American Studies ETDs

Publication Date



This research involves a systems analysis of Albuquerque's Rescue Ser­vices System. The Rescue Services System transforms the input 11medical emergency11 into an 11emergency met11, the output. To understand this emergency medical services system, four algorithmic procedures are applied. First, the system is defined in terms of how it ought to func­tion, termed its normative state. The system definition is based on defining (1) the four subsystems comprising the Rescue Services System, (2) the basic input and output of each, (3) the primary subsystem ele­ments which interact to produce the desired output, and (4) the subsys­tem interactions which transform the input to output. The system defi­nition is quantified with operational data. The second procedure, evaluation, involves judging all of the judicable contributing inter-actions within the system. This procedure provides a qualitative and quantitative picture of where the system is lacking, or not functioning normatively. Analysis, the third procedure, involves identifying the system interaction critical to the malfunction. The fourth and last procedure in the algorithm, redesign, involves modifying or changing the critical interaction so that the system returns to its desired state-­the way it ought to function.

Two important results are obtained. The first is that the Rescue Ser­vices System functions at a near normative state when it is functioning, i.e., when it is meeting emergencies. Redesign recommendations include establishing two-way radio communications between the Fire Chiefs and the rescue units, establishing driver training and awareness programs, upgrading rescue vehicles and equipment, implementing a new emergency report form, establishing two-way radio communications between all hospitals in Albuquerque and the rescue, units, and designing a new rescue uniform. The second important result involves the time spent between emergency-response actions. A “low activity state" occurred about 22 hours per day for each of the five rescue units. To make bet­ter use of this time, redesign recommendations include providing a study area for rescue personnel to upgrade their knowledge and skills of emer­gency medical services provision, providing review, observation and sim­ulation for and of rescue personnel, rotating personnel through each station, changing the current shift schedule and developing career ladders.

From this systems analysis, we conclude that now is a good time to con­duct a thorough systems investigation of Albuquerque's two-tier emergency medical services system: the Rescue Services System is already overmanned and underloaded in terms of emergency occurrences, and it does not transport emergency patients to hospitals. The Rescue Services System ought to be more rational, striving for some level of efficiency and effectiveness that would balance cost against outcome and costs of this service against those of other services. At the same time, a constant effort should be made to improve the competence and professional status of emergency medical services providers.



Document Type


Degree Name

American Studies

Level of Degree


Department Name

American Studies

First Committee Member (Chair)

Robert Dale Campbell

Second Committee Member

Jarrett L. Galbreth

Third Committee Member

Jerome N. Deverman

Fourth Committee Member

Joel M. Jones