Author: AAA Staff

New E-Books Free to Members!


Did you know? All American Ambulance Association PDF E-Books are now free to members! This $1000+ value is yet another way that AAA is delivering value through membership.

New releases include the 2021 Medicare Reference Manual, 2021 HIPAA Manual, and 2021 Human Resources Toolkit!

Download E-Books Now!

Please note that you must be logged in using your member account in order to see the $0.00 member e-book pricing. The link to download your e-book will be delivered in your email order confirmation.
Not yet a member? Join today to gain access!

Feb 2 Webinar | Free: Best Practices in EMS Transformation During the Pandemic

Best Practices in EMS Transformation During the Pandemic
Co-Hosted by NASEMSO, NAEMSP, and AIMHI
Tuesday, February 2 | Noon ET
Register Free

Many EMS agencies have dramatically transformed their clinical and operational and approach for care delivery, as well as enhancing their role in the community, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. EMS regulators have had to navigate the regulatory environment to change rules that facilitate the changes necessary for EMS agencies to effectively serve their communities. Implementing transformational change requires strong clinical leadership, responsive operational acumen, and in many cases, changes in the regulatory environment. Successful transformation takes close collaboration with medical direction, operations and regulatory oversight.

Join panelists from the Academy of International Mobile Healthcare Integration, the National Association of EMS Physicians, and the National Association of State EMS Officials as they highlight examples and best practices for navigating the clinical, operational and regulatory maze to facilitate transforming the role of EMS.

Register Free

CDC | Essential Workers Vaccine Communication Toolkit

CDC has designed a COVID-19 Vaccination Communication Toolkit for Essential Workers to help employers build confidence in this important new vaccine. The toolkit will help employers across various industries educate their workforce about COVID-19 vaccines, raise awareness about the benefits of vaccination, and address common questions and concerns.

Access Toolkit

The toolkit contains a variety of resources including:

  • key messages,
  • an educational slide deck,
  • FAQs,
  • posters/flyers,
  • newsletter content,
  • a plain language vaccine factsheet (available in several different languages),
  • a template letter for employees,
  • social media content, and
  • vaccination sticker templates.

This toolkit will help your organization educate employees about COVID-19 vaccines, raise awareness about the benefits of vaccination, and address common questions and concerns.
Access Toolkit

Biden Administration Executive Orders Related to COVID-19

LODD Grants | Brave of Heart Fund

The Brave of Heart Fund provides monetary grants to eligible family members of frontline healthcare workers, healthcare volunteers and healthcare support staff who have lost their lives because of COVID-19. A spouse or domestic partner, a dependent child, or dependent parent are eligible. The Fund also offers behavioral and emotional support services from Cigna and grief coping resources from New York Life.

Established by the Foundations of New York Life and Cigna, the Brave of Heart Fund is owned and administered by E4E Relief, a disaster relief-focused subsidiary of Foundation For The Carolinas, a Section 501(c)(3) public charity.

Learn More & Apply

Eligible Healthcare Workers

For the purpose of the Brave of Heart Fund, an eligible healthcare worker is a person who lived in the U.S. at time of death and who worked or volunteered in or for a:

  • Licensed hospital
  • Medical center or clinic
  • Nursing home
  • Medical transport vehicle
  • Triage center
  • Other licensed medical facility, provider or setting

Also those who worked or volunteered as an emergency medical technician, ambulance technician or paramedic and who died from COVID-19-related causes any time through May 15, 2021.

Grants Description

There are two phases of grants available. Eligible expenses vary based upon which grant phase the eligible family member is applying . You may be eligible for both a Phase 1 and Phase 2 grant.

Phase 1

Phase 1 assistance is intended to cover expenses related to funeral and burial costs.

The family member who is eligible for a Phase 1 grant is the family member who is responsible for the funeral/burial expenses. Only one family member is eligible for a Phase 1 grant.

Phase 1 grants are $15,000. Only one Phase 1 grant is available in connection with each eligible healthcare worker or healthcare volunteer.

Phase 2

Phase 2 assistance is intended to cover long-term expenses such as food, clothing, housing, basic essential utilities, daycare/ childcare expenses, educational expenses, counseling, medical expenses for deceased healthcare worker, and transportation.

The family member(s) who is eligible for a Phase 2 grant is the family member(s) who was dependent on the deceased healthcare worker’s income for those expenses.

Phase 2 grants range up to $60,000 per eligible healthcare worker.
The exact amount will depend on a variety of factors including the applicant’s demonstration of financial need and the number of
eligible beneficiaries.

Learn More & Apply

For answers to frequently asked questions, including questions about eligibility, visit braveofheartfund.com/FAOs. Grant awards are discretionary and e final determination of grant eligibility and amounts will be made by E4E Relief, which is the public charity that owns and administers the Fund.

Questions about the Fund: (855) 334-7932 or email: questions@replyemail.braveofheartfund.com
Learn More & Apply

Fierce Healthcare | Agency veteran appointed as acting CMS administrator

From Fierce Healthcare on January 20

Agency veteran Liz Richter has been named the acting administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).

The announcement Wednesday comes as President Joe Biden has yet to name a permanent administrator, who will require Senate confirmation.

Richter has served at CMS since 1990 and most recently served as the deputy center director for the Center for Medicare. She has also served as the director of the Hospital and Ambulatory Policy Group in the Center for Medicare Management.

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CMS | Updated Medicare COVID-19 Snapshot

From CMS on January 15

Today, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released our monthly update of data that provides a snapshot of the impact of COVID-19 on the Medicare population. The updated data show over 1.9 million COVID-19 cases among the Medicare population and over 493,000 COVID-19 hospitalizations.

The updated snapshot covers the period from January 1 to November 21, 2020. It is based on Medicare Fee-for-Service claims and Medicare Advantage encounter data CMS received by December 18, 2020.

Read on CMS.gov

USFA | Fire & EMS Civil Unrest Response

Read best practices on the FEMA US Fire Administration Website

Civil unrest may occur as a period of social upheaval during heightened community tension or at mass gatherings such as sporting events, concerts and political conventions. The safety risk for fire and emergency medical services (EMS) personnel responding to these fluid incidents may be elevated.

The U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Office of Emergency Medical Services worked together to compile these best practices to assist you with your response to civil unrest incidents in your community. Fire and EMS personnel should follow the general guidance in this section to prepare personnel, the station, apparatus and the community for emergency response in a challenging environment.

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BMJ | Pfizer Second Dose Efficacy 95%

Covid-19: Pfizer vaccine efficacy was 52% after first dose and 95% after second dose, paper shows
BMJ 2020; 371 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.m4826 (Published 11 December 2020)
Cite this as: BMJ 2020;371:m4826

The Pfizer and BioNTech covid-19 vaccine may provide some early protection, starting 12 days after the first dose, the peer reviewed results of a phase III trial have found.

The study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine,1 found that vaccine efficacy between the first and second doses was 52% (95% credible interval 29.5% to 68.4%), with 39 cases of covid-19 in the vaccine group and 82 cases in the placebo group.

Seven or more days after the second dose, vaccine efficacy then rose to 95% (90.3% to 97.6%), with eight covid-19 cases reported in the vaccine group and 162 cases in the placebo group.

The vaccine has so far been approved in Canada and in the UK, where it is already being rolled out to people over 80 and healthcare workers. In the US the Food and Drug Administration’s independent panel has voted in favour of emergency use authorisation for the vaccine, and the agency is expected to approve it within days.2

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CMS | Report Highlights Four Years of Accomplishments In Healthcare

From CMS on January 13

Today, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released “Putting Patients First: The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ Record of Accomplishment from 2017-2020,” a report highlighting the agency’s transformation in ensuring all Americans have access to quality and affordable healthcare.

The report examines CMS’ accomplishments over the last four years, highlighting agency actions that responded to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic and furthered CMS’s Four Core Goals identified in 2017: empowering patients and doctors, ushering in a new era of state flexibility and local leadership, developing innovative approaches, and improving the CMS customer service experience.

Accomplishments covered in the report include the response to the COVID-19 pandemic and efforts through 16 strategic initiatives that resulted in major regulatory actions, changes in guidance, and streamlined processes and procedures – including the reorganization of CMS. It also allows agency staff and leadership to better understand the impacts of policy decisions, while providing a resource to inform future CMS decisions. The report also covers how progress with respect to the Four Core Goals significantly contributed to the agency’s ability to respond to the unprecedented COVID-19 public health event.

Access “Putting Patients First: The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ Record of Accomplishment from 2017-2020.” 

Congratulations, Senator Schumer!

Congratulations to Senator Chuck Schumer, who will now serve as Majority Leader.

Congratulations to Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, who will now serve as Majority Leader. Senator Chuck Schumer D-NY'…

Posted by American Ambulance Association on Tuesday, January 12, 2021

AJC | Georgia EMS crews near ‘breaking point’

From the Atlanta Journal-Constitution on January 8

On a recent day, a Dawsonville ambulance worker was trying to rush a patient with dangerously high blood pressure to the hospital.

But after a brief call, she learned its emergency department was on “diversion,” meaning her patient could wait more than an hour for a bed, tying up the ambulance from responding to other calls.

“I have been hung up … and told to go else where!” she posted on the social media page of a statewide group of emergency medical personnel.

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Emergency Medical Services Authority (EMSA) in 2020

Emergency Medical Services Authority (EMSA)
Tulsa/Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
647 Staff | 228 Quarantined in 2020

EMSA serves over 1.1 million residents in central and northeastern Oklahoma. EMSA (Emergency Medical Services Authority) is Oklahoma’s largest provider of pre-hospital emergency medical care. Established in 1977, the Authority has provided ambulance service to Oklahoma residents for over 40 years. Oklahoma residents can take comfort in knowing that a diverse team of dedicated healthcare providers – including paramedics, emergency medical technicians, specially-trained medical dispatchers, and others – stand ready to respond to their emergency medical needs.

2020 has been a challenging year, to say the least, but EMSA EMTs and Paramedics have risen to the occasion to continue to deliver superior care to Oklahoma residents in new and innovative ways. Educational demonstrations have gone virtual and new emphasis on hand washing and cleanliness top the list of things our team members are discussing in our communities. Our communities have embraced and shown their love for our first responders with treats, care packages, snacks, and delivering cases of water.

Emergent Health Partners in 2020

Emergent Health Partners
Ann Arbor, Michigan
940 Staff | 200 Quarantined in 2020

Emergent Health Partners is a nonprofit, community-owned agency operating six ambulance services across southern Michigan: Huron Valley Ambulance, Jackson Community Ambulance, LifeCare Ambulance, Monroe Community, Lenawee Community Ambulance and Albion Community Ambulance.

Emergent Health has 900+ employees whose paramedics and EMTs provide medical 9-1-1 coverage for more than 1 million Michigan residents and respond to about 200,000 medical emergencies annually. Our dedicated teams deliver high-quality prehospital care to 14 counties and 178 municipalities in southern Michigan.

Originating as Huron Valley Ambulance, our first service was founded in 1981, operating with six ambulances. We have since grown to include five more agencies that operate 100+ ambulances in the communities we serve.

Beyond our ALS/BLS operations, Emergent Health has other specialty care including Community Paramedicine and Critical Care. We also have several Special Response Teams that include an Honor Guard, HazMat, Technical Response and Tactical EMS. We are thought-leaders in out-of-hospital emergency medicine and have built a culture based on safety, quality, compassion, and professionalism.

As an organization, we quickly stood up an Incident Command (ICS) Team to make quick, informed decisions on COVID-19 safety measures and new protocols. This structure has been key to adjusting our daily operations that mitigate the spread of COVID among patients and staff and making sure we have the PPE and resources necessary to weather the COVID pandemic.

Our HazMat and Special Pathogens Response Team Coordinator served as our Safety Officer. His expertise, along with several current and former county Emergency Managers on our team, helped us get a jumpstart on fighting the pandemic and shaping our response.

We developed special decontamination teams and streamlined processes to keep our ambulances and equipment clean. We implemented training for our staff on safety measures, and our wheelchair vans were converted to help transfer medically stable positive patients or double as decontamination crews during downtime.

Our employees and the community have been amazing. We have had many employees step up to support our operations, their fellow team members, and patients during this tough time. We have also seen steady support and donations from the community.

Acadian Ambulance Service in 2020

Acadian Ambulance Service
Lafayette, Louisiana
5,000 Staff | 750 Quarantined in 2020

Since 1971, Acadian Ambulance Service has earned a reputation as one of the nation’s most respected and largest privately held medical transportation companies.

Acadian was founded in response to a sudden crisis, as communities around the country found themselves without emergency medical transportation when federal regulations caused funeral homes to stop using hearses for emergency transport.

We began Louisiana operations on September 1, 1971, with three young cofounders, two ambulances and eight medics covering 279 square miles.

We have steadily added parishes and states to our service area over the years, addressing challenges along the way. Our fleet currently contains more than 600 ground ambulances, helicopters and fixed-wing airplanes.

Acadian currently covers more than 70 parishes and counties that are home to more than 24 million residents in Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, and Texas.

Our company is one of a very select few agencies in the United States to achieve accreditation with both the Commission on the Accreditation of Ambulance Services for our ground operations and the Commission on Accreditation of Medical Transport Systems for our air operations.

The COVID-19 pandemic and seven tropical cyclones that impacted our service area have presented operational and economic challenges to Acadian Ambulance. Our team has responded by working together, finding solutions and taking care of our patients and communities, while ensuring the health of our employees.

When cases began rising in the spring and stay-at-home orders were enacted, we saw patient volume drop and costs escalate.

Throughout the pandemic, we have worked hand-in-hand with other EMS agencies and first responders, working under state contracts and staffing surge units.

Our four-state service area was also impacted by a very active hurricane season, enduring effects from Cristobal, Marco, Laura, Sally, Beta, Delta and Zeta.

Hurricane Laura made landfall in the heart of our SE Texas and SW Louisiana service areas and impacted Central and North Louisiana. More than 100 of our employee-owners suffered substantial or total loss of their homes and property, and some of our company facilities saw severe damage.

We have faced many challenges over the years, and each one has helped us to adapt and continue living out our mission of Knowing Life Matters.

Mobile Medical Response in 2020

Mobile Medical Response
Saginaw, Michigan
539 Staff | 30 Quarantined in 2020

Mobile Medical Response is a Michigan-based, non-profit ambulance service provider that operates out of Saginaw County. We specialize in pre-hospital care and medical transportation through basic, advanced, and critical care ambulances, wheelchair vans, and medical dispatching services. We are the largest agency of its kind geographically speaking in the state covering 15 counties. Every day we strive to uphold our mission in providing the communities we serve with unrivaled access to medical care.

Mobile Medical Response has maintained a state of readiness for all communities we serve with emergent and non-emergent service, despite revenue shortfalls due to declined ambulance transport volumes. During this time, MMR also responded to New Jersey with a strike team of two ambulances and associated personnel assist with an influx of patients due to COVID-19. The ability of our EMS professionals to function in adverse conditions and situations is astounding and we are proud of the great work they do every day.

While navigating the COVID-19 pandemic, MMR has continued to work with opioid response initiatives and other initiatives to respond to the needs of our communities. MMR has had a positive impact in our communities during this time with the provision of EMD surveillance tools, COVID-19 transport services, and other vital pieces of a comprehensive response.

MMR is an integral part of the emergency response system in our communities as well as a resource for other initiatives. With the dedication and commitment of our staff we have been able to meet the challenges that COVID-19 has presented while also continuing to serve our communities.

Pafford Medical Services in 2020

Pafford Medical Services
Hope, Arkansas
1,500 Staff | 98 Quarantined in 2020

Founded in 1967, Pafford Medical Services provides over 80 communities across 8 states and the U.S. Virgin Islands with the latest, most sophisticated level of pre-hospital care. As a family-owned and operated company, Pafford is staffed 24/7/365. Over 1500 members of Team Pafford can be found operating the fleet of 200 ambulances, 4 communications centers, 3 medical fixed-wing aircraft, 3 rotor-wing aircraft to provide communities with proper 911 ambulance coverage.

In addition to the day-to-day operations, the company has become known nationwide for its Special Response Taskforce which assists during national disasters. As the company evolves to cater to the citizens it serves, Pafford took notice of the needs of industries and businesses during the global pandemic and now operates OnSite Healthcare Services in order to safeguard workforces as the world resumes operation amidst COVID-19. Another pillar of the company’s mission is its promise as a contributive community partner by providing educational resources, medical equipment, and scholarships along with medical standby for special events.

With the novel Coronavirus, EMS personnel would need to be properly trained to combat the transmission of the virus. Along with obtaining PPE for their medics, Pafford Medical Services provided additional training while increasing health surveillance, screening, and tracking of employees with the activation of their Emergency Operations Center.

Pafford remained a leader in community discussions and decisions related to COVID-19. Thanks to the diligent work and daily communications with their leadership teams, all of Pafford’s systems remained fully operational.

As the world stopped turning due to COVID-19, Mother Nature did not as hurricane season came out in full force. With 8 named storms and 2 major hurricanes, Pafford’s Special Response Taskforce deployed along the Gulf Coast to provide relief to the affected communities for 75 days.

“We’ll never be able to fully express our gratitude to not only our management teams, but to our boots on the ground who have been in the trenches remaining strong and vigilant,” says CEO, Jamie Pafford-Gresham. “Our men and women have gone beyond the call of duty–– suiting up, serving others, and their communities on the frontlines of healthcare.”

Harris County Emergency Corps in 2020

Harris County Emergency Corps
Houston, Texas
252 Staff | 72 Quarantined in 2020

As a premier mobile integrated healthcare organization, and the only Commission on Accreditation of Ambulance Services (CAAS) accredited agency with headquarters in Houston, HCEC operates as a 501c3 Non-Profit organization.

HCEC was the first EMS agency formed in the state of Texas and serves approximately 400,000 citizens within 76 square miles for Harris County Emergency Services District #1. HCEC operates 9 MICU ambulances 24/7 and 2 peak ambulances staffed 12 hours a day from 8 EMS stations strategically located throughout the territory to provide optimal response times.

HCEC also provides event medical coverage for many of Houston’s major sports teams and venues, trains clinicians with highly specialized classes, and leads Houston’s first Community Health Paramedic (CHP) Program. In addition, EMS and Fire dispatch services are provided for 11 agencies by our Communications Center recognized by the International Academies of Emergency Dispatch (IAED) as an Accredited Center of Excellence (ACE).

HCEC is committed to Professional Service, through Progressive Medicine, in order to continue Preserving Lives every day.

Disaster Response is nothing new to HCEC. Not only has our service area endured extraordinary damage from Hurricanes Rita, Ike, Harvey, and 2 major flooding events, but Harris County and the Houston area has also seen some of the highest number of COVID-19 cases in the State of Texas.

As part of our early response to the pandemic, the Communications center implemented new screening tools for identifying caller’s COVID-19 symptoms, and Part time event medics staffed dedicated PPE units. The Clinical team also created specific guidance and flowcharts for COVID-19 responses, transports, and exposures to keep our team healthy and safe.

To support our staff, the HCEC Management team hosted daily conference calls and connected with employees through virtual Town Hall meetings. Since in-person events were no longer possible for 2020, HCEC provided daily meals and contactless snack basket deliveries for our crews and showed our appreciation by posting recognition signs at their homes.

To support our community, HCEC volunteered with Gallery Furniture and Kroger to help distribute 2000+ meal kits to Seniors in and around our service area when access to stores were limited.

NorthStar EMS in 2020

NorthStar EMS
Tuscaloosa, Alabama
410 Staff | 51 Quarantined in 2020

NorthStar EMS (NEMS) began operations on April 1, 1992 with two ambulances serving Northport, Alabama. The goal was to provide “Excellence in Prehospital Medicine” to our community.” Since that time, NEMS has grown into Alabama’s premier ambulance service operating 80 ambulances and support vehicles with over 400 field, communications and support personnel providing ALS/BLS services throughout central Alabama. Our mission statement is to “Provide personalized and professional care to our communities.” This Mission along with our Core Values center on our patients and customers, thus serving as our compass, ensuring that the business of ambulance service and related care is delivered on a human scale — one person to another, with compassion and respect. Recognized as the first EMS agency in the State of Alabama accredited by both the Commission on the Accreditation of Ambulance Services (CAAS) and the International Academy of Emergency Medical Dispatch as an Accredited Center of Excellence (ACE), NEMS is at the forefront in helping shape the future of EMS in Alabama.

NEMS began 2020 preparing for CAAS re-accreditation when the year quickly devolved into an unprecedented national disaster, not witnessed in modern EMS system design. As COVID began to take root in the US, we were trying to understand how this virus might impact our Team and our ability to serve our communities. As acquiring Personal Protective Equipment became an issue, as suppliers were overwhelmed with orders, so too did incidents of exposure resulting in having to quarantine our providers. Our EMS model shifted from monitoring response-time standards to a more basic model of having units available for the request for service that seemed to grow exponentially. Not unlike disasters of previous years, our providers stepped up to the plate. Working with limited staffing, facing the daily risk of acquiring the virus, one-by-one patients were transported longer distances under more acute circumstances. Paramedics/EMT’s watched as their partners were stricken with Covid-19, some spending time in ICU, others experiencing lengthy hospital stays. Through all of this they continued to meet the needs of their community, responding to and transporting Covid positive patients daily.