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Community paramedicine model of care: an observational, ethnographic case study

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journal contribution
posted on 2023-01-10, 22:28 authored by P O'Meara, C Stirling, M Ruest, Angela Martin
Background: Community paramedicine programs have emerged throughout North America and beyond in response to demographic changes and health system reform. Our aim was to identify and analyse how community paramedics create and maintain new role boundaries and identities in terms of flexibility and permeability and through this develop and frame a coherent community paramedicine model of care that distinguish the model from other innovations in paramedic service delivery. Methods: Using an observational ethnographic case study approach, we collected data through interviews, focus groups and field observations. We then applied a combination of thematic analysis techniques and boundary theory to develop a community paramedicine model of care. Results: A model of care that distinguishes community paramedicine from other paramedic service innovations emerged that follows the mnemonic RESPIGHT: Response to emergencies; Engaging with communities; Situated practice; Primary health care; Integration with health, aged care and social services; Governance and leadership; Higher education; Treatment and transport options. Conclusions: Community engagement and situated practice distinguish community paramedicine models of care from other paramedicine and out-of-hospital health care models. Successful community paramedicine programs are integrated with health, aged care and social services and benefit from strong governance and paramedic leadership.


We would like to thank the County of Renfrew for opening up their paramedic service to the research team during the project and providing local travel and logistical support. We acknowledge the funding support for travel from La Trobe University, University of Tasmania, South Australian Ambulance Service and Paramedics Australasia.


Publication Date



BMC Health Services Research





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BioMed Central



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© 2016 O’Meara et al. Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

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