As mentioned earlier, little previous empirical research has been done on the pre-hospital emergency system. Thus, in this paper we choose to conduct our analysis at several different levels of aggregation: individual, hospital, and county. Each of these sources of data allow us to address different questions about the adoption and productivity of elements of the emergency system. Tables 1 and 2 provide definitions, sources, and means and standard deviations for all variables.
For the purposes of this paper, we characterize the pre-hospital emergency infrastructure and its determinants at the county level. Unfortunately, we are not aware of a comprehensive accounting of 911 practices in the U.S.. Within Pennsylvania, we gathered information about 911 provision through publicly available sources and telephone interviews. At the national level, we made use of a survey administered in 1995 by the National Emergency Number Association (NENA), a national advocacy organization for 911 systems. As a result, our national sample of counties is limited to 772 counties who completed the NENA survey and who provided answers which allowed us to characterize the 911 system at the county level. payday loans online reviews
For each county, we organize our analysis around a three-tier characterization of the 911 system: whether there is a 911 system at all (NO 911) and whether it is a basic (BASIC 911) or enhanced 911 (ENHANCED 911) system. In the national sample, 75% of these counties have adopted the highest level of service (ENHANCED 911), illustrating that E911 has been diffused substantially (911_LEVEL is simply a variable which is 0, 1, or 2, depending on whether the system is NO 911, BASIC 911, or ENHANCED 911). However, the selection of counties who responded to NENA’s survey is biased towards systems with higher levels of 911 service, especially under-counting counties with no county-wide 911 system; in Pennsylvania, where we have a comprehensive accounting of the counties, 30 of the 54 of the counties had E911 at the start of 1995 (see Figure 3).