On November 1994 a new emergency service was started in Mestre. Data on the emergency service functioning were collected from April to June 1995 and some reflections on the role and educational requirements of nurses are proposed). The number of urgent calls is fairly limited (1.2 every 30 calls) and they are evenly distributed over the 24 hours. As in other similar realities, there is an overestimate of the number of urgent calls (51% vs 10.3% of true emergencies). The time from the call to the arrival of the patient to the hospital is 28 minutes and there are no differences between day and night hours. The role of the nurse is actually fairly limited: since nurses' interventions are not essential for saving patients, lives, nurses try to transport the patient to the hospital as quickly as possible, thus neglecting some interventions which could better assure safety. An agreement on basic monitoring and treatment protocols for the more relevant and frequent events would allow nurses to perform a wider role and patients to have a quicker treatment.