Innovation of emergency medical service system to enhance resilience in disaster risk reduction

Project: A - Government Institutionb - National Science and Technology Council

Project Details


Unpredictable disasters will continue to occur, whether natural or human-induced, in all parts of global life. Emergency medical service (EMS) systems including hospitals, associated authorities and agencies are a major resource for disaster risk reduction. They provide stabilization, evacuation, and redistribution to individuals and also cope with the complexity and uncertainty that accompanies these events. EMS systems are complex and vulnerable. They depend on internal resources and on external support and supply. Research on disaster risk reduction internationally has identified the need for more resilient EMS systems. Presently, however, there is little guidance on how to increase EMS system resilience. There is a gap between what we know about resilience and the practical ways that EMS resources should be configured and supported. Bridging that gap is essential to optimally reduce disaster risk. We propose a new effort based on the existing collaboration between Taipei Medical University (TMU) and The Ohio State University (OSU). This collaboration has focused on understanding resilient performance of hospitals in the Taiwan EMS using the case of the Formosa Color Dust Explosion (FCDE) disaster. The new project will extend that work to understand macro-level EMS system resilience. The new project will evaluate disaster planning and response standards for EMS systems using the FCDE case. The project will identify the requirements for resilience in the EMS system and specific steps that can be taken to enhance that resilience. The project will also strengthen and expand the collaboration between TMU and OSU. The project team is composed of internationally well-acknowledged experts in the fields of resilience engineering and disaster management and draws on the expertise of practitioners in relevant domains. The project employs multiple methods including: literature review and critical evaluation of theory, models and standards related to resilience and disasters, quantitative data collections of EMS capacity relevant to the FCDE event, expert analysis by local and international panels, and thematic synthesis. These mutually supporting methods will be combined to produce descriptions of resilience capacities and how these can be enhanced. The project will (1) expand the group of Taiwan EMS resilience experts; (2) establish Taiwan as an important center for resilience research and application; (3) provide detailed guidance for increasing the resilience of EMS systems in Taiwan and the U.S. In addition, the results of the project will be summarized in a technical report and papers that will be published in the peer-reviewed journals.
Effective start/end date1/1/1812/31/18


  • disaster resilience
  • emergency medical service
  • mass burn casualty
  • Formosa color dust explosion
  • resilience engineering


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