Why aren’t there Red Cross ambulances in the US?

EMDispatch

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So as I stare down the barrel of another night shift, a thought has crossed my mind.

Why don’t we have Red Cross and other relief society ambulances in the US?

I mean the Red Cross was literally founded here, and in many instances across the globe they run EMS systems. Then there are groups like SJA, and ASB that also run systems or work in tandem with local systems.

So what made our system in the US not attract organizations like this?

I know we have Haztalah, to a limited extent, and obviously we had/have civic organization ambulances in some places... Just curious if anyone happened to have any thoughts, ideas, articles on the subject.
 

PotatoMedic

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There was one air medical company years ago that had the red Cross on it. Then the American red Cross came along and trademarked the red Cross in the United States and no other entity can use it without the red crosses permission. So everyone uses the star of life.
 

EMDispatch

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I mean like literally the Red Cross runs ambulance services in many European and other countries. Also from what I gather, since I’m not from the dinosaur days if EMS, the original ambulance attendant/BLS courses most places were run by them.

My questions is when/why didn’t they just start running ambulance services here too?
 

CCCSD

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The Red Cross in the US was never meant to be an EMS provider. Other countries us Red Cross/Crescent as a universally recognized emblem denoting medical care.

Read the history.
 

EMDispatch

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I get the the US Red Cross is not the same organization as the others internationally. But the other countries made the transition from battlefield assistance ( the ARC ran military ambulances) and disaster recovery ( Also ran triage and emergency medicine at disaster sites, historically) to run full blown EMS systems, not just the symbolism, they have their own ambulances etc. Other than the initial mandate from Congress what stopped them and other relief organizations from doing what the DRK and ASB did in Germany, or Saint Johns Ambulance did across the British imperial holdings?

I don’t see the point in their history where or why we diverged from other countries. Was it because our transport systems started as hospital and private industry based, and other countries didn’t?

Sorry maybe my questions too ambiguous. Just some musing to kill the time.
 

CCCSD

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We have always used private/gov/volunteer services in the US. Again, RC was not, and has never been, an EMS provider in the US. The charter of the RC is clear. Besides, they don’t teach nor aid above the First Aid Level. There’s aren’t any RC certified EMTs.
 

EMDispatch

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I’m not arguing the charter and I guess the Red Cross is a little clearer example, to be clear they did do medical care in their early days, pre-modern EMS. They ran ambulance transportation in World War I for the military, hospitals, etc. and also did similar in their early disaster deployments, ie. the Johnstown flood, where they ran aid stations and even the whole hospitals until everything was rebuilt.

Is there a point in US history we can point to where we just diverged from how many other countries operate?
 

PotatoMedic

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They have focused on disaster response. That is my guess. Why... Call them and ask I guess.
 

CCCSD

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You mean, how other countries decided to deviate? EMS actually started in the Funeral Homes. They used hearses to transport patients. Then the hospitals got into the game.
 

EMDispatch

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You mean, how other countries decided to deviate? EMS actually started in the Funeral Homes. They used hearses to transport patients. Then the hospitals got into the game.
Yes, more along those lines. I just assume our deviation happens probably earlier than EMS, back to the literal days of just the ambulance driver.

It might have been later, just not sure.
 

KingCountyMedic

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You mean, how other countries decided to deviate? EMS actually started in the Funeral Homes. They used hearses to transport patients. Then the hospitals got into the game.
Back in early days we parked our ambulance in the garage next to the Hearse at Powers Funeral Home. I had to walk past the embalming room to get to our sleeping quarters.
 
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