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S.C. Emergency Medical Services
  • Effective June 24, 2013, our offices have relocated to 301 Gervais St, Columbia, SC, 29201

PIER Program

PIER logoEmergency Medical Services are highly visible, and therefore influential organizations. The individual EMS member is playing an increasingly important role in shaping the public's image of their EMS service. That is where PIER comes into play.

What is PIER?

PIER, an acronym for Public Information, Education and Relations in EMS, is a nationally recognized program designed to help the EMS service manage its image, while educating the public about EMS.

PIER is a combination of three different elements:

  • Public Information -- Public information is "news." For example, the facts about an issue of public concern or a major incident in your community, or routine communications such as announcing upcoming events, or a presentation on your annual budget and projected needs would all be considered public information.
  • Public Education -- Public education imparts knowledge or training in specific skills. For example, teaching basic life-saving techniques, how to call for help properly, bicycle safety or briefing public officials about the importance of your service to your community are all public education activities.
  • Public Relations -- Public relations is the process of shaping public opinion. Public relations is a part of every aspect of your service, from public information and public education activities to the appearance and attitude of your personnel and appearance of your vehicles and buildings.

Who sponsors PIER?

PIER is a nationally recognized program developed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Division of EMS.

South Carolina's PIER program is sponsored by the Department of Health and Environmental Control's (DHEC) Division of Emergency Medical Services. Materials to support PIER activities are purchased through grant funding from the Emergency Medical Services for Children (EMSC) and "For Friends, For Life, Drive Free" programs. For more information on PIER contact Don Whiteley, Division Director at DHEC's Division of EMS at (803) 545-4269.

What is the PIER Team?

In early 1998, a PIER Team was formed to further promote South Carolina's PIER initiatives. The SC PIER Team serves to increase communication among individual EMS services and to coordinate a variety of statewide public relations events related to highway safety and injury prevention. Meetings are held in Columbia on the third Thursday of each month. All EMS providers, particularly Public Information Officers and EMS Directors, are encouraged to attend the monthly meetings.

Is PIER Training Available?

For additional information please contact Don Whiteley, Division Director. PIER Team members are available to assist you with coordinating this training..

Are Promotional Materials Available?

DHEC's Division of EMS offers a variety of materials to assist South Carolina's EMS services in their PIER initiatives. These items include brochures, posters, promotional items, etc. A variety of safety videos and the National Fire Protection Association's (NFPA) Risk Watch Curriculum are available on loan. To request materials please contact Don Whiteley at DHEC's Division of EMS at (803) 545-4269.

PIER Mission

The South Carolina EMS PIER Team is committed to educating and informing the public about their role in a medical emergency; promoting EMS services throughout South Carolina to the public and decision-makers; and to the prevention of injury.


For additional information, call (803) 545-4204