What do EMS Professionals Know about Human Trafficking? Assessing the Impact of Training

Targeted training has resulted in increased identification of human trafficking (HT) by hospital staff. Such initiatives have not been replicated in Emergency Medical Services (EMS), which is problematic since these professionals are uniquely positioned to identify and intervene. To address this gap, this study evaluates the efficacy of an online training module designed for EMS personnel to recognize and intervene with human trafficking. Primary findings indicate that the likelihood of suspecting HT based on indicators of trafficking as well as self-reported knowledge and familiarity of HT indicators increased significantly after training. Further, respondents report increases in suspected contact with trafficked persons in the past six months after training; this finding was not replicated for participants who had received previous training. This paper asserts that training equips EMS personnel to identify and intervene with HT. Implications for policy are discussed that promote training and maximization of community resources to increase advocacy efforts. Future research should examine the effects on identification and reporting efforts.