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Emergency Medical Retrieval Service: Map


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The crest of the EMRS
The EMRS team (red) with Paramedics (green) load a patient bound for the Southern General Hospital in Glasgow
Map of the area currently covered by the EMRS, showing medical facilities served

The Emergency Medical Retrieval Service (EMRS), is an airborne medical initiative operating in the West of Scotlandmarker. It provides patients in remote and rural areas with rapid access to the skills of a consultant in emergency or intensive care medicine as well as facilitating transfers to larger, better equipped city hospitals. The team respond to calls 24 hours a day, utilising both helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft.


The EMRS was formed in 2004 after a consultation between NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, the Scottish Government Health Department and the Scottish Ambulance Service. The EMRS initially operated only in the Argyllmarker and Clyde area. The success of the service saw its operating zone expanded throughout the West coast of Scotland and the EMRS now operates from Stranraermarker in the South to Stornowaymarker in the North.


The EMRS has, at its disposal, aircraft from the Scottish Ambulance Service's Air Wing and the helicopters of the Royal Navy's Search & Rescue squadron, Rescue 177, based at HMS Gannet, Prestwick Airportmarker, near Glasgowmarker. Approximately 25% of missions are undertaken by Rescue 177. The service responds to seriously ill and injured patients, often in remote locations, who require early critical care interventions and quick transfer to a better equipped, urban hospital.


Unlike air ambulance services in other parts of the UK, the EMRS is funded by the Scottish Parliamentmarker, with such funding secured until the end of March 2010.

During 2008, the EMRS featured occasionally on Channel 5 documentary series Highland Emergency, which charts the work of rescue services in the Scottish Highlands.


Many other countries with large populations in rural or inaccessible areas have developed similar schemes. For example, the Royal Flying Doctor Service of Australia operates on very similar lines to the EMRS. New Zealand and Canada have also developed similar patient retrieval services in support of their rural health care practitioners.

See also


  1. EMRS Official website

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