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Our History

Central EMS began as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization established in March of 1980 through a joint effort between Washington Regional Medical Center and Washington County.

The resulting Emergency Medical Service focused on responding Paramedic level ambulances to the City of Fayetteville and Washington County. On January 1, 2009 the Washington County Regional Ambulance Authority was formed and became the organizational structure for Central EMS.

Early in the development of the emergency system Central EMS realized it would be necessary to have a strong network of trained medical First Responders based in the outlying communities.

Together with the training provided by Central EMS personnel and the commitment of members of rural communities, Washington County now has one of the most impressive and successful emergency medical systems in the nation. This is reflected in the number of lives saved. Over 23% of people that suffered a life-threatening heart attack outside of the hospital arrived at the emergency room with a pulse and breathing because of the CPR, rescue breathing and shock delivered by the first responders and Central EMS personnel. The national rate is 9.5%.

We have grown from two emergency ambulances responding to 1,846 calls to fourteen ALS (Advanced Life Support) and two BLS (Basic Life Support) ambulances responding to over 18,858 calls in 2010; and the only National Academy of Emergency Dispatch 911 center in the State of Arkansas answering over 25,900 emergency calls for assistance.