History of Upstate EMS Council, Inc

On July 1, 1976 , due to a change in law, it was determined that planning and implementation of emergency medical services systems and programs could no longer be implemented by Health System Agencies (HSA's). A separate private, non-profit agency had to be formed to continue system development that began in early 1975.

At that point in time, a temporary board was set up to begin the process of instituting a new organization to be fully operational by October 1, 1976. At the first meeting of the temporary board on August 2, 1976 potential board members were chosen and a contract was drafted with the South Carolina Department of health and Environmental control (DHEC). At the September 13, 1976 meeting, the original 14 board members were chosen and the contract with DHEC was approved. Consequently, the Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Council, (later changed to Upstate EMS Council, Inc.) received its Charter of Incorporation from the state and began operations officially on October 1, 1976. The Council, now fully operational, became responsible for the planning, implementation and expansion for emergency medical services in the Upstate Region of South Carolina.

The Council is chartered as a private, non-profit corporation to develop, implement and administer the regional EMS system for the northwestern South Carolina Counties of Anderson, Cherokee, Greenville, Oconee, Pickens, Spartanburg and Union.

Federal funding from the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) ended after five years of support. These funds were utilized to provide the capability for system management, purchase of ambulances, communications and medical equipment for ambulances and hospital emergency departments, and training for paramedic, emergency department and critical care unit nurses and physicians.

Since July 1, 1981, the Council has continued to function and work toward self-sufficiency, as well as to be involved in maintaining a coordinated EMS system and related planning, development and training activities for the region. Other activities include maintaining region-wide advanced, as well as basic, life support capability, medical control for all Advanced -EMT activities, and communications technology.

The Council works with pre-hospital EMS providers to insure a coordinated EMS System and provide effective regional emergency care. Thus, operations of the Council range from facilitating a systems approach to EMS and setting standards and procedures, to coordinating and assisting in the provision of needed regional EMS training and continuing education and equipment.