Emergency medical services (EMS), also known as ambulance services or paramedic services, are emergency services that provide urgent pre-hospital treatment and stabilisation for serious illness and injuries and transport to definitive care. They may also be known as a first aid squad, FAST squad, emergency squad, ambulance squad, ambulance corps, life squad or by other initialisms such as EMAS or EMARS.
In most places, EMS can be summoned by members of the public (as well as medical facilities, other emergency services, businesses and authorities) via an emergency telephone number (such as 911 in the United States) which puts them in contact with a dispatching centre, which will then dispatch suitable resources for the call. Ambulances are the primary vehicles for delivering EMS, though squad cars, motorcycles, aircraft, boats, fire apparatus, and others may be used. EMS agencies may also operate a non-emergency patient transport service, and some have rescue squads to provide technical rescue or search and rescue services.