NHTSA’s Office of EMS Contributes to New Study Analyzing Suicide Among EMS and 911
National Violent Death Reporting System data indicates that first responders made up 1% of all suicides from 2015-2017. As part of NHTSA’s Office of EMS’ (OEMS) ongoing efforts to support the mental health of first responders, the Office participated in a new study characterizing suicides among first responders and identifying potential opportunities for additional data collection. OEMS Specialist Kate Elkins, MPH, CPH, NRP, CHES, co-authored the study drawing on her experience at OEMS and the National 911 Program, as well as her background in emergency medical services, disaster response, public health and injury prevention.
Published in The Journal of Safety Research, “An analysis of suicides among first responders ─ Findings from the National Violent Death Reporting System, 2015–2017,” examines the factors contributing to higher suicide rates among first responders, including EMS clinicians. Risk factors and selected sociodemographics and characteristics were compared.
The study provides a small glimpse into the stressors contributing to suicide and indicates that more detailed research could inform suicide prevention efforts and interventions among the first responder workforce.
If you or someone you know needs support now, call or text 988 or chat 988lifeline.org. 988 connects you with a trained crisis counselor who can help.
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National Database of EMS Legislation Now Available
Up-to-date, real-time information about state-enacted EMS legislation at NCSL.org
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) have worked together to create an online resource called the EMS Legislative Database, which provides up-to-date, real-time information about enacted EMS legislation in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and U.S. territories.
The EMS Legislative Database offers a summary of key enacted EMS legislation in an easy-to-use resource allowing you to search legislation by year, state, topic, keyword, status or primary sponsor. New legislation is added weekly.
Administration: EMS as an Essential Service, Quality Assurance and State EMS Office
Funding: Changes in Funding Structure, Fees, Service fees and Surcharges
Rules: Aeromedical Services, EMSC Activities, Good Samaritan Laws and Progress/Impacts to NEMSIS
Systems: STEMI, Stroke and Trauma
Workforce: Classification of EMS and 911 Providers, Interstate Compacts and Licensure of EMS Professionals
In 2022, at least 39 states and territories enacted 113 bills to address various challenges in the EMS community, including the supply of EMS clinicians, limited funding, violence against EMS clinicians, long ambulance offload times and supply chain delays.
Bigfork, Montana, May 17 – Binder Lift, a supplier of patient handling equipment and training for emergency care providers, recently became PHASE (Patient Handling and Safety Experts) in response to the ongoing workforce shortage in the emergency care industry. “Patient handling causes far more injuries to emergency care providers than any other job function,” said PHASE CEO Rick Binder. “Though we can’t help agencies find new personnel, we can help them retain employees by providing them with the equipment and training necessary to avoid injuries where they happen most.”
Recognizing a problem they could help solve, the company expanded its resources to protect emergency care providers from the most common cause of injury. It added new solutions to its product line and helped produce an accredited training program on patient handling safety that will be available without cost. “Suddenly, we weren’t only helping providers avoid lifting injuries by supplying a single product; we were helping customers safely move patients from the bathtub in the patient’s home all the way to the hospital bed,” Binder said. “Becoming PHASE was a natural progression.”
The company’s first product, Binder Lift, was born in 2012 out of a friendly argument between Binder’s mother and father. Julie Binder, an EMT-I at the time, told Dan Binder there was nothing available to help her and her partner safely lift a large patient from the floor to a standing position. Dan didn’t believe her. “After a long web search to prove her wrong, he found nothing,” Binder said. “So he got to work making his own solution.”
The result was the company’s flagship product. Since then, more than 3,000 emergency care departments have invested in the Binder Lift to keep their personnel safe when lifting patients. The device has also won multiple industry awards, including EMS Innovation of the Year.
Binder believes adding new products and resources to its offerings is the best way the company could serve the emergency care providers it works to protect. “These are remarkable people,” he said. “They work tough hours for modest pay in order to help others. They shouldn’t have to worry about being injured simply by doing their job.”
Continuing its commitment to their health and safety, PHASE is offering free product trials to first responders through its new website, www.phaseintl.com.
The new website also includes a comprehensive resource center where users can watch instructional videos, get product information, and read case studies. The site will also feature free access to an accredited training program created in partnership with other industry stakeholders in the coming months.
“We’ve grown a lot over the last decade since first bringing the Binder Lift to market,” Binder said. “But we’re still the same family-owned and operated business that values our relationships with our customers and industry partners.”
About PHASE (Patient Handling and Safety Experts)
We’re on a mission to empower emergency care providers to have longer and healthier careers by providing the equipment and training necessary to safely move patients of any size with ease. All our products and services are science-backed solutions that help emergency care providers avoid injuries where they happen most. PHASE is a family-owned business that brings our family values to the workplace. When you do business with us, you’re more than a customer. You’re family. So, let’s connect. We look forward to helping you. To learn more, visit www.phaseintl.com
Earlier today, Senators Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), Susan Collins (R-ME), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and Bill Cassidy, MD (R-LA) introduced the Preserving Access to Ground Ambulance Medical Services Act of 2023. The legislation would extend the temporary Medicare ambulance add-on payments for an additional three years.
“We thank Senators Cortez Masto, Collins, Stabenow, and Cassidy for introducing the Preserving Access to Ground Ambulance Medical Services Act and for their strong support for ground ambulance services and the communities and patients we serve,” said AAA President Randy Strozyk. “The disparity between Medicare reimbursement and the costs of providing services has grown significantly through reductions in reimbursement and skyrocketing expenses for labor, ambulances, and equipment. This bill would help reduce that gap and maintain access to vital ground ambulance services for communities around the country.”
The Senate version of the bill would go even further by increasing the add-on payment levels for urban from 2% to 3.4% urban, for rural from 3% to 4.3% rural and for super rural from 22.6% 26.2%. The last extension of the add-on payments was scheduled to end on December 31, 2022, but our champions on Capitol Hill were able to secure a two-year extension through December 31, 2024. The additional three-year extension is critical to keep the add-on payments in place through ambulance data collection and provide time to Congress to then use the data to reform the Medicare ambulance fee schedule.
Representatives Brad Wenstrup (R-OH), Terri Sewell (D-AL), Buddy Carter (R-GA) and Paul Tonko (D-NY) introduced the House version (H.R. 1666) of the bill on March 17. The House bill would be a three-year extension of the add-on payments at their present levels.
This progress is the result of tireless advocacy on the part of AAA volunteer leaders, staff, and consultants made possible by the sustained support of our members. It is critical that AAA members reach out to both their Senators and Representatives to cosponsor the respective versions of the Preserving Access to Ground Ambulance Services Act of 2023. It is vital that we generate a groundswell of support in the Congress for extending the add-on payments and will need that support to then also advocate for the higher add-on percentages when Congress negotiates on Medicare payment extensions.