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U.S. Department of Transportation U.S. Department of Transportation Icon United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation
FHWA Highway Safety Programs

Saving Lives Together: The Highway Safety & EMS Connection

Why You Are Here

To save lives through collaboration; specifically collaboration between Emergency Medical Services (EMS) and Highway Safety Officials through the state's Strategic Highway Safety Plan (SHSP).

What is the SHSP? The SHSP is a statewide-coordinated safety plan that provides a comprehensive framework for reducing highway fatalities and serious injuries on all public roads. It is during the SHSP process that statewide goals, objectives, and key emphasis areas are established. The four E's of highway safety - engineering, education, enforcement and emergency medical services (EMS)-must be considered during this process.

The Bottom Line

Supporting a well-functioning EMS system and engaging the state EMS office in the SHSP process are essential to reducing highway fatalities and serious injuries on public roads, especially in rural areas. Many safety resources and investment decisions are based on SHSP priorities and strategies, so it's critical that EMS is considered in SHSP development and implementation.

On This Site

On this site you will find resources, tools and guidance that support collaboration between EMS and highway safety during the SHSP process.

Establishing effective partnerships is not always easy, but these partnerships are key to saving lives. Don't let challenges or bumps in the road discourage your collaboration efforts.


How Involved Are You?

Answering these quick questions will help you assess your current level of involvement with your state's SHSP process

As a first step, we've prepared some questions that will help you assess your current level of involvement with your EMS or Highway Safety counterpart.

You are a State EMS Official

  • Do you currently attend any meetings or belong to any committees or groups where state Highway Safety Officials are also at the table?
  • Are you familiar with the Strategic Highway Safety Plan (SHSP) that each state Highway Safety Office is required to have?
  • Did you participate in your last SHSP revision process?
  • Are you aware of how EMS can currently get funding through the State Highway Safety Office?

Learn more about why EMS should participate in the SHSP process.

You are a State Highway Safety Official

  • Do you know who your State EMS Director is?
  • Have you ever met the EMS Director from your State EMS office?
  • Do you currently attend any meetings or belong to any committees or groups where EMS is at the table?
  • Was your state EMS Director involved in your last SHSP revision process?
  • Are there any EMS-related items in your current SHSP?
  • Were you aware that severely injured patients taken to a trauma center have a 25% lower death rate than patients that are not?

Learn more about why Highway Safety should engage EMS in the SHSP process.