New State-by-State Report Examines Growing Concern Over Prescription Drug Abuse
(11/06/13) Overdose deaths related to prescription drugs now outnumber those from heroin and cocaine combined, signaling a rapid rise in prescription drug abuse since 1999. A new report by Trust for America’s Health, supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, highlights and scores states on 10 strategies states can use to address this epidemic. Twenty-eight states and Washington, D.C., scored six or less out of the 10 strategies. Two states, New Mexico and Vermont, are implementing all 10. South Dakota is using just two, the fewest of any state. The report calls for urgent action and provides recommendations for full-scale response to end this growing health threat. Use the interactive app to see how your state scored and view trends over time.
NASEMSO Congratulates Manz on NAEMT Lifetime Achievement Award
(10/23/13) Dan Manz, long time NASEMSO member and former state EMS director for Vermont, received the 2013 Rocco V. Morando Lifetime Achievement Award at the recent NAEMT General Membership meeting in Las Vegas, NV. Manz currently serves as the Executive Director at Essex Rescue in Essex Junction, VT. In providing this award, the National Association of EMTs recognizes Dan’s 40-year commitment to EMS and continuous involvement in the provision of direct patient care. He was a principal investigator in the National EMS Scope of Practice Model Project and has served on the national boards of NASEMSO and the National Registry of EMTs. He is considered a leading expert in the areas of EMS education, scope of practice, credentialing, and licensure and currently serves as the chairman of NASEMSO's Education Agenda Implementation Team. The Rocco Morando Lifetime Achievement Award is NAEMT’s most prestigious award.
FEMA Releases the NIMS Intelligence/ Investigations Function Guidance and Field Operations Guide
(10/23/13) FEMA has released the NIMS Intelligence/Investigations Function Guidance and Field Operations Guide, which provides guidance on utilizing and integrating the Intelligence/ Investigations Function, while adhering to the concepts and principles of the NIMS doctrine. The document includes information and tools intended for the Incident Command System practitioner that will assist in the decision-making process regarding the placement and implementation of the Intelligence/Investigations Function within the command structure.
This document can be used by jurisdictions and agencies for planned events, incidents, and the development of emergency planning efforts. This guidance aligns with NIMS to provide a common and standard understanding about the tools and resources needed to sustain, build, and deliver the core capabilities necessary to achieve a secure and resilient nation.
NCHRP Publishes Report on its Study of EMS Response to Motor Vehicle Crashes in Rural Areas
(09/25/13) The Transportation Research Board’s National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) has released a report of its study, "Emergency Medical Services Response to Motor Vehicle Crashes in Rural Areas." Information synthesized in the study was acquired through literature review, surveys of 14 state offices of EMS and state departments of transportation, and follow-up interviews with selected agencies. NASEMSO representatives who served on the panel overseeing the study included: NASEMSO Executive Director Dia Gainor; NASEMSO President Jim DeTienne (Montana); and Dean Cole (Nebraska). The NCHRP report is available online here.
NASEMSO Supports Safety Performance Measures for Non-Motorized Transportation
(08/15/13) The U.S. Department of Transportation is required to set performance measures on safety under the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21) section 1203(c)(4). A coalition of national organizations committed to the public health has noted that while overall traffic deaths have gone down, the number of bicyclist and pedestrian fatalities has risen for the past two years – both in terms of actual numbers and percentage of overall deaths - from 12 percent of all roadway fatalities in 2008 to nearly 16 percent in 2011.
Each year, approximately 700 bicyclists are killed and 52,000 are injured. MAP-21 has nearly doubled the amount of funding available to states for their Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP). NASEMSO has joined national organizations in a letter urging Transportation Secretary Foxx to establish safety performance measures for non-motorized transportation. Signatories have noted that without safety goals, there will be little incentive for states to target these funds to improve pedestrian and bicyclist safety. The available HSIP funds provided under MAP-21 will allow states to focus some of their funds on bicycle and pedestrian safety without taking away from their safety efforts aimed at other road users.
(08/15/13) According to the American Road and Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA), revenues for the federal Highway Trust Fund, which supports about half of the nation’s highway and bridge improvements, have not been increased in 20 years. As a result, the trust fund has teetered on the edge of insolvency for the past five years.
Absent action from Congress means the Highway Trust Fund faces another “fiscal cliff” in 14 months that threatens to eliminate federal highway and transit investment in 2015. This funding crash—and the uncertainty leading up to it—jeopardizes highway and traffic safety improvements, state transportation funding, and other programs at the US Department of Transportation and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that are extremely valuable to NASEMSO members. ARTBA has recently unveiled the “Transportation Construction Advocate App,” or “TransCon App” that gives individuals in the public and private-sectors a powerful, new tool to communicate with their elected officials about the importance of transportation investment to the U.S. economy and the need to fix the Highway Trust Fund. The app provides users with key information to convey to congressmen and senators while they are home during the August congressional recess, including “Talking Points” about the 90 percent cut the trust fund faces next year, as well as “Facts & Stats” about the industry’s economic impact in their state. Read recent testimony from the Congressional Budget Office on the status of the Highway Trust Fund. Click here for more information on the app. The House and Senate are in recess until Sept. 9, 2013. Contacting your congressional delegation during the recess will help elevate the need to stabilize federal surface transportation investment and set the stage for future action.
Survey Results Posted: State EMS Office Involvement in Domestic Preparedness Efforts
(08/15/13) NASEMSO announces "State EMS Office Involvement in Domestic Preparedness Efforts" is a report based upon an assessment of the 56 state and territorial EMS agencies, and is intended to ascertain the extent to which state and territorial EMS offices are represented and supported in ongoing multi-agency coordination for readiness and planning. The report includes sections on: (A) the integration of preparedness and response activities; and (B) funding, including the degree of engagement of state and territorial EMS offices with federal grant resources for preparedness and response activities. Download report.
(08/09/13) The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) on Aug. 9 announced the appointment of 10 new members and the reappointment of five members to the FEMA National Advisory Council (NAC). NASEMSO Executive Vice President Beth Armstrong was reappointed to another term and will serve through 2016. The NAC is an advisory committee established to ensure effective and ongoing coordination of federal preparedness, protection, response, recovery, and mitigation for natural disasters, acts of terrorism, and other man-made disasters. Members represent the whole community including public health, tribal government and functional and access needs, and provide recommendations on a variety of issues within emergency management to the FEMA Administrator. FEMA news release
FirstNet Board Member and NASEMSO Program Manager Kevin McGinnis to Lead FirstNet Outreach to Tribal Leaders
(08/05/13) First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) Chairman Sam Ginn announced that he has named FirstNet Board Member Kevin McGinnis to head the organization’s stakeholder outreach with tribes. McGinnis has begun meeting with tribal leaders. McGinnis is leading FirstNet outreach and education efforts with the sovereign tribes that have a formal government-to-government relationship with the U.S. government. He is focusing on gathering tribal requirements, priorities and concerns for design of a nationwide wireless broadband network dedicated to public safety. The network is intended to improve communication among police, firefighters and emergency medical services personnel, helping to save lives and solve crimes. Learn more.
NASEMSO Members Asked to Review Strategies to Increase Survivability in Mass Casualty Shootings
(07/26/13) NASEMSO has an opportunity to review, comment on, and/or endorse the Hartford Consensus II document. On Apr. 2, 2013, representatives from a select group of public safety organizations, including law enforcement, fire, prehospital care, trauma care and the military, convened in Hartford, Connecticut, to develop consensus regarding strategies to increase survivability in mass casualty shootings.
A concept document resulted and became known as the Hartford Consensus. The NASEMSO Board of Directors will be reviewing this document at its August or September Board meetings. Members are encouraged to review the document and forward any comments to the NASEMSO Medical Directors Council via Mary Hedges.
FEMA Releases Hurricane Sandy After Action Report
(07/25/13) FEMA today released its "Hurricane Sandy FEMA After Action Report," which reviews all aspects of the agency’s preparations for, immediate response to, and initial recovery from the October 2012 storm. The response and recovery from Hurricane Sandy provided a significant test of FEMA’s capabilities and those of its whole community partners.
Today, FEMA continues to support state, local and tribal partners as they work to recover and rebuild impacted communities. The final AAR document identifies both strengths and areas for improvement and provides recommendations for future response and recovery efforts. Download report here.
HHS and DOT Release Draft White Paper on EMS Innovation Opportunities
(07/15/13) The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA) and the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) at HHS have jointly collaborated on the development of a draft white paper that presents one example model of the potential for cost savings if EMS systems adopted protocols and strategies to innovatively triage and treat patients.
The draft white paper, "Innovation Opportunities for Emergency Medical Services," can be downloaded here. The draft paper and model concept will be helpful as local, regional, tribal, and state EMS and health system planners prepare frameworks, options and funding strategies for innovative collaboration among health providers. Readers are encouraged to review the white paper and to provide the agencies with comments, suggestions or additional data. Comments on the draft paper can be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pew Charitable Trusts Spotlights EMS Challenges
(06/30/13) NASEMSO Executive Director, Dia Gainor is quoted in a new article by The Pew Charitable Trusts that highlights issues confronting EMS. In a recent profile, Stateline characterizes the nation's emergency medical services system as one subject to public budget cuts, a lack of a lead federal agency, differing state laws and requirements, and varying pay rates for pre-hospital providers, all of which creates a fragmented and underfunded system of care. The authors note that the relative "newness" of emergency medical services as a public service further hinders its funding and operations. Advocates, however, hope that large-scale disasters and emergencies, like the Boston Marathon bombing, will increase both the focus on and finances for this critical public benefit. Read Front-Line Heroes Subject to Budget Cuts, Pay Disparity.
NASEMSO Provides Revised Talking Points on Model Interstate Compact Project
(06/30/13) The Model Interstate Compact for EMS Personnel Licensure for State Adoption Project is one example of how EMS is able to evolve and emerge as a health care discipline that parallels other allied health professions. NASEMSO continues to lead the effort to establish a Model Interstate Compact and has revised a description of the project through Talking Points featured on the NASEMSO web site. Learn more.
First Responder Network Authority Schedules Consultations and Workshops on Design of Wireless Broadband Network Dedicated to Public Safety
(05/07/13) The First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) on May 6 announced that the first in a summer-long series of consultations with states, tribes, territories and localities will take place May 15-16 in the Washington, D.C area. FirstNet will conduct regional workshops in six regions, meeting with representatives from each state individually during the consultation process. This portion of FirstNet’s outreach is designed to solicit input from attendees to help in the design of a public safety-grade next-generation wireless network that meets the specific communications requirements of police, firefighters and emergency medical services personnel in their respective jurisdictions.
“Our goal is to deliver high-speed data services to millions of public safety users to help them save more lives, solve crimes faster and keep our communities safer,” said Bill D’Agostino, General Manager of FirstNet. “Consultations are an essential step in building working relationships between FirstNet and the thousands of people who are stakeholders in its success. These meetings will provide valuable opportunities to listen and work collaboratively to build the first public safety-grade LTE network.” Learn details and view the workshop schedule.
FEMA Releases First Three of Five Planned National Planning Frameworks
(05/06/13) FEMA today released three of five National Planning Frameworks directed in Presidential Policy Directive 8: National Preparedness.
The Intergovernmental Affairs Advisory states, "These National Planning Frameworks document the roles and responsibilities of the whole community in all facets of national preparedness and illustrate how we work together to support one another before, during, and after an emergency. The benefit of this unified effort is a more informed, shared understanding of risks, needs, and capabilities across the whole community; and, in the end, a more secure and resilient nation."
FEMA received more than 5,000 comments from the public that went into the creation of the Frameworks. The new National Planning Frameworks include: Prevention, Mitigation, and Recovery. The National Disaster Response Framework was released in September 2011, and the National Protection Framework is under development. You can download the National Planning Frameworks, and view a tutorial at http://www.fema.gov/national-planning-frameworks.
NASEMSO President Participated in White House Forum on Military Credentialing and Licensing EMS Roundtable
Pictured at the Apr.
26 forum (left to right) are Tommy Loyacono, NREMT Chairman of the Board; Rear
Admiral William Roberts, U.S. Navy, Medical Education and Training Campus, Fort
Sam Houston; Jim DeTienne, Montana State EMS Director and NASEMSO President; and
Drew Dawson, Director, U.S. DOT NHTSA Office of EMS Director.
(05/01/13) NASEMSO President Jim DeTienne was a panelist during the EMS specific breakout session of the April 26 White House Forum on Military Credentialing and Licensing EMS Roundtable. The event was held at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on the White House grounds in Washington, D.C. At the opening session, First Lady Michelle Obama made an unannounced appearance, encouraging all four specialty areas meeting that day (EMS, transportation, advanced medical occupations, and academic credit) to learn from the successes of the information technology certification and veteran employment initiatives that have been underway at the White House’s urging.
The EMS Roundtable was well attended by high level representatives of the U.S. Armed Services, each of which provided an overview of their medic education programs, along with a Dean and staff from Lansing Community College who described their tailored bachelors of science program from returning service members to transition to paramedic and other health professions. Several national EMS associations, including NASEMSO, were also represented. The remaining discussion centered on action items the group could work on collectively, including better "translation" information for state EMS and elected officials to understand the issues of returning service members’ educational needs that could facilitate streamlined credentialing and licensure, enabling entry into the EMS workforce.
NASEMSO Managing Three Nationally Significant Grants/Cooperative Agreements
Just as the last NASEMSO Annual Meeting was concluding, the ink was drying on three nationally significant grant and cooperative agreements. The 2013 projects are:
- Model EMS Guidelines. Funded by NHTSA, this two-year project will be completed by the Medical Directors Council. The purpose of this project is to develop national model EMS guidelines, intended to help state EMS systems ensure a more standardized approach to the practice of patient care, and to encompass evidence-based guidelines as they are developed. For more information on this project, contact Mary Hedges.
- Statewide Implementation of a Prehospital Care Guideline. Funded by NHTSA, this is a three-year project with co-Principal Investigators Matt Sholl (Maine EMS Medical Director) and Peter Taillac (Utah EMS Medical Director). The objective of this grant is to support the use and further refinement of the National Evidence-Based Guideline Model Process, developed under the auspices of the Federal Interagency Committee on EMS and the National EMS Advisory Council. For more information on this project, contact Rachael Alter.
- Model Interstate Compact for EMS Personnel Licensure for State Adoption. This project will initiate a 20-month process to develop a model interstate compact for states’ legislative use to solve the problem associated with day-to-day emergency deployment of EMS personnel across state boundaries. For more information on this project, contact Dia Gainor.
(04/12/13) The National Public Safety Telecommunications Council (NPSTC) is seeking additional volunteers to serve on its Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Working Group. This group will be examining the role of technology in the EMS field. EMS agencies are especially interested in how the new Nationwide Public Safety Broadband Network (NPSBN) being constructed by FirstNet will be used.
The NPSTC EMS Working Group will be developing case studies and creating recommendations on how new technology and applications can improve pre-hospital care. Visit the NPSTC website to learn more or download the news release. If you are interesting in participating or have questions, please contact Barry Luke.
EMForum.org to Feature NASEMSO Program Manager Kevin McGinnis at Mar. 27 Webinar on FirstNet
(03/21/13) The topic for EMForum.org's Mar. 27 webinar will be "Introduction to FirstNet: An Update on the Public Safety Broadband Network," featuring guest speaker Kevin McGinnis, MPS, EMT-P. McGinnis, who was recently appointed to a three-year term on the First Responder Network Authority Board, is an NASEMSO Program Manager.
The webinar topic will be the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet), created by Congress as an independent authority within the National Telecommunications & Information Administration (NTIA) for the purpose of establishing a single nationwide, interoperable public safety broadband network. The Mar. 27 webinar will begin at 12:00 noon Eastern time; click here for details.
President's Bioethics Commission Releases Report on Pediatric Medical Countermeasures
(03/20/13) The Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues has released a report on Safeguarding Children: Pediatric Medical Countermeasure Research. The report was written in response to a request from Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, who asked the commission to study the question of anthrax vaccine trials with children after receiving a recommendation from another federal committee that such research be initiated, pending ethical review. In this report, the Bioethics Commission concluded that the federal government would have to take multiple steps before anthrax vaccine trials with children could be ethically considered. In addition to recommending that pre-event trials with children not go forward in the absence of further testing on adults, the Commission clarifies other rigorous conditions that must be met before such pediatric research is ethically considered. Comments are welcome through the Commission's website at www.bioethics.gov
Government Technology Has Named NASEMSO Program Manager Kevin McGinnis as One of its Top 25 in Public Sector Innovation
(03/01/13) NASEMSO Program Manager Kevin McGinnis has been named one of Government Technology Magazine's Top 25 in its annual salute to the men and women who truly make government more efficient, more effective and friendlier to the citizens it serves. Government Technology annually publishes an issue that recognizes the hardest working and most innovative individuals in the public sector. Read the profile on Kevin McGinnis here.
Administration Releases Report Renewing National Commitment to Putting America's Heroes Back to Work
(02/26/13) A new report by the Executive Office of the President, "The Fast Track to Civilian Employment: Streamlining Credentialing and Licensing for Service Members, Veterans and their Spouses," details the barriers that veterans and their families face as they seek employment; the Administration’s commitment to help them leverage their skills to good, meaningful jobs; and the progress that has already been made. fact sheet | report
EMSC National Resource Center, ENA, and STN Release Interactive Inter Facility Transfer Toolkit
(02/23/13) Moving a very sick or critically injured infant or child from one facility to another facility is complex and stressful to child, family, and staff. Preplanned processes reduce the strain of unfolding events, ensure that the handoff of the pediatric patient's care is smooth, and increase the safety of the transfer.
To assist hospitals in developing preplanned processes for inter facility transfer of children, the EMS for Children (EMSC) National Resource Center (NRC), the Emergency Nurses Association (ENA), and the Society of Trauma Nurses (STN) have collaborated in the development of an Inter Facility Transfer Tool Kit. This free, downloadable resource is now available online. To take full advantage of the toolkit's interactive features, allow the tool kit to open in full screen mode.
NG9-1-1 Institute Seeks Nominations for 10th Annual 9-1-1 Awards
(01/08/13) The NG9-1-1 Institute annually seeks nominations for individuals and organizations that have made exceptional contributions to improving and advancing 9-1-1 services. The 2,000 member organization, in conjunction with the Congressional Next Gen 9-1-1 Caucus it supports, is proud to accept entries for the 2013 9-1-1 Honors Awards. Deadline for submitting nominations is Jan. 28, 2013. Complete details are posted here.
Comment Opportunity for National Culture of Safety Strategy for EMS
(01/04/13) The final draft of the National Culture of Safety Strategy for EMS document is being presented by ACEP to the National EMS Advisory Council at its January 29-30 meeting. NASEMSO Executive Director Dia Gainor has represented our association on the steering committee of this project since it began in 2010. This is anticipated to be the last public comment opportunity. Download the draft, obtain more information about the project, and find the link to provide comments from your state perspective here. If you would like your comments incorporated into a NASEMSO response, please e-mail Dia Gainor.
Canada National EMS Research Agenda Published
(01/03/13) The Paramedic Chiefs of Canada, in partnership with the Paramedic Association of Canada, are pleased to announce the official release of the Canadian National Emergency Medical Services Research Agenda. The purpose of this study was to identify barriers, current strengths and opportunities to conduct and use research in Canadian Emergency Medical Services, in order to make recommendations for the future research.
Two papers on the findings from the Canadian National EMS Research Agenda will be published in the Canadian Journal of Emergency Medicine in early 2013. Abstracts of these studies are located in the 2012 CJEM supplement. A summary report can be located on the EMS Chiefs of Canada website here.
(12/19/12) As states have attempted to regulate air medical programs and ensure their integration with state and local EMS systems, operators have responded with lawsuits asserting the exclusive authority of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) under the Airline Deregulation Act (PL 95-504) of 1978 (ADA). (See links to NASEMSO white paper and companion document for more information.)
In 2011, NASEMSO announced plans to identify model air medical regulations intended to assist states to medically protect patients and enhance a systems approach without conflicting with the FAA’s authority. In the interim, the Association of Air Medical Services (AAMS) and the MedEvac Foundation collaborated with several national air medical and EMS organizations to create a consensus document intended to assist and enhance NASEMSO’s goal to identify model language for states with the legal authority to regulate ambulance services.
Last week, NASEMSO President Jim DeTienne and Air Medical Committee Chairman, Dr. Robert Bass met with AAMS leadership to discuss the newly released AAMS document entitled “Model State Guidelines.” NASEMSO has been an observer in the development of the resource document which is intended to help address clinical and patient safety issues from a unique industry perspective.
As a result of the meeting, NASEMSO President Jim DeTienne commended AAMS for coordinating an effort that can be used as a foundation for moving forward, “NASEMSO is very appreciative of the work that AAMS has put into these comprehensive guidelines. It is very important for our members to have this industry perspective as we develop our model state regulations. We look forward to a continued strong partnership with AAMS in ensuring that when medically necessary, patients have access to the safest and highest quality air medical services possible.”
U.S. House to Consider New Version of PAHPA Reauthorization Bill
(12/18/12) The U.S. House of Representatives will consider this week a new
version of the Pandemic and All Hazards Preparedness Act (PAHPA) reauthorization
bill. This draft reflects the priorities that EMS stakeholders have
worked on to strengthen the National Health Security Strategy (NHSS). The draft
reflects proposed changes to the NHSS, focusing on language regarding medical
surge capacity of critical care, EMS, and trauma care. The draft also proposes a
coordinated and flexible approach to surge capacity.
NASEMSO President-Elect Paul Patrick to Represent NASEMSO on FirstNet’s Public Safety Advisory Committee
(12/03/12) First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) Board Chairman Sam Ginn recently announced the appointment of four Vice Chairs of FirstNet’s Public Safety Advisory Committee (PSAC). The Vice Chairs are: Chief Bill McCammon from Alameda County, California, representing the Metropolitan Fire Chiefs Association; Paul Patrick from Salt Lake City, Utah, representing the National Association of State EMS Officials; Heather Hogsett from Washington, D.C., representing the National Governors Association; and Tom Sorley from Houston, Texas, representing the U.S. Conference of Mayors. Chairman Ginn previously announced the appointment of Chief Harlin McEwen as the Chairman of the PSAC, and McEwen and the four Vice Chairs together will make up the PSAC Executive Committee.
The Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 created FirstNet and
set out a requirement that its board establish a standing public safety advisory
committee to assist it in carrying out its duties and responsibilities. press
GAO Demonstrates Continued Need for Ambulance Relief
(11/15/12) The AAA has released an issue brief, which requests Congress to
extend the 2% add-on for urban transports, 3% add-on for rural transports and
22.6% add-on for transports in super-rural areas, all of which are set to expire
on Dec. 31, 2012. The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) recommends
reforms that will radically and negatively impact Medicare ambulance payment.
Congress must carefully consider the impact of, and justification for, these
reforms before making such fundamental changes to ambulance payments. To ensure
the continuity of emergency medical care, Congress needs to extend Medicare
ambulance relief. The AAA has also produced talking points to assist people who
are interested in talking about these issues with their Members of Congress.
Download: Fact Sheet | Talking Points
NHSC Releases White Paper on Protecting Americans in the 21st Century
(11/13/12) The National Homeland Security Consortium, which is supported by IAEM-USA, has released an updated edition of its white paper, "Protecting Americans in the 21st Century: Communicating Priorities for 2012 and Beyond." The updated document was prepared to add to the ongoing dialogue between the member associations of NHSC, and to illuminate several areas of concern that require the focus of U.S. homeland security leaders. Download the white paper here.
DHS Office of Health Affairs Releases Guidance to EMS Systems on Force Protection and Stress Management amid Hurricane Recovery Efforts
(11/09/12) With Hurricane Sandy and the related recovery work taking a toll on the first responder (emergency services) community, EMS systems in impacted areas along the Eastern Seaboard must take steps to ease the stress on their personnel, mitigate burnout, and ensure that immediate challenges do not become long-term problems.
The importance of taking care of responders with empathy and support as they serve their communities cannot be overemphasized, especially in the aftermath of a catastrophic event such as Hurricane Sandy. EMS systems must limit the psychological fallout their personnel experience for the sake of compassion and to ensure the system can carry out its mission. Download guidance from DHS Office of Health Affairs here.
Help Volunteer Firefighters Impacted by Recent Disasters
(11/06/12) Hurricane Sandy ripped through the East Coast last week, leaving millions without electricity, almost 115 dead, and lower Manhattan underwater. Counties in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut have been federally declared disaster areas. As citizens in these areas look to their local firefighters and EMTs for assistance, those same first responders are dealing with loss of power, damaged homes and vehicles, and other difficulties of their own.
The National Volunteer Fire Council's (NVFC) Volunteer Firefighter Support Fund is designed to
help volunteer firefighters who are impacted by large-scale disasters such as
this. The Fund provides a stipend of $250 to volunteer fire and EMS personnel
affected by state- or federally-declared disasters to help them meet basic needs
in the aftermath of the disaster. learn more
HHS Releases Hurricane Disaster Behavioral Health Resources
(11/01/12) The U.S. Dept. of Health & Human Resources has updated and
released "Hurricane Disaster Behavioral Health Resources," which contains a
listing of Web resources that provide information and coping skills to address
the hurricane-related behavioral health, stress, and trauma concerns of adults,
children and youth, and first responders. download document | more details
DHS Announces Guidance for Protecting Responders' Health Following Wide-Area Anthrax Attack
(10/18/12) The Department of Homeland Security has issued guidance, based on a federal interagency working group effort, to educate first responders on protective actions they should take in the event of a wide-area anthrax release. The document, “Guidance for Protecting Responders’ Health during the First Week Following a Wide-Area Aerosol Anthrax Attack,” focuses on a specific scenario of a large-scale aerosol anthrax release in a major U.S. city and the immediate post-attack environment. press release | guidance document
AAA Extends Deadline for its Call for Posters to Nov. 10, 2012
(10/18/12) The American Ambulance Association (AAA) has extended the deadline of its Call for Posters to Nov. 10, 2012. The Poster Session will take place during the AAA Annual Conference set for Nov. 27-29, 2012, in Las Vegas, NV. Download complete details.
Report Released on the Impact of the National Drug Shortage on Emergency Care
(10/15/12) The Emergency Care Coordination Center (ECCC), Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response has issued a report titled "The Impact of the National Drug Shortage on Emergency Care." Over the last six years, drug shortages of medications have nearly quadrupled from a peak of approximately 70 drugs in shortage during 2006 to a peak of 267 today. It is estimated that nearly 40% of drugs in shortage impact the delivery of emergency care (EC) by virtue of the shortage’s strong effect on the availability of sterile injectables widely used in the EC setting. Outside of EC, cardiovascular, oncology, anesthetic, analgesic, and anti-infective medications are routinely in short supply. The national drug shortage is so acute that at times the only way health care administrators have known a drug is in shortage is when it was missing from a manufacturer’s shipment. A meeting of stakeholders held in April 2012 and hosted by the ECCC gathered input from private medical and pharmaceutical organizations on what they considered to be the factors and effects of the national drug shortage, and the coping strategies they have employed. Download report.
2012 NASEMSO Resolutions Passed at the Annual Meeting
(10/03/12) During the NASEMSO Annual Meeting in Boise, Idaho, September 26-27, three Resolutions were passed. The final Resolutions will be posted soon.
- Resolution 2012-01: MCI MUCC Implementation requests that the MUCC implementation plan being developed by the Federal Interagency Committee on EMS (FICEMS) includes provisions that its member federal agencies will provide sufficient grants, coordination, and other support to states and local jurisdictions so as to minimize the complexity of the transition and the fiscal impact on states and local jurisdictions; and that FICEMS and its member agencies support further scientific studies on various approaches to mass casualty triage and on the effectiveness of the MUCC.
- Resolution 2012-02: Science and Technology EMS Research Support—Homeland Security endorses and asks that the Department of Homeland Security, Under Secretary of Science and Technology, continues to support technology innovations and safety device research for EMS workers on the front lines of homeland security.
- With the impending retirement of Bill Brown as Executive Director of the National Registry of EMTs (NREMT), NASEMSO also presented the Resolution of Esteem and Respect, William E. Brown, whose contributions to the EMS profession have been numerous, including establishing requirement for graduation of paramedics from accredited programs, as well as the high level of integrity of the certification examination process which ensures a safe and competent work force. NASEMSO resolved that Bill will be always in our hearts and recollections with sincere gratitude and many fond memories.
GAO Releases Report on Ambulance Provider Costs and Medicare Margins
(10/03/12) The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has released its report on ambulance provider costs and Medicare margins, as required by the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012.
This report updates the GAO's 2007 report, and examines three themes: (1)
2010 ground ambulance providers’ costs for furnishing transports; (2) the
relationship between 2010 Medicare payments and ground ambulance providers’
costs; and (3) Medicare beneficiaries’ use of ground ambulance transports in
(10/03/12) NASEMSO Program Manager Kathy Robinson has been appointed to serve as an expert panelist for the National Quality Forum’s (NQF) project on Regionalized Emergency Medical Care Services (REMCS) Performance Measurement: Gap Analysis and Measure Topics Prioritization on Emergency Department Crowding and Boarding, Preparedness, and Surge Capacity.
Building on prior work by the NQF, this effort seeks to provide guidance for measure development to ASPR’s prioritized areas of 1) ED crowding, including a specific focus on boarding and diversion, 2) emergency preparedness, and 3) surge capacity. It will expand NQF’s previous consensus development process work in the emergency care arena (Emergency Care: Phase I and Emergency Care: II Report), which endorsed consensus standards for emergency care providers and system performance.
The mission of the National Quality Forum is to improve the quality of American healthcare by setting national priorities and goals for performance improvement, endorsing national consensus standards for measuring and publicly reporting on performance, and promoting the attainment of national goals through education and outreach programs.
New Officers Sworn in at NASEMSO Annual Meeting
(09/27/12) New NASEMSO officers were sworn in today at the NASEMSO Annual Meeting in Boise, Idaho. Immediate Past President Randy Kuykendall (CO) swore in Jim DeTienne (MT) to the office of President, and Dennis Blair (AL) to the office of Secretary. Paul Patrick (UT) was elected as the President-Elect.
New NASEMSO President Jim DeTienne (left) with Outgoing President Randy Kuykendall at the 2012 NASEMSO Annual Meeting.
National EMS Memorial Service and Air Medical Memorial Present the Memorial Ultimate Challenge: a Call to Action
(09/20/12) The National EMS Memorial Service and Air Medical Memorial Boards have joined forces to raise funds for the building of their respective memorials. The challenge: Each EMS agency in the country is challenged to raise $1,000 and each air medical program is challenged to raise $3,000 by Dec/ 31, 2012.
If this challenge is successful, both memorials could be built in the coming year. For complete information on the Ultimate Challenge, download the press release and an article by Krista Haugen, Air Medical Memorial PIO and Jana Williams, National EMS Memorial Service PIO, in support of this effort. For more information on the challenge and the memorials, please visit: www.ultimate-challenge.org, www.nemsms.org and www.airmedicalmemorial.com.
OJP to Provide Regular Web Report of Grants Awarded
(09/06/12) The Office of Justice Programs (OJP) now provides external stakeholders and the general public with an opportunity to view regular updates on grants awarded for Fiscal Year 2012. Each Monday, the OJP Office of Communications (OCOM) will post a weekly report of grants awarded at www.OJP.gov.
The goal is to provide current information on the grants OJP has awarded; to highlight the work of OJP program offices and the impact on communities; and to improve transparency on OJP’s grant award process. Starting this week on the OJP splash page, a ticker is posted highlighting “New Grants at OJP.”
Board for First Responder Network Authority Includes NASEMSO Program Manager Kevin McGinnis
(08/20/12) Acting U.S. Commerce Secretary Rebecca Blank appointed 12 of the nation’s leading experts on public safety and wireless broadband communications to serve on the Board of the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet). Among appointees is Kevin McGinnis, NASEMSO Program Manager and Chief/CEO, North East Mobile Health Services.
FirstNet is congressionally mandated to establish a nationwide wireless broadband network that enables police, firefighters, emergency services personnel, and others in public safety to better communicate with one another during emergencies and use new technology to improve response time, keep communities safe, and save lives. The Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 created FirstNet as an independent authority within NTIA. The Board of Directors will be responsible for making strategic decisions regarding FirstNet’s operations. details here
NIH Creates Office of Emergency Care Research
(07/31/12) To help improve health outcomes of patients who require emergency care, the National Institutes of Health has created a new Office of Emergency Care Research (OECR). The office is a focal point for basic, clinical and translational emergency care research and training across NIH.
“NIH has supported research to advance emergency care for years; however, now we have a single office to coordinate and foster our activities in this arena,” said NIH Director Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D. “The NIH Office of Emergency Care Research will focus on speeding diagnosis and improving care for the full spectrum of conditions that require emergency treatment.”
The creation of OECR is the culmination of more than five years of discussions between NIH and the emergency medicine community. OECR also responds to reports about the nation's emergency medical system issued in 2006 by the Institute of Medicine. download news release | visit OECR website
Three NASEMSO Members Are Among New Appointees to NEMSAC
(06/25/12) U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood today appointed 25 leaders in the EMS field to serve on the National Emergency Medical Services Advisory Council (NEMSAC), which advises the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) on all EMS matters and related issues.
Among the appointees are three NASEMSO members: Katrina Altenhofen, NASEMSO Pediatric Emergency Council Chair; Carol Cunningham, NASEMSO Medical Directors Council Chair; and Terry Mullins, West Regional Representative to the NASEMSO Board of Directors. Administered by NHTSA, NEMSAC provides expert advice and recommendations to the safety agency and its federal partners on key issues, including recruitment and retention of EMS personnel, quality assurance, data collection and EMS education over the course of a two-year term. press release
CMS Health Care Innovation Awards
(06/22/12) The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) have issued the Health Care Innovation Awards, and NASEMSO is pleased that there are three EMS awards for a combined total of over $13 million! This was an extremely competitive process considering there were 3,000 applications and only 166 funded, and EMS applications were competing with others from the entire health care continuum. Congratulations to the states of Washington, Nevada, and Colorado for being home to the award recipients. Learn more about the grant program and process. Download the EMS project summaries.
FEMA Announces Think Tank Conference on Emergency Management, Healthcare, and Public Health: Increasing Coordination and Collaboration
(19 June 2012) Richard Serino, Deputy Administrator of FEMA, and Dr. Nicole Lurie, the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, will host the next FEMA Think Tank conference call on June 28, 2012, from Houston, Texas.
- WHAT: FEMA-ASPR Think Tank
- WHEN: Thursday, June 28, 2012
11:00am – 1:00pm (Central) 12:00pm- 2:00pm (Eastern)
- WHERE: Houston, TX
- Call In: 888-989-4401
Passcode: Think Tank
- Captioning: Individuals who would like to access the captioning for this
event may do so by following this link.
The FEMA Think Tank is a forum to engage the whole
community, connect resources and share best practices, and develop solutions to
the challenges we face in emergency management. Featured topics have included
incorporating preparedness into school curriculums, new technologies in
emergency management and disability integration. This conference call is a
unique opportunity for the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response and
the FEMA Deputy Administrator to highlight the importance of integrating
healthcare, public health and emergency management.
The focus of this month’s call is Emergency Management, Healthcare, and Public Health: Increasing Coordination and Collaboration. Topics that will be discussed include:
- Emergency Management Coordination, improving communication with the Healthcare and Public Health sectors;
- Medical Incident Support Teams (M-IST), a cutting edge best practice supporting State Emergency Management; and
- Tennessee Mental Health Response Plan- coordinated state, regional, and
local mental health planning and response efforts for disasters of any type; and
Tennessee Recovery Project- creative approaches to providing services to reduce
stress and the impact of disasters on survivors.
Please visit the Think Tank Online Forum and share your ideas on how to improve coordination and collaboration between emergency management, healthcare, and public health. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact FEMA’s Intergovernmental Affairs Division at (202) 646-3444.
NHTSA Launches Redesigned EMS.gov Website to Better Serve First Responders & Health Care Community
(05/25/12) As health professionals across the country mark “National EMS (Emergency Medical Services) Week,” the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) on May 25 launched a redesigned EMS.gov website to better serve first responders and the health care community. NHTSA has spearheaded EMS programs for 40 years, and its EMS.gov website is a premier online resource for information on EMS programs, events and educational materials. press release with details
(05/14/12) The Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) at the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is now accepting applications for the Director of the Office of Preparedness and Emergency Operations (OPEO) and Deputy Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response. This is a crucial Senior Executive Service (SES) position that plays an essential role in our nation’s health security. The OPEO Director provides executive leadership and direction for the ASPR’s preparedness, planning, response, and recovery coordination. OPEO is the lead for interagency planning and response activities including management of the Secretary’s Operations Center (SOC), and the National Disaster Medical System (NDMS) and Incident Response Coordination Teams (IRCT), the Hospital Preparedness Program (HPP), HHS continuity of operations (COOP) and continuity of government (COG). During major disasters and emergencies, the OPEO Director is responsible for HHS functions under the National Response Framework. Application Deadline: June 15, 2012. details here
(05/09/12) A meeting of the DOT National Emergency Medical Services Advisory Council (NEMSAC) Federal Advisory Committee Meeting has been pubished in the Federal Register. The meeting will be held on May 30, 2012, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. EDT, and on May 31, 2012, from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. EDT. A public comment period will take place on May 30, 2012 between 3:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. EDT. Written comments must be received by May 25, 2012.
ADDRESSES: The meeting will be held on the 8th floor of the FHI 360 Conference Center at 1825 Connecticut Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20009.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Drew Dawson, Director, U.S. Department of Transportation, Office of Emergency Medical Services, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., NTI-140, Washington, DC 20590, telephone number 202-366-9966; email Drew.Dawson@dot.gov.
Tentative Agenda of National EMS Advisory Council Meeting, May 30-31, 2012
Wednesday, May 30, 2012 (10 a.m. to 5 p.m. EDT)
(1) Opening Remarks
(2) Introduction of Members and All in Attendance
(3) Review and Approval of Minutes of Last Meeting
(4) Update From NHTSA Office of EMS
(5) Federal Partner Update
(6) Review of the NEMSAC Roundtable on the EMS Education Agenda for the Future Meeting Results
(7) Public Comment Period (3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. EDT)
(8) Business of the Council
Thursday, May 31, 2012 (8 a.m. to 12 p.m. EDT)
(1) Presentations from NEMSAC Committees
(2) Deliberations of Committee Documents
(3) Voting To Finalize Several NEMSAC Advisories and Recommendations
(4) Unfinished Business/Continued Discussion From Previous Day
(5) Next Steps and Adjourn
Public Attendance: This meeting will be open to the public. There will not be a teleconference option for this meeting. Individuals wishing to attend must register online at www.regonline.com/NEMSAC1 no later than May 25, 2012.
Public Comment: Members of the public who wish to make comments on Wednesday, May 30, 2012, between 3:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. EDT are requested to register in advance. In order to allow as many people as possible to speak, speakers are requested to limit their remarks to 5 minutes. Written comments from members of the public will be distributed to NEMSAC members at the meeting and should reach the NHTSA Office of EMS by May 25, 2012. All submissions received may be submitted by email: email@example.com.
Final Agenda and Meeting Materials: A final agenda as well as meeting materials will be available to the public online through www.ems.gov prior to May 30, 2012.
NTIA Recruitment of Board of Directors for First Responder Network Authority
(05/16/12) NTIA announces the recruitment of the Board of Directors of the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet). FirstNet is an independent authority within NTIA that will establish a single nationwide, interoperable public safety broadband network. The Board of Directors will be responsible for making strategic decisions regarding FirstNet’s operations. Expressions of interest for membership on the FirstNet Board of Directors will be accepted until May 25, 2012. Federal Register Notice
Issue Brief for NASEMSO Members: Drug Shortages and Controlled Substance Regulation
(05/04/12) Current national discussions about medication availability and
controlled substance regulation revolve around two separate but interrelated
categories of issues. These two issues are complicated, mutually exacerbating,
and both are in dire need of resolution. An issue
brief is now available for NASEMSO members.
FEMA and its Partners Release the National Preparedness Report
(05/04/12) Today, FEMA and its partners released the National Preparedness
Report (NPR). The Report identifies significant progress the nation has made in
areas of prevention, protection, mitigation, response, and recovery. Overall,
the Report found that the nation has increased its collective preparedness, not
only from external threats, but also for natural and technological hazards that
face its communities.
- National Preparedness Report
- National Preparedness Report Fact Sheet
- National Preparedness Report IGA Advisory
NASEMSO Comments on Maryland Waiver Petition Filed with FCC
(04/30/12) NASEMSO filed comments with the FCC In response to a public notice, released by the Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau (PSHSB), seeking comment on a petition for waiver of the Commission’s rules filed by the State of Maryland requesting authorization to use 700 MHz band secondary trunking channels for air-to-ground interoperable radio communications.
NASEMSO’s comments supported Maryland’s petition waiver as use of these
particular channels should help address Maryland’s operational requirement while
avoiding interference to other neighboring public safety operations. To read the
petition, click here.
NASEMSO Donates to National EMS Memorial Service
(04/30/12) The 20th Annual National EMS Memorial Service will take place on June 23, 2012 at 6:00 pm MDT (GMT -6:00) at the Pikes Peak Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Please take a moment at that time to join us in remembering our fallen colleagues. The mission of the National EMS Memorial Service is to honor and remember those men and women of America's Emergency Medical Services who have given their lives in the line of duty, and to recognize the sacrifice they have made in service to their communities and their fellow man. NASEMSO donated $1,000 to the cause; click here to see others who have also made donations. Please click here to learn how you can support the National EMS Memorial Service as well.
OHA Releases Funding Alternatives for Emergency Medical and Fire Services
(04/30/12) Eligible applicants include public, private, and nonprofit organizations, including faith-based and community organizations, as well as federally recognized Indian tribal governments and organizations. This announcement solicits applications for the Rural Health System Analysis and Technical Assistance (RHSATA) Cooperative Agreement. The purpose of the RHSATA Cooperative Agreement Program is to inform policy makers and rural health care providers about how changes in the health care delivery system may affect them, and to provide technical assistance to rural providers in identifying potential new approaches to health care delivery in their communities. The health care delivery system is undergoing dramatic change, with an emphasis on finding new approaches and organizational frameworks to improve health outcomes, control costs, and improve population health. details here
ORHP releases Community Paramedicine Evaluation Tool
(04/30/12) HRSA’s Office of Rural Health Policy (ORHP) is pleased to announce the release of the 2012 Community Paramedicine Evaluation Tool. Community Paramedicine is an emerging field in health care where EMS professionals operate in expanded roles to provide health care services where access to physicians, clinics, and/or hospitals may be difficult. There has been increasing interest in and movement towards the implementation of such programs, particularly across rural America. The Community Paramedicine Evaluation Tool, which can be used as a framework to guide program development, can be found on the ORHP website. Please contact Megan Meacham (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you have any questions about this resource.
DEA to Hold Nationwide Prescription Drug-Take Back Day: Apr. 28, 2012
(04/16/12) The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and its national and community partners will give the public another opportunity to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs. On Saturday, Apr. 28,, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. local time, DEA and its partners will hold their fourth National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day at sites nationwide. The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked. Complete Details
HHS/ASPR Drug Shortage Meeting: Apr. 16, 2012
(03/30/12) The Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will host a meeting on the Impact of Drug Shortages in Emergency Care. This meeting is scheduled for April 16, 2012, at the Washington Court Hotel in Washington, DC. The purpose of this meeting is to obtain a better understanding of the magnitude and impact of shortages in drugs that are available for emergencies, the Federal efforts to reduce shortages, and to provide an opportunity for the emergency care community to discuss coping and mitigation strategies. Representatives from the FDA Office of Drug Shortages will be in attendance. HHS Information Letter | Agenda
EMS Near Miss and Line of Duty Death Online Reporting Tools Launched
(03/29/12) NAEMT has been working with the Center for Leadership, Innovation and Research (CLIR) in EMS on the development of an anonymous system for EMS practitioners to report near-miss and line of duty death incidents by answering a series of questions in an online format. The purpose of the system is to collect and aggregate data that will then be analyzed and used in the development of EMS policies and procedures, and for use in training, educating and preventing similar events from occurring in the future. No individual responses will be shared or transmitted to other parties. The Near Miss and Line of Duty Death Online Reporting Tools launched last month and is live at www.emseventreport.org. These tools, along with an already existing tool to report patient safety events, form the EMS Voluntary Event Notification Tool (E.V.E.N.T). Click here for the letter from NAEMT and CLIR.
NASEMSO Releases "Rural Highway Mass Casualty Guidelines
(03/22/12) NASEMSO completed its project commitment to NHTSA’s Office of
Emergency Medical Services and the recommendations of the National
Transportation Safety Board related to rural highway mass casualty readiness.
The capstone document, “Rural Highway Mass Casualty Guidelines: Resources for
State and Local Officials,” was presented to and accepted by the Federal
Interagency Committee on Emergency Medical Services. It is hoped that this
document will be an asset in efforts to improve response in rural areas of state
EMS systms and to further collaboration with state offices of highway safety and
state traffic safety engineering staff. download document
(03/13/12) NASEMSO convened the Joint National EMS Leadership Forum on Mar. 1 at the EMS Today conference in Baltmore, Md. Shown in the photo below: are Mike Stern (DHS/NFA), Drew Dawson (DOT/NHTSA), Connie Meyer (NAEMT), Skip Kirkwood (NEMSMA), Randy Kuykendall (NASEMSO), Lynn White, MD (NAEMSP), Donna Tidwell (NAEMSE), Aaron Reinert (AAA), Eveline Bission (AAMS), David Becker (IAFC), Beth Edgerton MD (HHS EMSC), and Gregg Margolis PhD (HHS ASPR). Also in attendance, but not shown, were representatives from AAMS, EMSLA, IAEMSC and NAPO. IAFF and CDC could not be present. The group expressed their intent to maintain contemporary and mutual awareness of national issues, foster trust, identify matters of mutual importance and serve as a collective voice. The Forum’s current focus will be on drug shortage and NEMSIS. Contact Dia Gainor for more information, email@example.com.
NASEMSO Convenes National EMS Leadership Forum at EMS Today
(03/13/12) NASEMSO convened the Joint National EMS Leadership Forum on Mar. 1 at the EMS Today conference in Baltmore, Md. The group expressed their intent to maintain contemporary and mutual awareness of national issues, foster trust, identify matters of mutual importance and serve as a collective voice. The Forum’s current focus will be on drug shortage and NEMSIS. Contact Dia Gainor for more information, firstname.lastname@example.org. Learn more here.
U.S. Dept. of Transportation Seeks Applicants to Serve on NEMSAC
(03/06/12) The U.S. Dept. Transportation is soliciting applications for
appointment or reappointment to the National Emergency Medical Services Advisory
Council (NEMSAC). The council, first chartered in 2007, provides EMS advice to
the department and its federal partners. It makes recommendations on key issues
in the EMS field, including recruitment and retention of emergency medical
service personnel, quality improvement, EMS data collection and research, and
preparation for multi-casualty incidents. Members are appointed by the Secretary
of Transportation for a period of two years and will be selected for their
individual expertise and to reflect a balanced representation of interests from
across the EMS community. For details on how to apply, download the call for applicants.
CDC Releases Updated Guidelines for Field Triage of Injured Patients
Pictured are the members of the National Expert Panel on Field Triage. NASEMSO members Dr. Douglas Kupas, Dr. Robert Bass, and Dr. Ritu Sahni provided input to the CDC during the revision process.
(01/12/12) CDC has released the Morbidity and
Mortality Weekly Report: Recommendations and Reports on the 2011 Guidelines
(2011 Guidelines) for Field Triage of Injured Patients. The 2011 Guidelines
are an update of the guidance recommended in the 2006 Guidelines for Field
Triage of Injured Patients. The new version provides changes to the decision
scheme for EMS providers who care for and transport patients injured from motor
vehicle crashes, falls, penetrating injuries, and other injury mechanisms each
day in our nation’s communities.
The 2011 Guidelines are based upon current medical literature, the experience of multiple states and communities working to improve field triage, and the expert opinion of Panel members. This guidance is intended to help prehospital care providers make critical decisions that have been demonstrated to increase the likelihood of improved outcomes in severely injured trauma patients. For more information about CDC′s work in field triage, please visit www.cdc.gov/Fieldtriage.
State EMS Director Explains Enhanced Response Strategies Following Tropical Storm
(01/12/12) Pennsylvania State EMS Director Joe Schmider outlines the EMS lessons learned when back-to-back storms overwhelmed local systems and flooding impacted 2/3 of the state in “The 1-2 Punch: Pennsylvania Responds to Tropical Storm Lee” now featured online at EMSWorld.
MCH Navigator Learning Portal Released
(01/12/12) The Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB) has released a new resource for maternal and child health (MCH) professionals working in state agencies and at the community level who are seeking to advance their learning and skills mastery. The MCH Navigator is a learning portal that links individuals to existing open-access training, organized in areas consistent with nationally endorsed public health and MCH leadership competencies. Online training resources, archived webcasts and webinars, instructional modules, and self-guided short courses have undergone academic review and vetting.
Bridging the Historic Divide Between Nurses and Paramedics
(12/30/11) Anne Robinson, RN who has been the public health nursing and nursing leadership and liaison for the Eagle County EMS Community Paramedic program, was interviewed by the American Journal of Nursing about community paramedicine. Please read the article and see what a great job she has done to bridge the historic divide between nursing and paramedics and to lead nurses to begin to accept the concept of Community Paramedic as an opportunity to be more effective and not a place to compete for territory.
(12/28/11) The Federal Interagency Committee for Emergency Medical Services
(FICEMS) has released the 2011 National EMS Assessment, downloadable here. Sponsored by FICEMS and funded by the
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the report provides the
first ever comprehensive description of emergency medical services, EMS
emergency preparedness and 911 systems at state and national levels using
existing data sources. NASEMSO members
contributed a significant amount of data to make the assessment
—NASEMSO EMS Industry Snapshot
—NASEMSO EMS Industry Snapshot Presentation
The National EMS Assessment, which was completed over a 24-month period from September 2009 to August 2011, provides a detailed description of the nation’s EMS systems which comprise an estimated 19,971 local EMS agencies, their 81,295 vehicles and 826,111 licensed and credentialed personnel.
The landmark document is a powerful resource and the first national assessment of Emergency Medical Services that provides comprehensive data aggregated at both the state and national levels. These data will allow the officials responsible for improving EMS systems to benchmark current and future performance and identify areas of strength and weakness. Learn more.
New Executive Director Sought for National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians
(12/26/11) The National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT) is looking for an outstanding individual with visionary leadership and management skills to become its next Executive Director. The outgoing Executive Director is retiring after 25 years of service in this position. The NREMT invites applications from candidates with a minimum of a Bachelor’s degree (graduate degree preferred) and the abilities and experience described in the Executive Director Profile located on the NREMT website.
NASEMSO Board Reviews Work Plans for 2012 at December Board Retreat
(12/15/11) NASEMSO President Randy Kuykendall is pictured below with a few of the 2012 work plans that the NASEMSO Board reviewed and discussed during their Dec. 14-15 Annual Board Retreat in Alexandria, VA.
- Data Managers Council 2012 Work Plan
- Educational & Professional Standards Council 2012 Work Plan
- Medical Directors Council 2012 Work Plan
- Pediatric Emergency Care Council 2012 Work Plan
- Trauma Managers Council 2012 Work Plan
- Domestic Preparedness Committee 2012 Work Plan
- Highway Incident & Transportation Systems (HITS) Committee 2012 Work Plan
- Rural EMS
Committee 2012 Work Plan
House Passes Pandemic Preparedness Bill to Reauthorize Key Programs
(12/08/11) The House passed H.R. 2405, the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Reauthorization Act of 2011, by a unanimous voice vote on Dec. 6. CQ Today Online News noted that this legislation "would update a variety of programs designed to protect the United States from pandemics and chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear threats." The White House issued a statement in support of H.R. 2405, stating it would "reauthorize several key programs led by the Department of Health and Human Services to prepare the Nation for bioterrorism and other public health emergencies. In addition to continuing existing activities, including the advanced research and development of medical countermeasures, H.R. 2405 would expand the Food and Drug Administration’s role in strengthening the Nation’s preparedness."
Health Care Innovation Challenge to Award up to $1 Billion in Grants
(12/01/11) The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation Center has issued the Health Care Innovation Challenge, an opportunit for funding of creative EMS and emergency care ideas. The Health Care Innovation Challenge will award up $1 billion in grants to applicants who will implement the most compelling new ideas to deliver better health, improved care and lower costs to people enrolled in Medicare, Medicaid and CHIP, particularly those with the highest health care needs. EMS agencies are eligible for these grants! In fact, "expanded use of community-based paramedics to provide basic services to extend available primary care resources in rural communities" is specifically listed as an example of the type of project that the Innovation Center is seeking. Learn more.
National EMS Assessment and NASEMSO EMS Snapshot Discussed at Annual Meeting
(10/19/11) During the Annual Meeting in Madison Wisconsin, NASEMSO shared information gathered and analyzed from the "NASEMSO EMS Snapshot." The EMS Snapshot data was used to inform the National EMS Assessment sponsored by FICEMS and funded by NHTSA. At that time, the Assessment was undergoing FICEMS and NHTSA clearance, but since then, the Snapshot has been released. NASEMSO Resolution 2011-01
Bill Proposes Strategy to Strengthen Development of Field EMS at Federal, State and Local Levels
(10/11/11) Adovates for EMS, of which NASEMSO is a partner, reported today that Representatives Tim Walz (D-MN) and Sue Myrick (R-NC) have introduced H.R. 3144, the Field EMS Quality, Innovation, and Cost-Effectiveness Improvements Act of 2011, to implement a cohesive strategy to strengthen the development of our nation's Field Emergency Medical Services (EMS) at the federal, state and local levels. This news comes after many months of hard work that sponsors, supporters and partners across the EMS and trauma community have put into developing this comprehensive legislation addressing the challenges confronting EMS.
In promoting the development of the bill, Advocates for EMS has worked
through an open and consensus driven process, including three summits, numerous
drafts and lots of feedback to achieve introduction. While the coalition
recognizes that not all will agree with every part of the legislation, the bill
represents the broadest degree of consensus achievable within the community. It
is the most comprehensive legislation to address EMS in decades and is the first
step within a long legislative process to achieve enactment which will allow for
many opportunities for refinement.
- H.R. 3144 as introduced
- A section-by-section description of the bill
- Advocates for EMS white paper
- Summary of structure & financing of H.R. 3144
White House Director of Resiliency Addresses State EMS Officials at NASEMSO 2011 Annual Meeting
(10/07/11) White House Director of Resiliency Richard Reed addressed the nation's state EMS officials today, pledging White House support to best align EMS at the Federal level. He also spoke about the recently-released National Preparedness Goal and asked for NASEMSO input to determine how best to create and sustain EMS capabilities.
NASEMSO President Randy Kuykendall (CO) (left) with White House Director of Resiliency Richard Reed at the NASEMSO 2011 Annual Meeting.
Invitation to Join a National Expert Panel on the Children's Safety Initiative in EMS
(09/15/11) NASEMSO members are invited to participate in an expert panel to develop national safety indicators and guidelines for the pre-hospital EMS care of children. Oregon Health & Science University, in partnership with the National Association of EMS Physicians, the National Association of State EMS Officials, the EMSC National Resource Center, EMS Medical Directors Consortium (Eagles), and the American Academy of Pediatrics Subcommittee on EMS, is beginning an NIH-funded research study of the safety and quality of pre-hospital EMS care for children.
They are looking for expert opinions from state EMS officials, state EMS medical directors, EMTs, physicians, local EMS medical directors, and program managers & directors. By participating in this study, you will help identify key issues involved in such care and your input may lead to changes in national guidelines and standards of care in children's EMS.
Your experience in EMS gives you unique expertise and perspective on this issue, and we hope you will consider participating. Even if you choose not to participate, please forward this information to state EMS personnel, local EMS agencies, state EMS associations, and other in the categories listed above. Download information on how to participate
Article on EMS Education Changes and Effects on EMS Professionals Published in September Issue of JEMS
(09/06/11) The article "EMS Education Changes Will Affect You" appears in the September 2011 issue of the Journal of Emergency Medical Services (JEMS). Authors are Debra Cason, MS, RN, EMT-P, Associate Professor and Program Director for Emergency Medicine Education at UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, and Kathy Robinson, RN, EMT-P, Program Manager for the National Association of State EMS Officials. The article describes the 11-year approach toward developing and transitioning to new education standards for EMS professionals, which will take effect over the next two or three years. Read the article here.
Joint National EMS Leadership Council Meets at EMS Expo
(09/01/11) The joint National EMS Leadership Council gathered at EMS Expo on Sept. 1 to discuss issues of mutual concern, including public safety radio spectrum, activation of FEMA's national ambulance contract, a near-miss reporting system, NFPA 1917 ambulance safety standards, and more. Representatives from NEMSMA, NASEMSO, NAEMT, NAEMSP, and DHS were present.
9/11 and Anthrax Attacks 10-Year Anniversary Report: Firsthand Stories from Public Health Responders
(09/01/11) Trust for America’s Health (TFAH) and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) released a new report, Remembering 9/11 and Anthrax: Public Health’s Vital Role in National Defense, featuring more than 30 firsthand, on-the-ground accounts of public health professionals who were directly involved in the response to the September 11, 2001 and anthrax tragedies. The stories recall how:
• On September 11th, in a period of uncertainty, officials activated a range of responses, including readying the Strategic National Stockpile, and providing services, including mental health counseling, in the aftermath; and
• Public health officials were at the lead of the anthrax response – diagnosing and treating victims and running more than a million tests on approximately 125,000 samples around the country. The report contains a timeline of the anthrax attacks and investigation.
The stories also reflect how these events marked the first time that public health came to be considered central to emergency response and national security on a wide-scale basis – and the stories reflect how these officials were working without adequate resources or training to respond to these types of attacks. A summary of how public health preparedness has evolved in the past 10 years is also included in the report.
“The biggest threat to bioterrorism preparedness today is complacency. If a health threat does not happen, be it naturally occurring or deliberate, we tend to make it a lower priority. The worst thing we can do is to make something a priority after it happens. After it happens is too late; you are playing catch-up. Preparedness for a threat must be a priority before it happens.” -- Anthony S. Fauci, M.D., Director, NIAID/NIH
Some contributors include Anthony Fauci, M.D., Director NIAID/NIH; Senator Tom Daschle, former U.S. Senator from South Dakota and former U.S. Senate Majority Leader; Isaac Weisfuse; M.D. MPH, Deputy Commissioner of the Division of Disease Control of the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene; John R. Lumpkin, Senior Vice President and Director, Health Care Group, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and former Director of the Illinois Department of Public Health; Sara T. Beatrice, PhD., New York City Public Health Laboratory; Georges Benjamin, M.D., FACP, FACEP (E), FNAPA, Hon FRSPH, executive director of the American Public Health Association and former Secretary of the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene; and stories from a range of officials at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and state and local public health officials in New York, Washington, D.C., Virginia, Florida, Connecticut, New Jersey, Arizona, Maryland, Missouri, North Carolina, and Washington State. There are excerpts and highlights of the stories included at the end of the release.
“In 2001, we experienced the unimaginable. In 2011, we know we need to expect the unexpected. Over the past decade, we’ve made smart, strategic investments in preparedness, and there’s been a lot of progress to show for it. We can be proud of the improvements. Of course, there is a lot left to be done, which will require further effort. But, regardless, the field of public health preparedness was forever changed 10 years ago, and we should never forget why,” said Governor Lowell Weicker, Jr., former three-term U.S. Senator and Governor of Connecticut and President of the Board of Directors at TFAH.
The report also includes a summary of the public health preparedness successes over the last decade. In addition, the report features an analysis of ongoing gaps in preparedness, that, if not addressed, could leave Americans vulnerable in the future.
Some key areas of progress over the past decade include significant improvements in: preparedness planning and coordination; public health laboratories; vaccine manufacturing; the Strategic National Stockpile; pharmaceutical and medical equipment distribution; surveillance; communications; legal and liability protections; increasing and upgrading staff and surge capacity.
Some ongoing gaps a decade later include: major recent budget cuts; a gap in trained public health workers; a gap in surge capacity for mass care during emergencies; a lack of an integrated, national approach to biosurveillance; gaps in supporting the way communities cope and recover from disasters; and gaps in vaccine and pharmaceutical research, development and manufacturing.
Transportation Safety Advancement Group Announces Release of NG9-1-1 What's Next Report
(08/30/11) The Transportation Safety Advancement Group (TSAG), a multidisciplinary forum promoting technology for public safety and providing guidance to the U.S. Department of Transportation Intelligent Transportation Systems Joint Program Office, announced the release of the NG9-1-1 What’s Next Forum Report, a series of white papers created by stakeholders in four emergency response disciplines—law enforcement, fire-rescue, emergency medical services and transportation—addressing the future of the Next Generation 9-1-1 system. news release | download report
Next Generation 9-1-1 (NG9-1-1), the migration of the emergency response system from the traditional analog to an IP-based system, will significantly change the quality and amount of information available to first responders. Officials described the report as a critical step for emergency responders planning to organize, share and use all of the digital data available in the next generation of 9-1-1.
“To date, much of the discussion about NG9-1-1 has taken place in the technical arena,” said Dia Gainor, TSAG Chair and NASEMSO Executive Director. “The NG9-1-1 What’s Next project begins the discussion about how NG9-1-1 can help emergency response groups achieve their mission and addresses the cultural, organizational and operational environments in which the new system will be implemented.”
The report, released at the National Rural ITS Conference in Coeur d’Alene, ID, is the result of the NG9-1-1 What’s Next Forum, held 2010 in Washington, D.C. At the forum, panelists from the four disciplines were separated into respective groups by discipline. Each group was asked to identify major challenges facing their professions and to discuss ways in which NG9-1-1 could help them fulfill their missions as emergency responders.
NASEMSO Headquarters Shaken When 5.9 Earthquake Hits DC Metro Area
(08/23/11) The NASEMSO Headquarters building was shaken today when a 5.9-magnitude earthquake hit Central Virginia, centered northwest of Richmond. The U.S. Geological Survey said the earthquake was half a mile deep. Shaking was felt at the White House and all over the East Coast, as far south as Chapel Hill, N.C. Parts of the Pentagon, White House and Capitol were evacuated. There were no immediate reports of injuries. News coverage is ongoing.
Cunningham Completes Harvard NPLI
(07/04/11) NASEMSO Medical Directors Council Chair Carol Cunningham, MD, FACEP, FAAEM, on June 24 completed the Harvard Kennedy School’s National Preparedness Leadership Initiative (NPLI). As the State Medical Director for the Ohio Department of Public Safety, Division of Emergency Medical Services, Dr. Cunningham was one of 50 government leaders with homeland security responsibility selected to complete the national leadership program. The NPLI, a joint program of the Harvard School of Public Health and Kennedy School of Government, began with one week on the Cambridge campus followed by a five-month period during which leadership projects were completed. Dr. Cunningham was the lead writer and presenter of her group project at the concluding seminar at Harvard University.
Dr. Richard Besser and Dr. Carol Cunningham, NASEMSO Medical Directors Council Chair, at the completion of the Harvard National Preparedness Leadership Initiative. Dr. Besser, ABC News' Chief Medical Correspondent, was a 13-year veteran of the CDC and served as its interim director during the H1N1 influenza pandemic.
NFPA Completes Third Assessment of the U.S. Fire Service
(06/29/11)The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recently released the Third Needs Assessment of the U.S. Fire Service, a study that looked at the current needs of America’s fire departments as compared to those identified in assessments done in 2001 and 2005. The goal of the project was to identify major gaps in the needs of the U.S. fire service and to determine if the Department of Homeland Security Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (DHS/FEMA) Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) programs are continuing to reduce the needs of fire departments.
“Fire service needs are extensive across the board, and in nearly every area of need; the smaller the community protected, the greater the need,” said James M. Shannon, president of NFPA. “While we are seeing the positive impact of well-targeted grants, there is more to be done to ensure our nation’s fire departments are prepared to provide the necessary protection to their communities.”
The report looked at personnel and their capabilities, including staffing, training, certification, and wellness/fitness; facilities and apparatus; personal protective equipment, fire prevention and code enforcement; the ability to handle unusually challenging incidents; and communications and new technologies.
(06/10/11) The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) Office of Emergency Medical Services (OEMS) is pleased to provide you with the EMS Workforce Agenda for the Future (EMS Workforce Agenda). The EMS Workforce Agenda was prepared by the University of California San Francisco with funding from NHTSA and the Emergency Medical Services for Children program at the Health Resources and Services Administration. Download the EMS Workforce Agenda here or online at www.ems.gov under the workforce tab.
The EMS Workforce Agenda envisions a future in which all EMS systems have a sufficient number of well educated, adequately prepared, and appropriately credentialed EMS workers who are valued, well compensated, healthy, and safe. The vision of the EMS Workforce Agenda is ambitious but achievable with the continued collaboration of local, tribal, territorial, State, national and Federal EMS stakeholders.
Development of the EMS Workforce Agenda was guided by research, steering committee guidance and input from a group of national stakeholders composed of EMS industry leaders, experts from professional organizations, educational and credentialing organizations, public and private EMS providers, state and federal EMS agencies and other stakeholder groups.
NASEMSO Executive Director Dia Gainor Presented with Idaho Distinguished Service Medal and Governor's Challenge Coin
(05/16/11) NASEMSO Executive Director Dia Gainor on Friday, May 13, 2011, received the highest award the Idaho Military Division may bestow upon a civilian, the Idaho Distinguished Service Medal. Additionally, she received the Idaho Governor’s Challenge Coin. Download NASEMSO news release.
Left to right: Jane Smith, Administrator, Idaho Division of Public Health; Dia Gainor, Executive Director, NASEMSO; and Brigadier General William H. Shawver, Jr., Assistant Adjutant General-Air, Idaho National Guard, and Director of the Idaho Bureau of Homeland Security.
NASEMSO President Visits DHS Office of Health Affairs with Advocates for EMS Delegation (05/02/11) NASEMSO President Randy Kuykendall visited the Department of Homeland Security Office of Health Affairs on May 2, 2011, as part of an Advocates for EMS delegation to discuss the Field EMS Bill and the FICEMS options paper. He is shown below with OHA Deputy Director Dr. Kathy Brinsfeld (left) and Chief Medical Officer Dr. Alex Garza (right). Also part of the delegation were NASEMSO Executive Vice President Beth Armstrong, MAM, CAE; NAEMSE representatives Scott Bourn and Bruce Walz; AEMS President Kurt Krumperman; and AEMS Washington Representative Lisa Tofil.
FCC Extends Deadline for Nominations for its Local and State Government Advisory Committee (04/20/11) The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is seeking nominations to fill three vacancies on the Commission's Local and State Government Advisory Committee (LSGAC). These vacancies are due to the departures of three current LSGAC members, Atlanta Mayor Bill Campbell, Albuquerque City Councilor Michael Brasher and Louise Renne, City Attorney, City and County of San Francisco. Therefore, one vacancy will be filled by a local government attorney (elected or appointed), and two will be filled by elected municipal officials (mayor or council member). The LSGAC is comprised of elected and appointed officials of municipal, county, state and tribal governments. It provides advice and information to the FCC on key issues relevant to the LSGAC, including public rights-of-way, facilities siting, universal service, removal of barriers to competitive entry and public safety communications. The deadline has been extended to May 13, 2011. more details here
Dia Gainor Joins NASEMSO as Executive Director (04/19/11) The National Association of State EMS Officials (NASEMSO) announces that Dia Gainor will join its staff on May 2, 2011, as the executive director and can be reached at email@example.com. In this new position, Gainor will be responsible for providing strategic leadership to promote and expand NASEMSO’s presence and capacity as a national leader in emergency medical services. Download NASEMSO news release.
Left to right: NASEMSO EVP Beth Armstrong;
NHTSA OEMS Chief Drew Dawson; and
incoming NASEMSO Executive Director
Dia Gainor at the Apr. 14 NEMSAC meeting.
Contingency Shutdown Plan Prepared by Executive Office of the President (04/07/11) In the event that agency shutdowns and furloughs become necessary due to a lapse in appropriations for Fiscal Year 2011, the Executive Office of the President has prepared and would implement this contingency plan.
Request to Provide Input on National Health Securit Strategy Biennial Implementation Plan (04/06/11) The Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, U.S. Dept. of Health & Human Services, is requesting public input on two objectives of the National Health Security Strategy Biennial Implementation Plan (BIP): Objective 4, “Foster Integrated, Scalable Health Care Delivery Systems,” and Objective 6, “Promote an Effective Countermeasures Enterprise.”
The documents and comment forms can be found here.
Download a letter from Dr. Lisa Kaplowitz, which provides some additional background and instructions on the BIP.
Note: While NASEMSO member comments were requested earlier for the association response, feedback can still be provided directly to DHHS until 8:00 a.m., Monday, Apr. 25, 2011.
NASBO Evaluates Impact of a Federal Government Shutdown (04/06/11) The National Association of State Budget Officers (NASBO) has put together a list of helpful documents regarding the impact of a federal government shutdown.
- State of Massachusetts: Memo on the Impact of a Shutdown
- NASBO Brief: Impact of a Federal Government Shutdown on States
- CRS Report - Shutdown of the Federal Government: Causes, Processes, and Effects
According to a NASBO News Brief, "discussions with state budget officers and state comptrollers over the past month have revealed that a short-term shutdown would probably cause little significant harm to states. However, the two areas of primary concern regard the funding of state employees that are funded through federal grants as well as the ability to maintain a consistent flow of funds for state-run programs that rely on federal funds.
Although it remains up to the administration, some federal budget analysts have noted over the past few weeks that the major safety net programs run by states and funded in part by the federal government, including Medicaid and TANF, are expected to continue."
IAEMSC Announces Open Enrollment in National EMS Health Surveillance System (03/10/11) The International Association of EMS Chiefs (IAEMSC) is pleased to announce it is accepting agency enrollment in the National EMS Health and Safety Surveillance System. The project was jointly developed by the IAEMSC and Intermedix and provides a secure web based portal for registered EMS organizations to enter and analyze data regarding occupational illness, injuries and fatalities. The project was featured as a “JEMS 10” top 10 innovations for 2009.
Priority for enrollment will be given to organizations with IAEMSC members, however, other agencies and EMS systems may participate. There is no cost for agency participation in the National EMS Health and Safety Surveillance System. Please contact IAEMSC Director Emeritus Geoffrey Miller for further information or to participate in the National EMS Health and Safety Surveillance System. Download IAEMSC announcement here.
EMSC to Hold Special FICEMS Town Hall Call: Mar. 16, 2011, 2:00 pm ET (03/07/11) The EMSC National Resource Center is holdng a special town hall call on Mar. 16, 2011 at 2:00 p.m. ET (1:00 p.m. CT, 12:00 p.m. MT, 11:00 a.m. PT) to discuss a request from FICEMS. Phone Number: 877-355-6338; Meeting ID: 9911. If individuals in attendance are not able to attend or present comments during the forum, they may be provide written comments and suggestions via email to FICEMS@dot.gov. FICEMS is interested in any stakeholder input about the role of the Federal government in the full continuum of emergency medical services and emergency and trauma care for adults and children - including medical 9-1-1 and emergency medical dispatch, pre-hospital emergency medical services (both ground and air), hospital-based emergency care and trauma care, and medical-related disaster preparedness. Complete details here. Deadline for comments: Apr. 18, 2011
CRS Report: "Shutdown of Federal Government: Causes, Processes & Effects" (02/28/11) In light of news reports that some states may be seriously affected by potential federal government shutdown, because automated payment mechanisms are not in place and state budgets are too tight to float funds, we are providing the Congressional Research Service Report, Shutdown of the Federal Government: Causes, Processes & Effects, published Sept. 27, 2010, as a resource as shutdown-related developments continue.
Rural EMS Safety Strategies Webinar Available for On-Demand Viewing (02/28/11) The recent "Rural Emergency Medical Services: The ‘4th E’ Strategies for Safety" webinar, sponsored by the Center for Excellence in Rural Safety in cooperation with the Federal Highway Administration, is available for on-demand viewing. This webinar focused on some of the behavioral interventions the EMS community is introducing and provided insights about opportunities for rural EMS systems. Randy Kuykendall (NASEMSO President) outlined specific initiatives aimed at improving the safety of EMS personnel and system performance, such as Colorado's experience in developing a culture of safety through a statewide advisory council and the now-annual Colorado EMS safety conference. Dia Gainor (NASEMSO HITS Committee Chair) discussed the EMS Incident Response and Readiness Assessment tool developed as part of a recent rural highway mass casualty project in Idaho. Learn more.
President's FY 2012 Budget for HHS Now Available for Review (02/14/11) The President's Fiscal Year 2012 Budget for the U.S. Dept. of Health & Human Services has been released. The budget justification is expected shortly and will be available here. Funding for HRSA was reduced by $685 million in the President’s FY2012 budget, from $7.5 billion in FY2010 to an estimate of $6.821 in FY2012. Download Budget in Brief
ACS Committee on Trauma Welcomes Suggested Revisions on "Resources for Optimal Care of the Injured Patient" (01/20/11) The American College of Surgeons Committee on Trauma (COT) announces that revisions of “Resources for Optimal Care of the Injured Patient” are now underway. In order to ensure that this resource provides accurate and relevant information for optimal care, all revisions to the next edition will be evidence-based. A website has been established to provide suggested revisions with supporting evidence, and to classify that evidence according to current guidelines. The Committee on Trauma will review all proposed revisions. Please feel free to contact the ACS Trauma office with any questions or concerns at firstname.lastname@example.org or 312-202-5388. The COT welcomes submissions for consideration in the revision process through its COT Revision site: www.COTresourcesupdate.org. Comments are needed by March 14, 2011.
King, Thompson Introduce Bipartisan Legislation to Reallocate D Block Communications Spectrum to Public Safety (02/10/11) Today, Rep. Peter T. King (R-NY), Chairman of the Committee on Homeland Security, joined by Ranking Member Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS) and 5 others, introduced H.R. 607, the Broadband for First Responders Act of 2011. This legislation will strengthen the communications capabilities of America’s first responders by reallocating the D Block communications spectrum to public safety. Today, President Obama personally called for the reallocation of the D Block to public safety. Read news release.
FEMA Seeks Applicants for National Advisory Council (02/01/11) Thee U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is requesting individuals who are interested in serving on the National Advisory Council (NAC) to apply for appointment. The NAC is an advisory committee established in accordance with the provisions of the Federal Advisory Committee Act to ensure effective and ongoing coordination of federal preparedness, protection, response, recovery, and mitigation for natural disasters, acts of terrorism, and other man-made disasters. Qualified individuals interested in serving on the NAC are invited to apply for appointment by submitting a resume or Curriculum Vitae (CV). Letters of recommendation may also be provided, but are not required. Applications are accepted on Friday, February 4, 2011 through Friday, March 4, 2011. See details about the NAC and its mission at www.fema.gov/about/nac. Information about applications for membership: Federal Register Notice
NASEMSO Recognizes Sen. Jay Rockefeller for His Reintroduction of "The Public Safety Spectrum and Wireless Innovation Act of 2011" (01/25/11) The National Association of State EMS Officials (NASEMSO) today joins with the Public Safety Alliance in recognizing Senator Jay Rockefeller, IV (D – WV), Chairman of the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee, for his reintroduction of "The Public Safety Spectrum and Wireless Innovation Act of 2011" (S. 28) to build an effective, nationwide, interoperable broadband communications system for public safety. NASEMSO urges all Members of the United States Congress to support public safety and the public’s safety by co-sponsoring this legislation and a companion bill expected to be reintroduced in the House by Representative Peter King (R- NY). Download news release. NASEMSO President Randy Kuykendall said, "The allocation of the D-Block spectrum and funding to public safety is critical to building a nationwide wireless broadband network that provides the capacity needed to transmit mission critical real-time high-resolution video, voice and data. Unless Congress passes legislation this year to allocate the D-Block spectrum to public safety and provide funding to build out the system, we fear that the FCC will simply auction the spectrum to the highest bidder."
NASEMSO President Randy Kuykendall met Jan. 18, 2011,
with NHTSA Deputy Administrator Ronald Medford, along with
NAEMT President Conni Meyer and AEMS President Kurt Krumperman.
The meeting addressed the Field EMS Bill, along with EMS funding,
primary federal agency and other topics.
Field EMS Quality, Innovation, and Cost-Effectiveness Improvement Act of 2010 (H.R. 6528) Introduced (01/06/11) On Dec. 16, 2010, Reps. Tim Walz (D-MN) and Sue Myrick (R-NC) introduced the Field EMS Quality, Innovation, and Cost-Effectiveness Improvement Act of 2010 (H.R. 6528). This bill addresses many of the challenges plaguing field EMS to better fulfill public expectations that all who need emergency medical care in the field can depend upon the highest quality of care and transport to the most appropriate setting. To learn more about this important legislation, Advocates for EMS (NASEMSO is a member of this coalition) has supplied the following documents: a section-by-section summary, a white paper, and the bill's text.
CDC Seeks Comments on Infectious Disease Notification Procedures (12/28/10) The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) is seeking comments on notification procedures and list of diseases regarding exposure of emergency response employees. The Ryan White HIV/AIDS Treatment Extension Act of 2009 (Pub. L. 111–87) addresses notification procedures for designated officers, medical facilities, and state and community public health officers regarding exposure of emergency response employees (EREs) to potentially life-threatening infectious diseases. The Secretary of Health and Human Services (Secretary) has delegated authority to the Director of the CDC to issue a list of potentially life-threatening infectious diseases, including emerging infectious diseases, to which EREs may be exposed in responding to emergencies (including a specification of those infectious diseases that are routinely transmitted through airborne or aerosolized means); guidelines describing circumstances in which employees may be exposed to these diseases; and guidelines describing the manner in which medical facilities should make determinations about exposures. CDC is seeking comment on the list of diseases and guidelines contained in this notice. Comments must be received by Feb. 11, 2011.
• Download Federal Register Notice here.
Comments may be submitted:
• E-mail: NIOSH Docket Officer, email@example.com. Include ‘‘Infectious Diseases’’ and ‘‘42 U.S.C. 300ff–131’’ in the subject line of the message.
• Mail: NIOSH Docket Office, Robert A. Taft Laboratories, MS–C34, 4676 Columbia Parkway, Cincinnati, OH 45226.
• Internet: Federal e-rulemaking portal, www.regulations.gov
National Homeland Security Consortium Updates White Paper on Protecting Americans in 21st Century (12/28/10) The National Homeland Security Consortium (NHSC), of which NASEMSO is a member, has updated its white paper, "Protecting Americans in the 21st Century," a document that offers specific recommendations to enhance national homeland security efforts. The NHSC has identified six priority issues for near term policy and strategic action by the nation’s leaders:
• Wisely sustain homeland security investments and efforts while creating incentives for innovative and creative solutions;
• Allocate the 700 MHz D block radio spectrum to public safety in order to enhance communications through new technology;
• Address immigration reform by moving from debate and conversation to action;
• Develop a methodology to measure homeland security performance in ways that recognize the constantly evolving threat;
• Make cyber security a priority policy issue for government and the private sector; and
• Develop a more comprehensive and coordinated approach in the rebuilding of communities struck by major disasters.
white paper | fact sheet
DomesticPreparedness.com Survey: Medical Countermeasures for Large-Scale Biological Attacks (12/22/10) Topic: Is America prepared to recover from a biological attack? Robert Kadlec, Former Special Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Senior Director for Biological Defense Policy has prepared nine easy-to-answer multiple-choice questions. Your input will help DomPrep prepare a report that will be shared with stakeholders in the bio-defense and medical countermeasures areas. Take Survey Now!
FEMA Launches First-Ever Blog with Message from Administrator Craig Fugate (12/17/10) This week the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) launched its first-ever blog at http://blog.fema.gov with a message from FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate, in order to have an ongoing conversation with all stakeholders before, during and after a disaster. Readers are encouraged to join the conversation and leave a comment on the blog. Plans are to feature entries from FEMA team members from across the agency, from its regional offices to its field offices, supporting local disaster recovery efforts. FEMA plans to provide information before, during and after disaster strikes, and will highlight best practices, innovative ideas, and insights that are being used across emergency management and across the country.
NASEMSO Warns National EMS Community of 4G Coalition's Efforts to Rebrand Itself as "Public Safety" (12/13/10) The National Association of State Emergency Medical Services Officials (NASEMSO), following a news conference today by the 4G Coalition in Washington, warned EMS agencies and associations nationwide of this attempt by a group of wireless service companies to wrest away from public safety the 700 MHz "D Block" of wireless broadband spectrum. This same spectrum is sought by public safety to create a nationwide public safety broadband network. Renaming itself "Connect Public Safety Now", the 4G Coalition would have that spectrum sold to the highest bidders for commercial wireless use. The 4G Coalition is made up of Sprint-Nextel, T-Mobile, MetroPCS, and other wireless service providers who seek an opportunity to buy more 700 MHz broadband spectrum with which to compete for clients. NASEMSO press release
JEMS and Physio-Control, Inc. Seek Nominations for Top EMS Innovators in 2010 (12/11/10) The “EMS 10: Innovators in EMS” initiative has been created and sponsored by JEMS/Elsevier Public Safety and Physio-Control Inc. to recognize the 10 individuals who in 2010 have earned the respect of their colleagues and often taken great risks to advance the art and science of prehospital emergency care. Your nominations are requested to help recognize these innovators who have shown new ways of saving lives and delivering excellent patient care, conducted research that has positively impacted the way we approach prehospital care, and motivated others to do the same in 2010. Learn more at www.jems.com/EMS10, where you can review the guidelines and nominate individuals you feel are deserving of recognition as one of the top 10 innovators in EMS in 2010. The nomination deadline is Dec. 31, 2010.
SAFECOM Elects Kevin McGinnis as New Chairman (11/19/10) The SAFECOM Program on Nov. 15 elected Kevin McGinnis, of Hallowell, Maine, to serve as its Chairman. McGinnis will lead SAFECOM’s Executive Committee and Emergency Response Council to advise the U.S. Department of Homeland Security on emergency communications issues. The former EMS Director for the State of Maine, ambulance service chief, and a paramedic for the past 36 years, McGinnis has represented NASEMSO on SAFECOM for the past seven years and has served as vice-chair of SAFECOM for the past four years. Through collaboration with emergency responders and policymakers across all levels of government, the SAFECOM Program works to improve multijurisdictional and intergovernmental communications interoperability. The SAFECOM Executive Committee and Emergency Response Council are comprised of national public safety association members, State and local emergency responders, and representatives within Federal agencies. The SAFECOM Program is administered by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Emergency Communications. SAFECOM operates as a practitioner-driven program helping the nation’s emergency responders to develop the plans and resources they will use to serve their jurisdictions. Learn more.
DHS Seeks Ideas on How to Improve Timely Provision of Federal Support in Case of Biological Attack (10/29/10) The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is soliciting unconstrained, novel ideas for federal support to assist state and local efforts to provide medical countermeasures (MCM) to the entire affected population in the event of a biological (anthrax) attack. This is an element of the Executive Order establishing federal capability for the timely provision of medical countermeasures following a biological attack. The specific objective is to solicit ideas that (1) move MCM closer to the scene sooner, and (2) enhance the distribution/dispensing process to get MCM to people in need. Comments are needed by Monday, Nov. 1, 2010; download the comments template here.
NFPA Ambulance Proposed Draft Standard Released for Public Review (10/27/10) The proposed draft NPFA Standard 1917 for ambulances has just been released for public review. You can access the draft standard here. The NFPA has a structured process for consensus-based design as well as a history of developing standards that are/can be voluntarily adopted. The group had a limited scope on the draft, which does not include large innovations in ambulance design, but converts the current KKK standards to the NFPA format and lays the groundwork for the next set of revisions with some basic safety features that are built upon the existing KKK standards. The 31-member committee has EMS, fire, ambulance manufacturer, safety and government representatives. All comments to the proposal will be reviewed, and commented on, one-by-one, at a meeting in mid-February 2011. If your state has existing language in administrative rule or statute, they should engage and follow the process. At the end of the day, the KKK standards will not exist once the document becomes an NFPA standard. Download the NASEMSO PowerPoint presentation on this topic.
NASEMSO Adopts Landmark Resolutions Supporting Implementation of EMS Education Agenda for the Future (10/19/10) NASEMSO has adopted landmark resolutions supporting implementation of the EMS Education Agenda for the Future: A Systems Approach. Results from the 2009-2010 NASEMSO Annual Education Agenda Statewide Implementation Surveys were used to estimate a time frame when the majority of states projected readiness for implementation of the scope of practice levels described as part of the Education Agenda. “It is a great day in EMS history,” said NASEMSO President Randy Kuykendall. “A decade ago, EMS stakeholders described a visionary plan to enable a closer alignment with other allied health professions and we are finally on the threshold of making this dream a reality. NASEMSO remains committed to assisting states implement the Education Agenda, a plan that we believe will not only strengthen EMS as a profession but improve emergency are across the Nation.”
download news release
Resolution 2010-1, "Creation of CMS Ad Hoc EMS Committee"
Resolution 2010-2, "Designation of Trauma Facilities Owned or Operated by Other Trauma Center"
Resolution 2010-3, "Transition Plan for EMS Testing and Certification"
Resolution 2010-4, "National EMS Certification and Program Accreditation"
FEMA Deputy Administrator Rich Serino And DHS Assistant Secretary For Health Affairs Dr. Alexander Garza Address The National Association Of State EMS Officials About Preparedness, Importance Of Working As A Team (10/13/10) The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Deputy Administrator Rich Serino and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Assistant Secretary for Health Affairs and Chief Medical Officer Dr. Alexander Garza on Oct. 13 addressed the 2010 Annual Meeting of the National Association of State EMS Officials (NASEMSO). Deputy Administrator Serino spoke about the importance of public preparedness, planning for the entire community, and working together as a team to respond to and recover from emergencies. Assistant Secretary Garza discussed how the Office of Health Affairs interfaces with EMS officials as part of their efforts to protect the American people from threat of terrorism and disasters.
"FEMA is not the team, FEMA is only part of the team, and today provided me with a great opportunity to talk with a crucial member of our national emergency management team - state EMS officials," said Deputy Administrator Serino. "At FEMA, we know that only by engaging every member of our team, from the entire federal family, to state and local officials, to the faith based and non-profit communities and especially the public, can we successfully respond to and recover from disasters. Every day, these state EMS officials are doing great work to keep their communities safe, and today was a chance to not only address them about what FEMA is doing, but also to hear from them about ways we can better support their critical efforts."
Dr. Garza also emphasized how DHS regards homeland security as a shared responsibility with partners at the state and local level. "Resilient communities are a key element of homeland security," Dr. Garza said, addressing the gathering. "These important relationships with EMS officials are central to our efforts to build resilient communities, and we will continue to expand our coordination where possible."
Both Deputy Administrator Serino and Assistant Secretary Garza have extensive experience in emergency medical services. Serino has more than 35 years experience in local emergency services - starting as a volunteer on the Boston ambulance squad and retiring last fall as Chief of Department of Boston EMS and Assistant Director of the Boston Public Health Commission. Garza began his career as an EMT in 1986, and served as a paramedic in Kansas City, Mo., before attending medical school.
NASEMSO Presented White Paper at "Towards Zero Death: A National Strategy on Highway Safety" Stakeholder Meeting (08/19/10) NASEMSO was given the opportunity to contribute a white paper for the “Toward Zero Deaths: A National Strategy on Highway Safety” stakeholder meeting held in Washington, DC, on Aug. 25-26. Six state EMS officials were present for the meeting (ID, MT, WA, IA, OH, and MD). NASEMSO White Paper
NASEMSO Provides Comments on Draft Recommendations for Transporting Children in Ambulances (08/12/10) NASEMSO members provided comments to the U.S. Department of Transportation on its “Draft Recommendations for Safely Transporting Children in Specific Situations in Emergency Ground Ambulances." Download NASEMSO comments here. Overall, the document represents available science and best practice recommendations from an interdisciplinary team of experienced professionals. NASEMSO deeply appreciates the tremendous effort by NHTSA’s working group and believe the recommendations will move the industry towards greater scientific testing and the development of additional devices that will be cost-effective and safe for those who are faced with transporting children in ambulances.
EMSC and NRC Transition State Partnership Technical Assistance Responsibilities
(07/28/10) In light of recent staff additions at Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), the EMSC Program will be transitioning most of the State Partnership Technical Assistance work, originally housed at the National Resource Center (NRC), to HRSA. Beginning July 28, states should begin contacting their HRSA Technical Assistance Representative for questions or technical assistance related to the State Partnership Grant Program and performance measures. The transition process will continue through the end of August. During this time, should you happen to contact the NRC for routine work that was transitioned to HRSA, the NRC will recommend you contact your HRSA representative. The NRC will begin work on new projects that the EMSC Program is prioritizing in lieu of the state partnership work. For more information and to find out who your HRSA representative will be, please contact either Ian Weston at firstname.lastname@example.org, Jocelyn Hulbert at email@example.com, or Theresa Morison-Quinata at firstname.lastname@example.org.
NHTSA to Host Public Meeting on Pediatric Restraints in Ground Ambulances on August 5, 2010 (07/22/10) The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has published an announcement in the Federal Register regarding an upcoming public meeting to review a proposed document—“Recommendations for the Safe Transportation of Children in Ground Ambulances.” According to NHTSA, “The absence of consistent national standards and protocols regarding the transportation of children in ground ambulances complicates the work of EMS professionals and may result in the improper and unsafe restraint of highly vulnerable child passengers.” It is estimated that each year up to 1,000 ambulance crashes involve patients who are children. Input to the draft has been provided by several national EMS organizations, including NASEMSO. The meeting will be held August 5, 2010 in Washington DC. Instructions for registering for a live broadcast of the event are also included in the FR notice.
Federal Register Notice, Docket No. NHTSA–2010–0089
Recommendations for the Safe Transportation of Children in Ground Ambulances
Three NASEMSO Members Appointed to National EMS Advisory Council (07/16/10) U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood on July 16 announced the appointment of 23 leaders in the EMS field to serve on the National Emergency Medical Services Advisory Council. The council, first chartered by the U.S. Dept. of Transportation in 2007, provides expert EMS advice to the department and its federal partners. It makes recommendations on key issues in the EMS field, including recruitment and retention of EMS personnel, quality assurance, federal grants for emergency services, and preparation for multi-casualty incidents. The appointments included three NASEMSO members: (press release)
- Dia Gainor, Idaho State EMS Director, Past President of NASEMSO, and Chair of NASEMSO's Highway Incident & Transportation Systems (HITS) Committee.
- Ritu Sahni, M.D., Oregon State EMS Medical Director, and faculty of Oregon Health & Science University.
- Gary L. Wingrove, Government Relations & Strategic Affairs, Mayo Medical Transportation, past EMS Director for State of Minnesota, and Affiliate Member of NASEMSO.
Office of Assistant Secretary for Preparedness & Response, U.S. Dept. of Health & Human Services, Announces Reorganization (07/05/10) The Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, U.S. Dept. of Health & Human Services has announced that the official ASPR organizational structure was approved by the Office of the Secretary. It was published in the Federal Register on June 21, 2010, and will be listed for the next 30 days. ASPR is officially operating under the approved organizational structure effective immediately. The Office of Workforce Development (OWD) will be working with program offices to initiate personnel actions that have been held pending approval of the new organizational structure and will coordinate appropriately with the Department's Office of Human Resources.
Louisiana Announces EMS Reciprocity Process Related to the Gulf Oil Spill Cleanup
(06/07/10) An Executive Order (EO) [BJ 2010 –9] has been issued by Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal that describes the process of reciprocity for temporary EMS workers to assist in medical aid efforts related to the Gulf Oil Spill cleanup. Individuals who are “duly licensed and in good standing in another state” may apply for temporary reciprocity.
The EO outlines the steps that will enable EMS workers to respond to mutual aid requests, EMAC deployments, and/or employment offers from British Petroleum for direct assistance.
This information is NOT a call for volunteers. Individuals should NOT respond to Louisiana to provide EMS care nor should they contact the Louisiana Dept of Health or EMS Office to request information about volunteering with the oil spill cleanup. The required application form for EMS reciprocity in Louisiana is available online.
National EMS Awards of Excellence
(06/07/10) The National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians (NAEMT) and EMS Magazine have established the National EMS Awards of Excellence program to recognize outstanding achievement in the EMS profession. Other organizations participating include Advocates for EMS (AEMS), the National Association of EMS Educators (NAEMSE), and the National EMS Management Association (NEMSMA).
The following awards will be granted as part of this new program: EMS Magazine Paid EMS Service of the Year; EMS Magazine Volunteer EMS Service of the Year; NEMSMA EMS Executive of the Year; NAEMT EMT of the Year; NAEMT Paramedic of the Year; NAEMSE EMS Educator of the Year; and AEMS EMS Legislator of the Year. Details on award entries here.
Award recipients will receive a monetary gift and free registration and travel to EMS EXPO 2010, September 29-October 1 in Dallas, TX, and will be recognized by all of the participating organizations. More info on the EMS EXPO here.
NASEMSO, ACEP and NAEMSP Joint Statement on Role of State EMS Director Published in PreHospital Emergency Care Journal (06/01/10) "The Role of State Medical Direction in the Comprehensive Emergency Medical Services System: A Resource Document," by Carol A. Cunningham MD , Keith Wesley MD, Timothy D. Peterson, MD, MPH, Richard Alcorta, MD, Douglas F. Kupas, MD, Joe A. Nelson, DO, Peter Taillac, MD, and Jim Upchurch, MD, has been published in the July-September 2010 issue of PreHospital Emergency Care. This resource document provides a snapshot of the status of state EMS medical direction in our nation in 2007 and a projection of the achievable benchmarks for the role of the state EMS medical director in the future. As an informational resource, this tool will assist state EMS officials, legislators, laypersons, and partners within the emergency care system to comprehend, create or improve, and support the state EMS medical director position within their jurisdictions. The position statement, "Role of the State EMS Medical Director," that appears in this issue is based on this resource document. Article available here.
SCAA Publishes "Saving Lives in Schools and Sports," With Support From NASEMSO and NAEMT (04/16/10) The Sudden Cardiac Arrest Association (SCAA) has published an educational supplement, "Saving Lives in Schools and Sports," in conjunction with NASEMSO and NAEMT (National Association of EMTs). The supplement provides examples of the successes achievable with proper preparation and deployment of AEDs, but also the unfortunate tragedies in their absence. Easy-to-understand descriptions of how an AED works and the fundamental principals of an effective public access defibrillation (PAD) program are also addressed. Establishing Emergency Action Plans (EAPs) in schools (and school athletic programs) that include response planning, training in CPR, and deployment of AEDs and providing CPR and AED training to all students will greatly reduce the risk that we and our children will face from sudden cardiac arrest. Download this report.
NASEMSO Responds to Louisiana House Bill 1030 (03/30/10) In a recent letter to Louisiana State Representative Karen St. Germain, NASEMSO expressed its concern about House Bill 1030, intending to exempt certain employees of the state of Louisiana or another public entity, a municipal fire department, a fire protection district, or a volunteer fire department from the authority of the Louisiana Emergency Medical Services Certification Commission to conduct disciplinary hearings, request investigations, and initiate prosecution. According to USA Today, “Chad Major of the Professional Fire Fighters Association of Louisiana claims responsibility for the measure. ‘I control the bill,’ he says, adding that the union wrote it ‘sternly’ to bring the commission and the state Department of Health and Hospitals to the bargaining table. The union's goal isn't to deprive commissioners of medical oversight, he says, it's to limit their power over certification fees and late penalties.” Several national EMS organizations indicate they are weighing in on the proposed legislation as it relates to patient safety and medical oversight.
- NASEMSO Letter to Karen St. Germain, La. House of Representatives regarding La. House Bill 2010 (03/26/10)
- La. House Bill 2010
WARNING to EMS First Responders: Self-Inflicted Hydrogen Sulfide Suicides on the Rise
(03/23/10) Several apparent suicide deaths related to mixing common household chemicals have been reported by local media in the past year. This alarming news follows on the heels of 517 suicide deaths reported in Japan throughout 2008 attributed to inhaling hydrogen sulfide gas created by mixing household detergents. In 2009, one incident in San Jose, CA resulted in a hazardous materials lockdown of the hospital, diversion of incoming ambulances, and decontamination of nearly 100 persons that included rescuers. Ad hoc internet sites are felt to be responsible for disseminating harmful information related to mixing chemical products for this purpose. While there is no cause for widespread panic, symptoms can mimic carbon monoxide poisoning and EMS responders are encouraged to approach any closed, suspicious vehicle with extreme caution. An excellent and valuable training session for EMS responders is available here. NASEMSO sincerely thanks the Sarasota County Fire Dept for access to this link.
The following information is also available:
ATSDR (CDC): Medical Management Guidelines for Hydrogen Sulfide
eMedicine: Toxicity, Hydrogen Sulfide
WISER: Hydrogen Sulfide
NIOSH: Hydrogen Sulfide
ERG: Guide 117 Hydrogen Sulfide
FCC Launches New Web Page on Broadband and Public Safety and Homeland Security
(03/18/10) The FCC's Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau today launched a new web page, "Broadband and Public Safety and Homeland Security," to better ensure that the public safety community, the general public, government agencies and communications providers have access to the latest news and information on the FCC's efforts to implement the National Broadband Plan for public safety. The implementation of the plan will include initiatives to bring interoperable communications to America's first responders through the creation of a nationwide wireless broadband network and new cyber security reporting and monitoring programs; as well as Next Generation 9-1-1 services; emergency alerts and warnings through a variety of outlets (including via television and radio broadcasts (Emergency Alert System), wireless hand-held devices, such as cell phones and the Internet) and much more. The web page includes access to the latest press releases, public notices, field hearings, and presentations. learn more
Dia Gainor Receives James O. Page Award from JEMS (03/09/10) Dia Gainor, Idaho State EMS Director, and Chair of NASEMSO's Highway Incident & Transportation Systems (HITS) Committee, recently received the James O. Page Award from the Journal of Emergency Medical Services (JEMS) for "exhibiting the drive and tenacious effort necessary to develop improved EMS systems, resolve important EMS issues, and bring about positive EMS system changes throughout her career." Congratulations, Dia!
Link to Elsevier announcement
Dia Gainor is presented with the James O. Page
Award by JEMS Editor-in-Chief A.J. Heightman
at the EMS Today 2010 Conference
& Exposition in Baltimore, Md.
NASEMSO Supports Passage of H.R. 2024, "Commercial Motor Vehicle Advanced Safety Technology Tax Act of 2009" (02/15/10) NASEMSO joins the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) in support of H.R. 2024, "Commercial Motor Vehicle Advanced Safety Technology Tax Act of 2009," which would provide tax incentives for installation of available technology to prevent or mitigate what a 2006 NHTSA/Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration study found were the leading causes of crashes involving large trucks. The device types that would qualify the trucking firms for tax breaks align with the study findings and prevent crashes related to brake failures, lane departure, rollovers, and colliding with cars in front of them. NASEMSO’s interest is in safer trucks, fewer crashes, and more widespread market availability and affordability of such devices so that they become mainstream considerations for ambulances and heavy emergency response vehicles.
AHRQ Releases 2007 Hospital Emergency Department Data (02/24/10) The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) has released its 2007 Nationwide Emergency Department Sample (NEDS), the largest, all-payer emergency care database in the United States. NEDS can help public health experts, policymakers, health care administrators, researchers and others find the data they need to answer questions about the cost of emergency care, medical treatment effectiveness, and the quality of, access to, and use of emergency department, and other issues. The database contains more than 26 million records of emergency department visits at roughly 1,000 U.S. community hospitals — approximately a 20-percent stratified sample — and captures information both on visits that do not result in admission and those that do. NEDS is part of the AHRQ's Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP), a Federal-State-industry partnership for building a standardized, multi-state health data system. learn more
FEMA Releases Draft National Disaster Recovery Framework (02/05/10) The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), in coordination with the interagency Long Term Disaster Recovery Working Group, on Feb. 5 issued a draft of the National Disaster Recovery Framework. NASEMSO members are strongly encouraged to review this important draft document and e-mail comments to NASEMSO Program Advisor Leslee Stein-Spencer no later than Feb. 20, 2010.
- FEMA Advisory on Draft National Disaster Recovery Framework
- Draft National Disaster Recovery Framework
HHS Activates Additional Components of National Disaster Medical System to Help U.S. Hospitals Treat Survivors of Earthquake in Haiti (02/01/10) As part of the ongoing medical response to the Haiti earthquake, USAID, the agency coordinating the US Government response, announced on Feb. 1 that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has activated additional components of the National Disaster Medical System (NDMS) to help U.S. hospitals provide care to critically ill survivors. This activation will allow U.S. hospitals that treat Haitian patients evacuated with life-threatening injuries due to the earthquake, to receive federal reimbursement for the costs they incur. The first NDMS flight could leave Haiti as early as tomorrow. learn more
Call for Nominations for the E9-1-1 Institute 7th Annual Honor Awards (01/20/10) The E9-1-1 Institute is sponsoring its 7th Annual 9-1-1 Honors Awards Ceremony, where heroes and leaders in the 9-1-1 field will be honored jointly by the Institute and the Congressional E9-1-1 Caucus on Mar. 16, 2010. The Institute has published a call for nominations for 2009 heroes and leaders that the E9-1-1 Institute and the National Emergency Number Association (NENA) should be honoring in March. Heroism and leadership activities throughout the year of 2009 will be considered for the awards. The E9-1-1 Institute is now accepting nominations for eight award categories. For a description of the award categories and to submit your nomination online, visit the E9-1-1 Institute Web site. All nominations must be received by Feb. 1, 2010.
CMS and ONC Issue Regulations Proposing a Definition of 'Meaningful Use' and Setting Standards for Electronic Health Record Incentive Program (12/30/09) The Centers for Medicare & Medicare Services (CMS) and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) encourage public comment on two regulations issued today that lay a foundation for improving quality, efficiency and safety through meaningful use of certified electronic health record (EHR) technology. The regulations will help implement the EHR incentive programs enacted under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Recovery Act).
A proposed rule issued by CMS outlines proposed provisions governing the EHR incentive programs, including defining the central concept of “meaningful use” of EHR technology. An interim final regulation (IFR) issued by ONC sets initial standards, implementation specifications, and certification criteria for EHR technology. Both regulations are open to public comment.
Health Reform Update for EMS (12/24/09) Majority Leader Reid (D-NV) on Dec. 21 released the Manager's Amendment to the base Senate health reform bill. The Manager's Amendment prevents a funding gap from occurring between Jan. 1, 20110 and March 2010. During this time, the urban ground base rate increase of 2% and the rural ground increase of 3% would have expired until they were set to be reinstated in April 2010. (The air-specific rural definition was impacted by the same funding gap.) The Manager's Amendment prevents the lapse in payments from occurring. In addition, the Super Rural 22.6% ground bonus payments that were set to expire on Dec. 31, 2009, were continued through calendar year 2010. (See provisions starting on page 162 of the legislative text.) In general, the 383-page amendment includes a number of changes, including provisions specifically added to obtain Sen. Nelson (D-NE) and other on-the-fence Democratic Members' votes. (See the summary of all the changes here.) According to the Congressional Budget Office, the bill will cost $871 billion over 10 years, reduce the deficit by $132 billion over the same period and cover more than 31 million people. The Democrats now have the 60 votes to pass the bill - barring any procedural roadblocks - before Christmas. Reid is about to file cloture, setting up the first of 3 key votes for early Monday morning. Final passage could come on Wednesday or Thursday. The final Senate bill will likely then be reconciled with the House bill in a Conference Committee set to begin at the end of the year or in early January.
FICEMS Releases Report on State EMS System Pandemic Influenza Preparedness (12/10/09) State EMS System Pandemic Influenza Preparedness has been published by the Federal Interagency Committee on Emergency Medical Services (FICEMS). The FICEMS prepared this report to improve coordination among its member agencies on EMS system pandemic influenza preparedness. The report provides further detailed analysis of EMS and 9-1-1 pandemic influenza preparedness gaps. This analysis serves as the basis for five recommended strategies and associated action steps to be taken by FICEMS member agencies in improving EMS system preparedness nationally.
Drew Dawson Receives NHTSA Administrator’s Employee of the Year Award (12/09/09)
Office of EMS Director Drew Dawson has been awarded the NHTSA Administrator’s Employee of the Year Award. Acting Deputy Administrator Ron Medford presented the award during a December 3rd ceremony held in the expansive West Atrium of DOT headquarters. In accepting the award, Mr. Dawson was cheered on by a packed crowd of NHTSA employees, including the entire staff of the Office of EMS and key State and Federal EMS leaders.
However, the Awards Program more specifically outlines what earned Mr. Dawson this year’s honor: “His expertise, thoughtfulness, strategic thinking, work ethic, and demeanor have given NHTSA a model EMS office that plays an outsize role in developing, coordinating, and implementing national EMS policies.”
Drew Dawson brought an “outsize” work ethic to NHTSA in 2003 that’s arguably as large as his home State of Montana, where he served for more than 20 years as its EMS Director. In fact, according to staff, he is rarely found without his Blackberry in hand and at times they have had to insist he take vacation time. And while that staff is small in number, their efforts and accomplishments under Mr. Dawson’s leadership have been anything but. This year alone, two additional members of the EMS Staff, Laurie Flaherty and Hector Williams, won Administrator Awards of their own. Working as part of a larger agency team, Ms. Flaherty and Mr. Williams were honored for “diligence, perseverance, and creativity in rapidly developing administrative rules and implementing a new multi-million dollar E9-1-1 grant program.”
Their winning yet collaborative effort brings to mind the word “coordinating.” Anyone who knows Mr. Dawson knows of his commitment to keep NHTSA true to its roots as the “coordinating” agency on EMS system issues within the Federal government. In a 2006 interview with EMS Magazine, Mr. Dawson had the following to say about his approach to working with other Federal agencies on EMS issues and policies: “We are not in competition with each other, but rather we work together in a coordinated mannertapping each other's talent, expertise and resources; cooperating with each other rather than building silos around our respective programs.”
FICEMS and NEMSAC
Indeed, under Mr. Dawson’s watch the Federal Interagency Committee on EMS (FICEMS) and the National EMS Advisory Council (NEMSAC) have launched and are currently formalizing the NHTSA tradition of bringing people in and outside of government together to cooperate on solutions to the EMS challenges of today, while planning for those of tomorrow.
Congratulations to Mr. Dawson, his EMS Office, and all the NHTSA Administrator Award winners. Photos from the NHTSA Administrator Awards event featuring Mr. Dawson, his team, and State & Federal EMS guests.
NASEMSO Members Asked to Comment on DHS Draft of Proposed Guidance for Protecting Responders' Health Following a Wide-Area Anthrax Attack (11/18/09) The Dept. of Homeland Security (DHS) has posted its “Proposed Guidance for Protecting Responders' Health Following a Wide-Area Anthrax Attack” to the Federal Register. The draft guidance document can be downloaded here. This document provides policy recommendations for protection of personnel responding to a wide-area anthrax attack from exposure to Bacillis anthracis spores. A Federal interagency working group, consisting of subject matter experts in biodefense, infectious diseases, and occupational health and safety, has developed this draft consensus guidance regarding appropriate protective measures for responders in the immediate post-attack environment of an aerosolized anthrax attack. This proposed guidance statement reflects the most current understanding of the unique environment that will exist after a wide-area anthrax release. These recommendations will evolve with stakeholder input, scientific developments, and availability of new environmental monitoring techniques.
NASEMSO member feedback on the draft document, to assist DHS in finalizing this guidance informed by user experiences and operational feasibility. While overall comments are valued, critical feedback in the areas of defining tiers as a strategy for determining risk of exposure, the use of an activity based approach rather than occupational specialties, and feedback on options for ensuring appropriate medical countermeasures are immediately available to the responder community is sought. Please email your comments to Leslee Stein-Spencer no later than Nov. 24, 2009, in order for your comments to be included in NASEMOS's response.
NASEMSO Mourns the Loss of David Taylor, Arkansas State EMS Director (11/09/09) On Nov. 5, 2009, the EMS community lost a visionary leader and great friend with the unexpected death of Arkansas State EMS Director, David Taylor. NASEMSO invites all state EMS officials and partner groups to share their memories of David, share photos, and express their sympathies to his family and friends at the NASEMSO memorial site in honor of David.
David started his career in emergency services as an EMT in 1989. He became a paramedic in 1991 and joined the Arkansas Department of Health on June 1, 1999 as an EMS Specialist. He served as Certification Administrator, Interim Director, and he became Director of Emergency Medical Services in April 2003.
David was a member of the Paramedic Society, Instructor Society, Arkansas EMT Association and he served as a National Registry Paramedic/Instructor. At the time of his death, he was the Southeast Regional Director, Treasurer, and Program Committee Chair for the National Association of State EMS Officials.
President Steve Blessing issued this statement on behalf of NASEMSO, “David Taylor was a dedicated family man, a committed public servant, and a good friend and colleague. We were blessed by his friendship, grateful for his commitment, indebted to his experience, and honored by his presence. Our thoughts and prayers are with his beloved wife and children and all our colleagues in the Arkansas Office of EMS and Trauma. We will deeply miss him.”
NHTSA Calls for Nominations for Appointment to the National Emergency Medical Services Advisory Council (10/20/09) The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is soliciting applications for appointment or reappointment to the Dept. of Transportation's National Emergency Medical Services Advisory Council (NEMSAC). The purpose of NEMSAC is to serve as a nationally recognized council of emergency medical services (EMS) representatives and consumers to provide advice and recommendations regarding EMS to DOT and its modal administration, NHTSA, and through NHTSA to the Federal Interagency Committee on EMS (FICEMS). Applications for membership (including resume or curriculum vitae (CV), letters of recommendation, and a statement identifying the EMS sector or discipline that the applicant seeks to represent) should reach NHTSA via email to email@example.com no later than 5:00 p.m. Eastern time, Friday, Dec, 1, 2009. Download Federal Register notice.
Ryan White Act Passes House with New Additions that Affect EMS (09/23/09)The Ryan White HIV/AIDS Treatment and Extension Act of 2009 passed the U.S. House Oct. 21 by a vote of 408 to 9. The U.S. Senate passed the bill earlier this week, so the bill now goes to President Obama for his signature.
There are several new additions to the Ryan White Act that affect emergency care – and specifically emergency responders. Please note the list established under Section 2695; it essentially determines what infectious diseases should be considered "potentially life-threatening." The list also is used to determine whether or not emergency responders must be notified of an exposure.
NASEMSO Requests Public Comments on Timeline for EMS Education Agenda (09/23/09) NASEMSO has collaborated with EMS stakeholders to identify the broad steps needed to implement the EMS Education Agenda from a national perspective. Because implementation will require a multifaceted, multidisciplinary approach by a variety of EMS stakeholders, a timeline document has been created to illustrate the complexities of implementing the Education Agenda. It represents several milestones for implementation and identifies EMS stakeholders that have expressed an interest in participating in a range of implementation activities with a time-oriented goal for achieving them. The chart does not represent an exclusive list and additional objectives will be added as they are identified. Individual states retain the authority to determine their level of participation.
NASEMSO is seeking your input regarding the Timeline DRAFT Document.
Please respond by taking the Online Survey no later than Oct. 9, 2009.
CDC to Release "Access to Trauma Centers in the United States" Mapping Tool and Fact Sheet
(09/20/09) The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) on Sept. 21 released its "Access to Trauma Centers in the United States" mapping tool and fact sheet on its Web site at www.cdc.gov/TraumaCare. The new mapping tool, created in partnership with the American Trauma Society and the University of Pennsylvania, shows the location of all hospitals and trauma centers (Levels I-IV) across the country. Individuals can click on the map and find the distance to and locations of trauma centers and hospitals closest to them. The mapping tool also can be saved and placed on any Web page. A press conference about the new mapping tool took place during the NASEMSO 2009 Annual meeting, Sept. 21, 2009, in Little Rock, Arkansas. The media event was sponsored jointly by NASEMSO, CDC, and the Arkansas Department of Health.
GSA to Allow Local, State, Territorial and Tribal Governments Access to Federal Supply Schedules in Response to Public Health Emergencies (09/10/09) The U.G. General Services Administration has issued notice that effective Aug. 17, 2009, state, local, territorial, and tribal governments may access Federal Supply Schedules as authorized users for goods and services when expending federal grant funds in response to Public Health Emergencies (PHE) declared by the Secretary of Health and Human Services under section 319 of the Public Health Services Act, codified at 42 U.S.C. § 247d.
- Details on GSA Web site
- Notice from GSA of new policy
- Eligibility to Use GSA Sources of Supply and Services
CMS Announces EMTALA Requirements and Options for Hospitals During a Pandemic (09/05/09) In anticipation of a possible significant increase in demand for emergency services due to H1N1 influenza resurgence this fall several federal agencies, state health departments, and hospitals have expressed significant concerns about compliance with EMTALA requirements during an outbreak. Many stakeholders perceive that EMTALA imposes significant restrictions on hospitals’ ability to provide adequate care when EDs experience extraordinary surges in demand. A new fact sheet available from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services clarifies options that are permissible under EMTALA and should reassure the provider community and public health officials that there is existing flexibility under EMTALA. Among other things, the fact sheet notes that an EMTALA-mandated medical screening examination (MSE) does not need to be an extensive work-up in every case, and that the MSE may take place outside the ED, at other sites on the hospital’s campus.
Download the fact sheet, which also summarizes the provisions governing EMTALA waivers.
Key Points for EMS Regarding the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (09/14/09)
NTSB to Hold Public Meeting on EMS Helicopter Safety Recommendations (08/27/09) The National Transportation Safety Board will hold a public board meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 1, 2009, at 9:30 a.m., in its Board Room and Conference Center, 429 L'Enfant Plaza, SW, Washington, DC. The agenda includes the NTSB proposal on 19 recommendations regarding Helicopter Emergency Medical Services (HEMS). These recommendations address various safety issues, including pilot training; safety management systems to minimize risk; collection and analysis of flight, weather, and safety data; flight data monitoring; development of a low altitude airspace infrastructure; and the use of dual pilots, autopilots, and night vision imaging systems (NVIS). A live and archived webcast of the proceedings will be available on the Board's website. Support details are available under "Board Meetings." To report any problems, please call 703-993-3100 and ask for Webcast Technical Support.
Washington Post Series preceding NTSB announcement
News articles on NTSB recommendations:
Washington Post | CBS News | AP | UPI
Wall Street Journal | AVWeb
FICEMS Adopts Position on National Health Security Strategy (07/17/09) The Federal Interagency Committee on Emergency Medical Services (FICEMS) at its June meeting adopted a position on the National Health Security Strategy (NHSS). In a letter to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sibelius, the position was stated as follows: "It is the intent of FICEMS that EMS systems be fully integrated and coordinated with public health systems to address challenges to national publc health security. Federal funds may be used to support EMS activities and target capabilities, such as the Emergency Care Enterprise, which implement the priorities of the NHSS." read FICEMS letter to Secretary Sibelius
Administration Notifies Congress of Intent to Spend $1.825 Billion out of $5.8 Billion Contingency for H1N1 (07/17/09) In a letter to Congress about the Adminsitration's intent to spend $1,825 billion of the $5.8 billion contingency funds approved for H1N1, President Barack Obama stated, "To enhance our nation's capability to respond to the potential spread of this outbreak, and in accordance with the appropriation, I hereby designate $1.825 billion of the contingent appropriation as emergency funds required to address critical needs related to emerging influenza viruses (specifically, the virus known as 2009-H1N1). These funds will support additional procurement of adjuvant for dose-sparing of vaccine antigen; immunization campaign planning; regulatory activities for H1N1 at the Food and Drug Administration; and funding for the administration of an injury compensation program." An ASHTO announcement noted that "$335 million of the additional funds will be for state, local and CDC planning for a national vaccination program. The $335 million is on top of the $350 million already appropriated." read White House letter
Implementation of the EMS Education Agenda: 2009 National EMS Education Standards Gap Analysis Template Now Available (07/17/09) NASEMSO announces the availability of a new document intended to support national implementation of the EMS Education Agenda for the Future: A Systems Approach (Education Agenda). Developed to support State implementation activities, the 2009 National EMS Education Standards Gap Analysis Template describes key transition elements and provides greater understanding about the differences between the National Standard Curricula and the recently published EMS Education Standards. The 2009 National EMS Education Standards Gap Analysis Template is intended for use by States, educators and others as they begin to define the specifics of what will be different at the state and local level between current EMS education delivery and future EMS education delivery. press release with details
HHS Releases Guidance on Public Health Emergency Response Funding (07/16/09) The Dept. of Health & Human Services has released grant guidance for $350 million in grants to help states and territories prepare for the 2009 novel H1N1 flu virus and the fall flu season. Public Health Emergency Response grants help state public health departments perform a variety of functions, including preparing for potential vaccination campaigns, implementing strategies to reduce people’s exposure to the 2009 novel H1N1 flu and improving influenza surveillance and investigations. grant guidance | fast facts
NENA, NASNA and 9-1-1 Industry Alliance Issue Joint Policy Statement Opposing State Raiding of 9-1-1 Funds (07/07/09) The National Emergency Number Association (NENA), National Association of State 9-1-1 Administrators (NASNA) and 9-1-1 Industry Alliance (9IA) have issued a join policy statement opposing state raiding of 9-1-1 funds. According to the statement, misuse of 9-1-1 funds not only puts one of the nation’s most critical systems at risk; it also breaks the trust established with the public. NENA, NASNA, and 9IA are strongly urging state and local governments to refrain from diverting 9-1-1 funding for unintended and unauthorized purposes. Read full policy statement.
Wording for Broselow Tape Error (06/30/09) Please be advised that there is a "typo" error on the Broselow Tape 2007 Edition A on the non-color coded side only. The error states that the glucagon dosage for children 3-4-5 kg thru white zones should be 0.5mg/kg/dose; for children that fall within the blue through green zones, the error states that the dosage should be 1 mg/kg/dose with maximum dose of 1 mg. The kg/dose should be blacked out for both of these glucagon dosages. The dosages for glucagon should read: Glucagon 0.5 mg (3-4-5 kg thru white zones) and 1 mg (blue thru green zones) (max. dose 1 mg). Please read this newsletter article from the Institute for Safe Medication Practices, posted with their permission.
NASEMSO To Review Draft IEMTG Standards for Delivery of Medical Services on Incidents Managed by NWCG Member Agencies (06/09/09) Draft recommended standards have been developed by the Incident Emergency Medical Task Group (IEMTG) for the delivery of medical services on incidents managed by National Wildfire Coordinating Group (NWCG) member agencies. Download draft standards here. These incidents are most commonly wildland fires of sufficient size and manpower deployment to warrant one or more "medical units" to be established. These medical units are manned by EMS personnel who are often from multiple states of origin. These draft standards are being presented to the state EMS officials through NASEMSO, and active review by state EMS directors, state EMS training coordinators, state EMS licensing managers, and state EMS medical directors is critical. The overall IEMTG plan for standardization and legal recognition can be viewed here. NASEMSO members are asked to submit your comments on the draft standards via e-mail to Tawni Newton either individually or as a state no later than July 15, 2009. After review of comments and revision, the document will formally be presented at the NASEMSO 2009 Annual Meeting.
NEMSAC Statement Lists Principles That Must Be Included in Any Health Care Reform Discussion (06/09/09) The National EMS Advisory Council (NEMSAC) issued a position statement that lists the guiding principles that it states must be included in any health care reform discussion. The statement affirms the NEMSAC position that "an accountable and sustained community level emergency medical care system is essential and must be assured in debate and implementation of health care reform. EMS is the practice of medicine at the community level and a window to a community’s health status, including social care and stability. The emergency care system is a twenty four hours per day, seven days per week front door to the health care system and faces unique challenges in the urban, rural and frontier areas of our country. NEMSAC believes that these key guiding principles must be included in the health care reform discussion."
Ryan White Notification Language Passed by Senate Committee (06/7/09) On May 20, the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee passed S. 599, the Federal Firefighter Fairness Act of 2009. The bill establishes a presumptive disability for heart and lung disease and cancer for federal firefighters. The bill included an amendment by Senator Tom Coburn that would reinstate the personnel notification provisions of the Ryan White Comprehensive AIDS Resources Emergency Act of 1990 (P.L. 101-381); these provisions were removed in the 2006 reauthorization. NASEMSO, NAEMT, and Advocates for EMS in partnership with our colleagues in the fire service worked to get this language inserted and is pleased the original language was added to the overall bill. Senator Coburn hails from the home state (Oklahoma) of NASEMSO President-elect, Shawn Rogers.
Part E, Subpart II of the law, "Notification of Possible Exposure to Infectious Diseases, Section 2681-2690," requires emergency-response employers (i.e., fire departments, police departments, EMS) to have a designated officer for infection or exposure control to respond to requests from employees regarding exposures to communicable diseases and to obtain the disease status of the source patients in those exposures from the medical facility providing treatment to that patient.
Respiratory Hygiene/Cough Etiquette in Healthcare Settings (04/27/09) To prevent the transmission of all respiratory infections in healthcare settings, including influenza, the following infection control measures should be implemented at the first point of contact with a potentially infected person. They should be incorporated into infection control practices as one component of standard precautions. details here
U.S. District Court Dismisses Eagle Air Lawsuit Against Colorado Dept. of Public Health & Environment (03/13/09) The U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado on Mar. 12 dismissed Eagle Air Med Corporation's (Eagle Air) lawsuit against officials with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) on grounds that Eagle Air's claims were moot.
Eagle Air filed the lawsuit in March 2008 when CDPHE began a licensing investigation after learning that Eagle Air had received notification that the Commission on Accreditation of Medical Transport Services (CAMTS) intended to withdraw Eagle Air's CAMTS accreditation, which is required for Colorado licensure. Eagle Air sought a declaratory judgment from the Court that the Colorado law and rules that govern the licensure of air ambulances have been preempted by the Federal Aviation Act and the Airline Deregulation Act.
During briefing on the case, Eagle Air and CAMTS entered into an consent agreement that allowed Eagle Air to retain its CAMTS accreditation. As a result of this agreement, the CDPHE closed its investigation of Eagle Air with no adverse action taken. The CDPHE subsequently filed a motion asking the court to dismiss the lawsuit for lack of subject matter jurisdiction, arguing that since the CDPHE closed its investigation, there was no pending threat to Eagle Air's license. The Court agreed and dismissed the case.
Although this decision does bring the case to a close for now, it is unknown whether an appeal will be filed or other action will take place. This decision does, for the time being, leave intact the existing requirements in Colorado statute and rules regarding the licensing of air ambulance services. Understanding that the safeguarding of the public's health, safety and welfare is our prime concern, we are quite pleased that this process has resulted in Colorado's authority to maintain quality standards for air ambulance licensing.
If there are any questions regarding this issue, please contact Ms. Michelle Reese, J.D., our Deputy EMTS Section Chief at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Trust for America's Health and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Release Report: "Shortchanging America's Health" (03/11/09) Trust for America’s Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation today released a new report that found midwestern and southern states received less funding from the federal government than northeastern and western states did in fiscal year 2008 for disease prevention programs, which can amount to millions of dollars in differences. Shortchanging America’s Health: A State-By-State Look at How Federal Public Health Dollars are Spent also examines how the economic downturn could lead to serious cuts to disease prevention and emergency preparedness programs at the state level. The report found that states receive $17.60 per person on average from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to spend on public health. midwestern states received an average of $17.69 per person and southern states received $18.43 per person, while northeastern states received $22.49 and western states received $23.94 per person from the CDC. report summary | download full report
NASEMSO Program Advisor Kevin McGinnis Was Guest Speaker for EMForum.org Web Event (03/11/09) EMForum.org hosted a one-hour presentation and interactive discussion Mar. 11, 2009 on "The Public Safety Spectrum Trust (PSST): Creating a Nationwide Wireless Broadband Network for Public Safety." The guest speaker was NASEMSO Program Advisor Kevin McGinnis, MPS, EMT-P, Vice Chair of the PSST, specializing in communications systems technology, data systems and rural EMS. In addition to the PSST, McGinnis is Vice-Chair of the Dept. of Homeland Security's SAFECOM Executive Committee and Vice-Chair of the DHS e-Gov Disaster Management (Data Communications) Practitioner Steering Group. A practicing paramedic, he has been involved with the delivery of emergency medical services since 1974 and is an expert in evaluating local, regional and state EMS systems and ambulance services. Find out more about EMForum.org and listen to the live meeting recording of the Mar. 11 event.
IOM to Offer Follow-up Workshop to Future of Emergency Care Series (02/14/09) In 2006, the Institute of Medicine released a series of three reports on the Future of Emergency Care in the United States Health System. An upcoming workshop provides an opportunity to examine the progress that has been made since that time in moving the nation towards the IOM’s vision of a “regionalized, coordinated, and accountable” emergency care system. One of the central recommendations contained in the IOM reports encouraged the federal government to more effectively coordinate emergency care-related activities that are widely dispersed through various federal departments and agencies. Now, three years later, structures are being put in place to address this challenge. This workshop is being convened to bring stakeholders and policymakers together to discuss which of the many challenges facing emergency care are most amenable to coordinated federal action. The National Emergency Care Enterprise workshop will be held on May 21-22, 2009 in Washington, DC. For more information including registration information, click here.
NASEMSO Executive Director Meets With DHS Regarding Concerns About EMS Funding and Other Issues (02/03/09) NASEMSO Executive Director Beth Armstrong, MAM, CAE, on Feb. 2 met with staff of the DHS Office of Intergovernmental Programs to review DHS interaction with state, local, tribal and territorial (SLTT) partners. The discussion addressed NASEMSO’s concern about homeland security funding for EMS, the federal ambulance contract and national disaster credentialing. See details about NASEMSO key homeland security areas of concern and an NASEMSO issue briefing on Activation and Reimbursement Concerns for EMS Disaster Response
IOM Hosts Regional Forums on Medical and Public Health Preparedness for Catastrophic Events (02/03/09) The Institute of Medicine’s Forum on Medical and Public Health Preparedness for Catastrophic Events will host a series of regional workshops on “Standards of Care”. These workshops will take place in Irvine, CA (March 12th); Orlando, FL (April 14th); New York, NY (April 27th); and Chicago, IL (May 8th). The purpose of this workshop series is to illuminate the progress and successes of efforts underway to establish local, state, and regional standards of care protocols. In addition, the planning committee is hoping the workshops will help to improve regional efforts by facilitating a dialog and coordination between neighboring jurisdictions. Attendance at these workshops is free but registration is required. For more information and to register for a workshop, please visitworkshops is free but registration is required. Click here for more information and to register for a workshop.
CDC Sets Up Database on Recalled Peanut Butter-Containing Products (01/23/09) The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention continues to collaborate with public health officials in many states and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to investigate a multistate outbreak of human infections due to Salmonella serotype Typhimurium. As of 9:00 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 21, 2009, the case count is 488 in 43 states and one case in Canada. In order to make it easier for consumers to determine whether any of the peanut butter-containing products they have at home are subject to recall, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has created and posted an expanded, searchable database that will be updated as new information becomes available. For information on products containing peanut butter from companies not reporting recalls, consumers may wish to consult the company's Web site or call the toll-free number listed on most packaging. Please note that information consumers may receive from the companies has not been verified by FDA. Information about recalled products and Salmonella can be found by calling 1-800-CDC-INFO. A podcast on the outbreak, response, and consumer information can be downloaded here from CDC's Web site.
CDC Publishes Guidelines for Field Triage of Injured Patients (01/22/09) The Centers for Disaster Control & Prevention has released its "Guidelines for Field Triage of the Injured Patients, Recommendations of the National Expert Panel on Field Triage” (MMWR Recommendations and Reports). In the United States, injury is the leading cause of death for persons aged 1-44 years, and the approximately 800,000 emergency medical services (EMS) providers have a substantial impact on care of injured persons and on public health. At an injury scene, EMS providers determine the severity of injury, initiate medical management, and identify the most appropriate facility to which to transport the patient through a process called “field triage.” In 1987, the American College of Surgeons developed the Field Triage Decision Scheme (Decision Scheme), which serves as the basis for triage protocols for state and local EMS systems across the United States. Since its initial publication in 1987, the Decision Scheme has been revised four times. Learn more and download the report here.
USDOT Publishes White Paper to Inform Public Agencies About Investment Opportunities for Stimulus Package (01/19/09) A a white paper has been released by the U.S. Dept. of Transportation to inform public agencies about investment opportunities for the stimulus package. The paper contains information about types of projects that support the operation of the transportation system, such as intelligent transportation systems (ITS). It is an informational paper and does not reflect a policy position. The three sections of the white paper are:
HHS Releases Report on the State of U.S. Preparedness for Influenza Pandemic (01/16/09) U.S. states and territories have made progress toward planning for an influenza pandemic, but major gaps remain, according to "Assessment of States' Operating Plans to Combat Pandemic Influenza," a federal report released today by the U.S. Dept. of Health & Human Services (HHS). State operating plans scored best in protecting citizens. The plans showed no or few major gaps in addressing mass vaccination operations during each phase of pandemic, ensuring surveillance and laboratory capability during each phase of a pandemic, in acquiring and distributing medical countermeasures and in ensuring communication capability. All state plans did not address or showed major gaps sustaining operations of state agencies, and supporting and protecting state government workers so that the state government could continue to function during an influenza pandemic. read report
NHTSA Announces NEMSAC Public Meeting on EMS Recommendations (01/12/09) The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has announced a public meeting of the National EMS Advisory Council (NEMSAC) for Jan. 29, 2009, from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., and Jan. 30, 2009, from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. at the Marriott Crystal City at Reagan National Airport, 1999 Jefferson Davis Highway, Arlington, Virginia. The purpose of NEMSAC is to provide a nationally recognized council of EMS representatives and consumers to provide advice and recommendations regarding Emergency Medical Services to NHTSA. Written comments and requests to make oral presentations are due Jan. 22, 2009. See attached Federal Register notice for complete details.
NASEMSO Mourns Trauma Colleague Killed in Iraq (01/01/09) NASEMSO mourns the tragic loss of Dr. John Pryor, EMS colleague and trauma director at the University of Pennsylvania, who died Christmas Day when a mortar round hit near his living quarters while serving as a trauma surgeon in the United States Army Reserve Medical Corps., 1st Forward Surgical Team (FST) in Iraq. Dr. Pryor joined the U.S. Army Reserve Medical Corps. after the attacks of 9/11 and served two active duty tours as the trauma surgeon for the 344th Combat Support Hospital in Abu Ghraib, Iraq, during 2006, and then with the 1st FST in 2008. Pryor's colleagues said they were devastated by the loss of the married father of three young children. The Fund for Dr. John Pryor has been established to help his wife Carmela and their 3 small children. Donations can be made as follows:UPHS- Dr. John Pryor Fund, Suite 750, 3535 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104-3309. More information is available at www.drjohnpryor.com.