenges.  The future is bright and the staff, board and members of AEMSA work every day to ensure that patient care is delivered in a manner that increases the likelihood of positive outcomes for the communities we serve.