Report forms are used by Emergency Medical Services (EMS) systems for documentation of services provided and for self-analysis of EMS functions. Although the EMS Systems Act of 1973 originally intended for the development and implementation of a uniform EMS report form, items recorded on EMS forms vary throughout the United States. We review the governmental sponsored development of a recommended minimum data set (MDS) for EMS forms performed in 1974, and discuss areas of needed investigation regarding data set development and usage. The concepts used to develop the recommended MDS provide a useful resource for review of the purpose and content of one's own EMS report form. However, future data set development and applications should use outcome measure guided data set selection, on-line validation of data item accuracy and recordability, psychometric analysis of the process of form completion, and incorporation of new data entry and storage technology.