Study | EMS education research priorities during COVID-19

From the Journal of the American College of Emergency Physicians
Emergency medical services education research priorities during COVID-19: A modified Delphi study
Rebecca E. Cash PhD, MPH, William J. Leggio EdD, Jonathan R. Powell MPA, Kim D. McKenna PhD, Paul Rosenberger EdD, Elliot Carhart EdD, Adrienne Kramer PhD, Juan A. March MD, Ashish R. Panchal MD, PhD, for the Pandemic Educational Effects Task Force

Objective

Our objective was to identify research priorities to understand the impact of COVID-19 on initial emergency medical services (EMS) education.

Methods

We used a modified Delphi method with an expert panel (n = 15) of EMS stakeholders to develop consensus on the research priorities that are most important and feasible to understand the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on initial EMS education. Data were collected from August 2020 to February 2021 over 5 rounds (3 electronic surveys and 2 live virtual meetings). In Round 1, participants submitted research priorities over 9 specific areas. Responses were thematically analyzed to develop a list of research priorities reviewed in Round 2. In Round 3, participants rated the priorities by importance and feasibility, with a weighted score (2/3*importance+1/3*feasibility) used for preliminary prioritization. In Round 4, participants ranked the priorities. In Round 5, participants provided their agreement or disagreement with the group’s consensus of the top 8 research priorities.

Results

During Rounds 1 and 2, 135 ideas were submitted by the panel, leading to a preliminary list of 27 research priorities after thematic analysis. The top 4 research priorities identified by the expert panel were prehospital internship access, impact of lack of field and clinical experience, student health and safety, and EMS education program availability and accessibility. Consensus was reached with 10/11 (91%) participants in Round 5 agreeing.

Conclusions

The identified research priorities are an important first step to begin evaluating the EMS educational infrastructure, processes, and outcomes that were affected or threatened through the pandemic.

On-Demand | Flipping OFF the Switch on HOT Emergency Medical Vehicle Responses!

Flipping OFF the Switch on HOT Emergency Medical Vehicle Responses!
Recorded July 7, 2021 | 14:00–15:15 pm ET | FREE Webinar

Download Slide Deck | Watch on YouTube

HOT (red light and siren) responses put EMS providers and the public at significant risk. Studies have demonstrated that the time saved during this mode of vehicle operation and that reducing HOT responses enhances safety of personnel, with little to no impact on patient outcomes. Some agencies have ‘dabbled’ with responding COLD (without lights and sirens) to some calls, but perhaps none as dramatic as Niagara Region EMS in Ontario, Canada – who successfully flipped their HOT responses to a mere 10% of their 911 calls! Why did they do it? How did they do it? What has been the community response? What has been the response from their workforce? Has there been any difference in patient outcomes? Join Niagara Region EMS to learn the answers to these questions and more. Panelists from co-hosting associations will participate to share their perspectives on this important EMS safety issue!

Speakers

Kevin Smith, BAppB:ES, CMM III, ACP, CEMC
Chief
Niagara Emergency Medical Services

Jon R. Krohmer, MD, FACEP, FAEMS
Director, Office of EMS
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
Team Lead, COVID-19 EMS/Prehospital Team

Douglas F. Kupas, MD, EMT-P, FAEMS, FACEP
Medical Director, NAEMT
Medical Director, Geisinger EMS

Matt Zavadsky, MS-HSA, NREMT
Chief Strategic Integration Officer
MedStar Mobile Integrated Healthcare

Bryan R. Wilson, MD, NRP, FAAEM
Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine
St. Luke’s University Health Network
Medical Director, City of Bethlehem EMS

Robert McClintock
Director of Fire & EMS Operations
Technical Assistance and Information Resources
International Association of Fire Fighters

Mike McEvoy, PhD, NRP, RN, CCRN
Chair – EMS Section Board – International Association of Fire Chiefs
EMS Coordinator – Saratoga County, New York
Chief Medical Officer – West Crescent Fire Department
Professional Development Coordinator – Clifton Park & Halfmoon EMS
Cardiovascular ICU Nurse Clinician – Albany Medical Center

Webinar | Ambulance Fleet Tips for Weathering the Chassis Shortage

Ambulance Fleet Tips for Weathering the Chassis Shortage
Webinar | June 23, 2021 | 14:00 ET | Free to AAA Members

Register Now

The American Ambulance Association and the Commission on Accreditation of Ambulance Services recently reported that a global semiconductor shortage has crippled the production of motor vehicle chassis—including those used by ambulance manufacturers and remounters. Ford Motor Company, which supplies approximately 70% of the ambulance chassis used in the US, halted production in mid-April. The end is not yet in sight, with the shortage of the critically important microchips predicted to run into 2022.

Join ambulance fleet experts from across the country to learn what your EMS agency can do NOW to extend the lifecycle of your vehicles and minimize the impact of the chip and chassis shortage. Additionally, learn how the American Ambulance Association is working to drive federal, state, and local advocacy efforts to ensure that first responders are at the front of the line when production resumes. Don’t miss your chance to learn from ambulance fleet luminaries how they keep their crews rolling, 24/7!

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Speakers

Drew Morrow
Director of Support Services, Pro EMS

Mark Van Arnam
Administrator, CAAS GVS

Maria Bianchi
CEO, American Ambulance Association

Trampus Gaspard
Senior Director of Logistics, Acadian Companies

6/16 | Federal Interagency Committee on EMS Virtual Meeting

Federal Interagency Committee on EMS to Hold Virtual Meeting on June 16

FICEMS also recently approved a new strategic plan to guide Federal activities related to EMS through 2025

The Federal Interagency Committee on EMS, which coordinates EMS activities throughout the federal government, will hold its first virtual meeting of 2021 on June 16 at 1 pm ET. Members of the public are invited to watch the webcast. Visit the FICEMS meeting page to learn more and view the agenda, or click below to register now. Anyone wishing to provide public comment can email FICEMS@dot.gov with “FICEMS Feedback” in the subject line. There will also be opportunities to ask questions or submit comments via a chat function during the webcast.

Register Now

New FICEMS Strategic Plan

One of the items on the agenda for the next FICEMS meeting is the new FICEMS Strategic Plan, which is now available on EMS.gov. The plan will guide FICEMS and its efforts to support and advance EMS and 911 services in the Nation over the next five years. The plan outlines seven strategic goals, each with multiple objectives, that will serve as the foundation for the activities of FICEMS and its member agencies.

Read the FICEMS strategic plan and learn more about the committee’s vision for Federal support of state, local, tribal and territorial EMS.

Download

Webinar 7/7 | Lights & Sirens Responses


Flipping OFF the Switch on HOT Emergency Medical Vehicle Responses!

Free Webinar July 7 | 14:00–15:15 ET

HOT (red light and siren) responses put EMS providers and the public at significant risk. Studies have demonstrated that the time saved during this mode of vehicle operation and that reducing HOT responses enhances safety of personnel, with little to no impact on patient outcomes. Some agencies have ‘dabbled’ with responding COLD (without lights and sirens) to some calls, but perhaps none as dramatic as Niagara Region EMS in Ontario, Canada – who successfully flipped their HOT responses to a mere 10% of their 911 calls! Why did they do it? How did they do it? What has been the community response? What has been the response from their workforce? Has there been any difference in patient outcomes? Join Niagara Region EMS to learn the answers to these questions and more. Panelists from co-hosting associations will participate to share their perspectives on this important EMS safety issue!

Speakers

Kevin Smith, BAppB:ES, CMM III, ACP, CEMC
Chief
Niagara Emergency Medical Services

Jon R. Krohmer, MD, FACEP, FAEMS
Team Lead, COVID-19 EMS/Prehospital Team
Director, Office of EMS
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

Douglas F. Kupas, MD, EMT-P, FAEMS, FACEP
Medical Director, NAEMT
Medical Director, Geisinger EMS

Matt Zavadsky, MS-HSA, NREMT
Chief Strategic Integration Officer
MedStar Mobile Integrated Healthcare

Bryan R. Wilson, MD, NRP, FAAEM
Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine
St. Luke’s University Health Network
Medical Director, City of Bethlehem EMS

Robert McClintock
Director of Fire & EMS Operations
Technical Assistance and Information Resources
International Association of Fire Fighters

Mike McEvoy, PhD, NRP, RN, CCRN
Chair – EMS Section Board – International Association of Fire Chiefs
EMS Coordinator – Saratoga County, New York
Chief Medical Officer – West Crescent Fire Department
Professional Development Coordinator – Clifton Park & Halfmoon EMS
Cardiovascular ICU Nurse Clinician – Albany Medical Center

Register Now (Free)

Rescue, Inc. | 2021 EMS Week Featured Service

Rescue, Inc.
Brattleboro, Vermont
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Rescue Inc is a private non-profit service in Southern Vermont. Founded in 1966 as a volunteer organization responding to local emergency calls, Rescue today is mission-driven; providing emergency medical treatment and transportation, specialized rescue services, community education, and transportation of critical patients between area hospitals. Out of two stations, and with a fleet of 9 ambulances and 3 response vehicles, we provide timely and efficient service in our five hundred square mile coverage area in Southern Vermont and Southwestern New Hampshire.

“EMS week gives us the chance to celebrate and spotlight the care, compassion, and skill our providers tirelessly demonstrate. Through long nights, bad weather, and now pandemics, our health care providers continue to inspire. On behalf of grateful patients and families, I thank you!”
– Drew Hazelton, Chief

2020 has brought the challenges of COVID-19 and supply line shortages, but also the development of new programs including EMS ultrasound, EMT hybrid courses, and a mobile vaccination program to our community.

During the COVID-19 crisis, Rescue Inc stepped in with resources to engage in critical work for public health. In collaboration with the health department, Rescue Inc provided expanded transport capabilities; transporting COVID positive persons to isolation facilities for recovery. Our crew of medical providers staffed pop-up testing sites and have screened thousands. As a way to limit exposure, our providers were called upon to facilitate mobile testing and would travel to test a single person or a whole family in their own homes. Once the vaccine became available, Rescue Inc designed a mobile vaccine trailer and worked with the Vermont Department of Health to facilitate clinics all over the state. In the spirit of our mission, we continue to bring healthcare on the road. We have vaccinated thousands – at schools, restaurants, race tracks, and more.

“EMS providers are educated members of your community that provide prehospital care that saves lives every day. When the tone drops they set aside everything and put themselves into emergency situations to care for those that they value; their community.”
~Lee Bookwalter, EMT

This year our community is feeding us for EMS Week! Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner for our duty crews are being provided by area restaurants for each day of this special week! Our vaccine trailer will be on the road all week, celebrating EMS by supporting the mission of health and wellness for our community.

“When we are called to a scene, whether it be an MVA, a stroke, or an anxiety attack, we legitimately just want to be there for someone during their time of need. Sometimes that means medical intervention, and sometimes just lending a hand to hold. Long story short, we just have love for people!”
~Zach Gilbeau, EMT

“I believe EMS is important because we are always there. No matter what day of the week, time of day, or what your emergency is, we will show up and take care of you.”
~Emily Wilson, Paramedic/Captain

Webinar | Who Was Jack Stout and Why Do His Ideas Still Resonate?

From AIMHI, FirstWatch, and the National EMS Museum | Hosted on Prodigy EMS

Who Was Jack Stout and Why Do His Ideas Still Resonate?

Thursday, June 24th | 9:00am PT (12:00pm ET)
Followed by a 30 minute session for remaining Q&A and practical tips for FirstWatch customers and interested Public Safety agencies
The late Jack Stout, an economist by training, is considered the father of high performance EMS. His public utility model, implemented in a half a dozen spots in the 70’s and 80s, transformed how communities thought about the relationship between efficiency, policy, and patient centric care in their EMS systems. Almost every EMS system in America includes elements of his design. He captured his ideas in more than a 100 articles and columns in JEMS, the Journal of Emergency Medical Services, in the 1980’s.
The National EMS Museum just announced the formation of the Jack Stout Archive, where his legacy in writing will live on. The archive received the financial support of FirstWatch and the Academy of International Mobile Healthcare Integration (AIMHI.)
In this highly interactive CTM, facilitators Mike Taigman and Rob Lawrence will be joined by Kristy Van Hoven, the Museum’s director, Todd Stout, Jack’s son and president of FirstWatch, Keith Griffiths, the founding editor of JEMS, and Jon Washko, a “Stoutian” disciple and highly respected consultant and EMS system expert. They’ll discuss the Archive and its mission. They will explore with you why Jack’s ideas are vital for today’s EMS leader and key for the design of EMS systems in the future.
Speakers:
Kristy Van Hoven
Kristy Van Hoven joined The National EMS Museum team in late 2018 and is currently serving as the Director of The National EMS Museum (NEMSM). In partnership with the Museum’s Board of Directors, she is leading the charge for NEMSM to grow into the national museum dedicated to preserving the legacy and stories of early pre-hospital care while inspiring a future generation of EMS professionals through engaging exhibitions, research, and programs. Concurrently, Kristy is pursuing a doctoral degree in which she is studying the effect museum programs and collections have on the health and wellbeing of those suffering brain trauma and how partnerships between medical professionals and museums can create a network of care for patients and practitioners beyond the clinical walls.
Todd Stout
Todd Stout, President of FirstWatch and the recipient of a JEMS EMS 10 Innovator Award, a Pinnacle Leadership Award, and the Dr. Jeff Clawson Leadership Award has extensive experience in multiple aspects of EMS, including in the field, dispatch, management and public safety communications software. He began his career as an EMS Stock boy and has spent the last two decades focusing on helping public safety and health agencies improve operational performance, clinical care and situational awareness.
Keith Griffiths
Keith Griffiths is the founding partner of the RedFlash Group, an award-winning communications and marketing firm serving the public safety market. He was the founding editor JEMS, the Journal of Emergency Medical Services, where he worked with the late Jim Page to build Jems Communications, which included the EMS Today trade show, a book division, newsletters and other periodicals. He worked as Jack Stout’s editor for nearly 10 years during the 1980’s.
Jonathan Wahsko
Jonathan Washko, MBA, FACPE, NRP, AEMD has been involved in the EMS industry for over 30 years and has held progressive leadership positions with small, medium and large EMS systems and has worked with or for government, private, for-profit and not-for-profit entities. Mr. Washko is considered the leading industry expert on EMS system design, High Performance EMS concepts, Industry Best Practices, EMS Deployment, Lean Business Processes, System Status Management, Use of Technology, IP Development, EMS Economics and EMS Finance and is often called upon by EMS systems in crisis as well as those considered at the top of their game, in order to help transform these organizations to become the best they can be. Mr. Washko frequently speaks at national conferences, is a JEMS EMS10 Innovator award recipient, sits on various industry boards and advises EMS agencies and governments on an international basis on EMS Systems improvement.
Facilitators:
Mike Taigman, MA
Mike uses more than four decades of experience to help EMS leaders and field personnel improve the care and service they provide to patients and their communities. Mike is the improvement guide for FirstWatch and a nationally recognized author and speaker. He was the facilitator for the national EMS Agenda 2050 project and teaches improvement science in the Master’s in Healthcare Administration and Interprofessional Leadership program at the University of California San Francisco. He will serve as host and facilitator for Conversations that Matter.
Rob Lawrence, MCMI
Rob has part-time roles as Director of Strategic Implementation for Pro EMS of Cambridge, Mass. and the Executive Director of the California Ambulance Association. Rob is also the Principal of Robert Lawrence Consulting. Rob served as the California COO with Paramedics Plus after nine years as the COO of the Richmond Ambulance Authority. Prior to that, he was the COO for Suffolk as part of the East of England Ambulance Service. He is a graduate of the UK’s Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, serving for 23 years as a Medical Support Officer. Rob is the Communications Committee Chair of the American Ambulance Association, a member of the EMS World Advisory Board, and an accomplished writer, broadcaster and international speaker.

 

Harris County Emergency Corps | 2021 EMS Week Featured Service

Harris County Emergency Corps
Houston, Texas
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Committed to preserving lives through clinical excellence, progressive medicine, and professional service, Harris County Emergency Corps (HCEC) is a premier EMS agency and the only Commission on Accreditation of Ambulance Services accredited agency with headquarters in Houston. HCEC was the first EMS agency formed in the state of Texas. Serving approximately 400,000 citizens, HECE provides 911 EMS operations in north Houston for Harris County Emergency Services District No. 1. HCEC also provides event medical coverage across Texas, trains clinicians with highly specialized classes, communicates with 11 other agencies through our innovative dispatch center and leads Houston’s first Community Health Paramedic Program.

Our organization changed, I believe, for the better. We overcame obstacles, and our remarkable team worked together like never before. I would like to thank each person involved for your commitment to our organization and the community we serve. I appreciate the work you do each and every day. — Jeremy Hyde, CEO

COVID-19 Response

Year 2020 was a year like no other. The COVID-19 Pandemic affected every person globally, and we are still living in a world of mask-wearing and sanitizing stations.

Our 9-1-1 call volumes were drastically reduced for the first few months of 2020. Almost immediately, PPE was on a national shortage. HCEC preserved resources and did not suffer any PPE shortage. Employees were never in jeopardy for not having protective equipment. Then COVID infection rates started increasing, which increased our 9-1-1 call volume to exceed any previous record in history.

During the time of significant volume increases, employees got the virus. Other staff stepped up to fill needed roles. Event staff helped fill in additional ambulances for COVID response. Field staff took a place in dispatch to help screen calls. The Dispatch Center and field staff worked together to ensure the calls were made appropriately with the right precautions.

EMS Week Celebrations

HCEC is hosting a reunion with a Pediatric CPR family, celebrating service awards, hosting a crawfish boil and hosting a blood drive.

“EMS continues to evolve beyond traditional ambulance transport. Not only do we serve as the community’s medical safety net, but we have also begun the transition to true mobile integrated health care. Progressive EMS agencies across the country are now involved with trauma and disease prevention, implementing community paramedic programs, and reducing preventable hospital admissions. EMS is a critical part of our health care system overhaul. We should be proud of where we are and where we are going!
-Corey Naranjo BSN, RN, LP, CP-C

“EMS is often the link between poor health and a healthy outcome. It can also quite literally be the difference between death and life of a person.” – Steven Nelson MHA, LP, In-Charge Paramedic,

“EMS is a vital corner of the first responder triangle. As EMS personnel we not only increase the survivability of major incidents, but we also bring knowledge to the public to help all in need.” -Blake King EMT-P, FTO-1, In-Charge Paramedic

Waterbury Ambulance | 2021 EMS Week Featured Service

Waterbury Ambulance
Waterbury, Vermont
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Waterbury Ambulance Service was founded in 1971, since then, we’ve grown significantly, but at our core we are still a group of highly skilled, committed volunteers and staff, ready at a moment’s notice to save a life, or just lend a helping hand. We provide 911 coverage to the towns of Waterbury, Duxbury and parts of Moretown, Vermont as well as mutual aid to our neighboring communities. Waterbury Ambulance provide interfacility transfers when we have the staff available. We have two ambulances, 15 advanced EMTs, 19 Emergency Medical Technicians, and four drivers. We also provide CPR, First Aid, Car Seat Fitting and Stop the Bleed Trainings.

Waterbury Ambulance also supports The Waterbury Backcountry Rescue Team which was founded in 2002, in order to lead the search and rescue of patients injured or lost in areas of Vermont where an ambulance is not able to readily access. Waterbury Backcountry Rescue Team is composed of a specially trained crew of rescuers and EMTs, who locate, extricate, and field treat patients, bringing them to an area which can be accessed by ambulance.

“This year has been a remarkable one. I am inspired by the way Waterbury Ambulance’s Team has stepped up in uncertain times to ensure the safety of themselves and our community”
–Mark Podgwaite, Executive Director

Covid-19 impacted Waterbury Ambulance by initially creating additional training and safety requirements. The team responded quickly ensuring that we provide the best possible care to our community during a scary time. The State of Vermont reached out to Waterbury Ambulance asking if we could support the state in Covid-19 testing. Waterbury Ambulance rose to the occasion by teaming up with two other ambulance services and a local ski patrol to provide testing 7 days a week at three different locations throughout our region. To date Waterbury Ambulance has provided tens of thousands of Covid-19 tests to the community. Waterbury Ambulance then hit the road providing vaccines to home-bound Vermonters. We have also helped the State of Vermont staff vaccine clinics and National Guard Clinics.

“EMS is so vitally important because we provide frontline medical care for our communities of neighbors, family, friends, colleagues and even those we haven’t met yet. We do it 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Whether it’s a car crash with injuries, heart attack, overdose, or a pandemic, our communities depend on us to jump in and give the best care possible at any moment’s notice.” -Kristen Hamel, AEMT

“I believe that EMS is vital because we all need someone in our times of need to be that outside person to be kind, caring, and compassionate to our personal emergencies. Someone to validate our physical & emotional pain/suffering/ distress. Someone who you can trust with your life to get you the care you need, advocative for you, and ease your worries.” -Vicki Fielding, AEMT

Waterbury Ambulance is celebrating EMS week by supporting and providing Vaccination clinics around the state, covering 911 calls and providing 7-day a week Covid testing.

“EMS plays a key role into the prevention of death and disease processes in a community. The stronger the EMS organization, the better the community can grow and flourish” -Tom Leeman, AEMT

“EMS is important to me because we as ems providers are a small light at the beginning of a very dark tunnel for some people” -Kayla Reed, Driver/Future EMT

 

East Baton Rouge EMS | 2021 EMS Week Featured Service

East Baton Rouge EMS
Baton Rouge, Lousiana
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About East Baton Rouge EMS

East Baton Rouge EMS is a municipal service that originated on August 6th, 1982. The Department is funded by a property tax and insurance billing. EBREMS is the primary ALS provider for the parish of East Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Unlike most systems, all 911 calls in the parish are first answered by EBREMS Medics. East Baton Rouge Parish is 456sq/mi and is comprised of the City of Baton Rouge and the towns of Zachary, Baker and Central. With a total population +440,000, East Baton Rouge is the Capitol of the State of Louisiana and is the home of two major Universities.

EBREMS operates 11 EMS stations with 24 ambulances, 20 sprint vehicles, 1 mass casualty unit and 3 ASAP carts. There are 138 Field Medics, 9 Shift supervisors, Division managers, and 32 communications officers. EBREMS responds to approximately 64,000 calls per year. In addition to responding to 911 calls, EBREMS also offers Telemedicine, Event coverage, HAZ-MAT, CISM, Bicycle, and Special Response Teams. A new Bariatric unit has just been purchased along with 16 new ambulances. The new fleet will go into operation in July.

Our COVID-19 Response

A response plan to COVID was discussed in March 2020. The first order was to acquire enough PPE for our medics in the field. PPE included P-100 masks, goggles, and isolation kits. Two ambulances were converted into “COVID units” by using plastic sheeting to block the walk-through access of the units and the ALS cabinet. The units were stocked with an abundance of disinfectant and PPE. 12 medics volunteered to work on these units and only respond to COVID-related calls. The intention was to isolate the cab of the truck from the patient compartment, and limit exposure to the rest of the field by only using the assigned medics for these types of calls. 911 Operators began asking COVID screening questions, and would relay the information to the responding unit. Every patient was provided a surgical mask and the use of nebulizers was banned due to the aerosolization.

The Mayor declared a local public health emergency on March 13th. Schools, restaurants, bars, and non-essential businesses were closed and a “stay at home order” was implemented. 911 Operators began to see a surge in calls from the public asking COVID-related questions. This overwhelming number of non-emergent calls led to a Public Service campaign to inform the public not to call 911 for COVID questions. A new 211 number was utilized for these types of calls. Several testing sites opened throughout the parish, including one at the EBREMS Headquarters. Despite a large number of tests given, the percentage of positive tests was only about 7%.

East Baton Rouge lifted the Emergency Declaration in May 2020. Schools remained closed for a while, but offered virtual learning. Restaurants, Bars, Churches and non-essential businesses opened with limited capacity and mandated face mask requirements. Today EBR parish is 100% open, and EMS operation is back to pre-COVID status with the exception of continued use of face masks on every response.

“It is my belief that Baton Rouge EMS has some of the finest medics in the country and you would be hard pressed to find a better group of people to work with. Their dedication and professionalism through this last year’s pandemic has been nothing short of impressive. They care for their patients and their fellow first responders and treat them like family. It is an honor to work with all the medics here in Baton Rouge, and they deserve recognitions for the hard job that they do.”
-Chad Guillot
EMS Director
East Baton Rouge Parish EMS

How We Celebrate EMS Week

Every year our Public Information Officers work hard to promote the Department by doing interviews on Morning News shows, Submitting stories to the newspaper, and posting on Social Media. Our Paramedic Association purchases EMS Week gifts for the employees and also funds the annual Award Ceremony that is always held during EMS Week. The Administration Department provides lunch to the crews on each shift, and local hospitals also provide snacks and food at their hospitals for the field medics.

“We are a family-oriented department, and we treat the community like our own”
-Hillary Duncan, Paramedic

“We strive to meet the goals of our mission statement and continually adapt to fulfill the needs of our community”
-Otha Henry, Training Officer

“As EMS providers we value our community”
-Kerri Avara, Unit Commander

Allina Health EMS | EMS Week 2021 Featured Service

Allina Health EMS
St. Paul, Minnesota
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Founded in 1920, the 600+ employees of Allina Health EMS serves over one million citizens in the communities surrounding the Minneapolis/St. Paul vicinity with 911, Critical Care and Interfacility transports. In addition, we provide Community Paramedics, Tactical Paramedics, EMS Education and Special Event support to the communities we serve. Our Communications Center answers one in ten 911 calls throughout the state of Minnesota, not only providing dispatching services for Allina Health EMS, but other EMS services throughout the state.

Our staff rose (and continues to rise) to the challenges that COVID-19 presents to us. Some parted with facial hair! The collaboration was evident when staff helped to inform our processes and procedures for PPE and communication at the beginning of COVID-19. Each day we were learning something new, whether it was PPE procedures, hospital information such as entrance and transfer of patient care changes or services available to support our essential working employees. Our Communications Center began revising questions asked of our 911 callers to help determine potential risks prior to the arrival of our ambulance crew and to inform the level of PPE needed. Whether it was a 911 response or an interfacility transfer, we continued to improve our processes so our staff was protected and prepared when responding to our patients.
Our Education department tested and transitioned to online platforms for continued internal education and our external educators came into the bases to provide Just in Time Training (JITT) to our staff so the practical application of equipment and PPE changes were able to be understood and practiced prior to use. Our EMS maintenance and inventory technicians helped to implement changes to our ambulances to protect both patients and staff from the virus through protective devices and the task of keeping up with equipment and stocking changes.

Our Emergency Operations Center strived to provide timely updates and information, which we did in traditional written and email form. In addition, to support a mobile and 24/7 workforce, we used technology to provide information through videos and update posts via a closed social media group for our employees.

During the start of the pandemic, a significant event took place in our area. We supported our local EMS and Public Safety partners as we experienced civil unrest as a result of the death of George Floyd. This time was demanding physically pandemic, the unrest and the summer increased our responses and it was emotionally demanding as we saw the toll both of these events took on our staff and our communities.

While COVID became a part of our regular responses, we moved into 2021 and experienced a workplace shooting at one of our clinics that our EMS staff responds to on a regular basis. The response to this event, the level of teamwork and dedication of our staff to providing exceptional care, highlights what makes Allina Health EMS one of the leaders in Minnesota EMS.

“Allina Health EMS providers show up everyday to be ready to respond to the needs of their community, whether it is a multi-vehicle crash on the freeway, a cardiac arrest of a grandparent or a new mom who is just scared and needs reassurance that her baby is okay. Our providers go above and beyond each day to take exceptional care of their patients and their communities. We are proud of everyone who supports the care of our communities and are looking forward to celebrating EMS Week 2021 with the team.” Susan Long, Vice President of Operations

EMS is important on many levels, but being there during a critical time of someone’s life is the most important to me. Being there to providing that voice of comfort to those who really need it, is the most rewarding part of all.
Kymberly Markgraf, EMT

Courage is being scared to death, but jumping in anyway. or Success is knowing another has breathed easier because of your help.
Kelly Pischke, Paramedic

EMS Week Celebrations

Food and fellowship are the highlights of this year’s EMS Week at Allina Health EMS! Physical distancing guidelines prevented us from having our typical EMS gatherings last year and hampered our ability to celebrate our Centennial Year of Service. We are looking forward to recognizing our staff in everyday interaction but especially during their week with safety measures in place during meals and activities during the week

NHTSA EMS.gov | EMS Week Video

From NHTSA’s Office of EMS on May 17, 2021

This week, May 16-22, 2021, we once again recognize the people of EMS by celebrating National EMS Week. We hope you’ll take a minute to watch this special message from the entire team here at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Office of EMS.


This year’s EMS Week theme, “This is EMS: Caring for our Communities,” couldn’t be more appropriate. The past year has been a challenge, but it has also reminded people across the nation just how valuable emergency medical services systems—and most important, clinicians—are to our communities. This nation is in debt to all of the EMS clinicians and the people behind the scenes who show up every day with true professionalism and dedication.

From all of us here at the Office of EMS, NHTSA, and the Department of Transportation: Thank you.

St. Charles County Ambulance District | EMS Week 2021 Featured Service

St. Charles County Ambulance District
St. Peters, Missouri
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St. Charles County Ambulance District (SCCAD) began operations in 1975 with three ambulances covering a largely rural 592 square mile service area. Over the past 45 years, the community has grown considerably; today, the population eclipses 400,000 residents. SCCAD, which currently employs 195 full-time staff and 70 part-time employees, has kept pace with the growth, adding stations and ambulances in strategic locations to ensure that response times to 911 emergencies remain short. The District currently staffs 19 advanced life support units from 16 stations serving all municipalities and unincorporated areas of the county. In addition to 911 response, SCCAD offers non-emergency inter-facility transport, which is staffed separately from the 911 division. In 2019, the District implemented a successful critical care ground transport program to help high-acuity patients get from our county’s community hospitals to the larger healthcare centers in St. Louis city and county.

Over the past decade, SCCAD has developed and implemented a number of innovative initiatives to better meet the evolving healthcare needs of our community. These include a multi-faceted Mobile Integrated Health (community paramedic) program, which focuses on readmission avoidance in partnership with several hospitals in our area, and SCCAD high-utilization patients identified by our paramedics. In addition, the MIH team collaborates with commercial insurers to offer services to their patients in the county. Also developed in recent years was the American Ambulance Association AMBY award-winning Substance Use Recovery Response Team, which sees specially-trained paramedics helping facilitate overdose patients’ entry into treatment programs if they’re willing to seek help. In 2018, the District launched a successful behavioral health telemedicine program in partnership with Behavioral Health Response. Most recently, SCCAD was one of only three EMS organizations in the state of Missouri selected to pilot the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Emergency Triage, Treat & Transport (ET3) program.

While COVID-19 most certainly presented operational challenges, it also offered EMS providers an opportunity to showcase our industry’s collective ability to adapt in the face of adverse conditions, and develop innovative, mission-driven solutions to meet the mobile health needs of the communities we serve.

From the onset, SCCAD embraced the challenge, working to develop strategies that would meet the needs of our employees, fellow first responders, and the community at large. To this end, our leadership team has worked in tandem with the St. Charles County Department of Public Health. Our Deputy Chiefs of Operations and Special Operations were added to the County’s incident command structure, and worked out of the County’s EOC to ensure a coordinated response. Meanwhile, our Deputy Chief Medical Officer worked tirelessly to develop aggressive contract tracing and quarantine procedures to ensure the safety of our team members, and worked to regularly push updated information out to crews. Under his direction, our training team spent time carefully reviewing donning/doffing and other safety protocols with team members.

In spring of last year, St. Charles County, like most other communities, struggled to scale up COVID-19 testing processes to meet demand. Residents experiencing symptoms were at times unable to get appointments for several days. Given the number of potential exposures that could result from a single infected paramedic, firefighter, or police officer, SCCAD’s MIH Team launched their first effort: a first responder testing program. The testing site enabled local police and fire agencies, along with SCCAD employees, to obtain a testing appointment in an expedited fashion. When local partners added more testing capacity toward autumn, we were able to scale down the testing effort.

Around the same time, Pfizer and Moderna began announcing initial success in clinical trials with their vaccines. With signs pointing toward emergency use authorization being granted by the FDA before year-end, the SCCAD team once again began strategizing on ways to make an impact. In conference with Public Health, it was determined that we would initially take point on first responder vaccinations, then move into other segments of the population while concurrently assisting with large-scale vaccination events being hosted by Public Health. Some of the vulnerable populations we’ve vaccinated have included elderly citizens residing at independent living senior apartments, homebound individuals, and those residing in rural areas of our county.

Though the past 14 months have been a stressful, challenging time, they’ve also shed a spotlight on the strength, determination, and character of many within our industry. In communities large and small across our state and nation, EMS is playing a critical role in getting things back to normal.

“Each and every day, our team of skilled professionals embody our values of dedication, compassion, accountability, integrity and respect. Through interactions on 911 calls, non-emergency transfers, and community safety programs, they are promoting best practices to integrated, community healthcare and enhancing the reputation not only of our organization, but also of the EMS industry.”
Kelly Cope, Chief

“Today’s healthcare landscape is constantly evolving, and paramedics are increasingly being relied upon to deliver the right treatment at the right place, time, and cost. Our team has risen to the occasion, developing and implementing several unique programs to address the unique needs of our community in recent years.”
Dave Lewis, Assistant Chief of Administration

“As is the case in many communities, our paramedics frequently find themselves serving not only a clinical role, but also one of counseling/social services. Our team has helped members of our community navigate everything from bed bug infestations to food instability. No matter the circumstances, patient advocacy is a critical role fulfilled by EMS.”
Kimberlyn Tihen, Mobile Integrated Health Division Captain

“EMS plays an important role in communities every day, but that role is heightened during significant and/or unique events. We’re relied upon to be part of the overall solution, projecting a sense of calm and reassurance. I’m grateful to work for an organization that invests heavily in training and equipment for these unique scenarios, giving me the tools I need to serve residents when the need arises.”
Rees Remington, Battalion Chief

To celebrate EMS Week, we’re patronizing a local small business in our community to show our appreciation to the paramedics and support staff of SCCAD. Prados, an upscale locally-owned Mexican cantina located within our community, will be preparing meal kits on May 17, 19 and 21 so each of our crews can enjoy a handcrafted lunch. Our leadership team will report to Prados at 11 a.m. on each of the aforementioned days, and will deliver the kits to our 16 stations across the county. Of course, our training, service center, maintenance, administration and other non-clinical team members are included.

In addition, we’ll be utilizing our social media feeds to highlight EMS Week and the work of our team.

Presidential Proclamation for EMS Week 2021

From Whitehouse.gov’s Briefing Room on Presidential Actions

A Proclamation on Emergency Medical Services Week, 2021

Every day, in communities across the country, Emergency Medical Service (EMS) providers put themselves on the line to save lives, safeguard dangerous situations, and deliver hope to families and communities in crisis.  With selflessness, professionalism, and grace under fire, they provide essential care — never more so than during our battle with COVID-19 over the past year.  This year’s Emergency Medical Services Week theme, “THIS IS EMS:  Caring for Our Communities,” honors our heroic frontline workers who provide vital emergency medical care and ease the burden of crisis for Americans in need of help.

Through service, compassion, and dedication, EMS providers represent the very best of the American spirit.  In the face of unprecedented challenges, their expertise, endurance, and hard work have been a literal lifeline for families in every community.  Whether responding to the enormous suffering caused by COVID-19, the devastation of extreme climate events, or daily medical emergencies, EMS providers — many of whom are volunteers — prepare, sacrifice, and put others ahead of themselves.  Not only do they assume the heightened risks associated with emergency care during a pandemic, but they also spend countless hours away from families and friends in order to serve their communities.

In the face of these challenges, EMS providers have not hesitated to take on new roles, including supporting COVID-19 testing, therapeutics, and vaccination sites.  To help support the women and men who do this vital work, my American Rescue Plan included $100 million to support the mental well-being — including the mental health — of our health care professionals, paraprofessionals, public safety officers, and EMS providers.  My Administration has also made it a priority to ensure that our State, local, Tribal, and territorial partners have the resources they need so that EMS providers are trained and equipped to respond to public health emergencies safely and effectively, now and in the future.

During Emergency Medical Services Week, we extend our deepest gratitude to all EMS providers.  Their courage, selflessness, and commitment are extraordinary examples of what it means to serve this great country.  We also extend our sincere condolences to the loved ones of EMS providers who have given their lives in the line of duty.  This week and every week, I urge all Americans to express their appreciation for our Nation’s EMS providers — and to bring greater safety to their lives, and to all of our lives, by getting vaccinated to help bring an end to the COVID-19 pandemic.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, JOSEPH R. BIDEN JR., President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim May 16 through May 22, 2021, as Emergency Medical Services Week.  I call upon public officials, doctors, nurses, paramedics, Emergency Medical Service providers, and all the people of the United States to observe this week with appropriate programs, ceremonies, and activities.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this fourteenth day of May, in the year of our Lord two thousand twenty-one, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-fifth.

 JOSEPH R. BIDEN JR.

 

 

EMS Week Featured Service Application

EMS Week will take place from May 16–22, 2021.  To celebrate the extraordinary contributions of ambulance services to the communities they serve, we will be featuring specific services throughout EMS week on AAA’s website and social media.

If you would like to apply to have your service featured, please complete and submit all fields below by May 14. Thank you for your service to your community!

 

 

 

EMS Week Featured Service Application

EMS Week will take place from May 16–22, 2021.  To celebrate the extraordinary contributions of ambulance services to the communities they serve, we will be featuring specific services throughout EMS week on AAA’s website and social media.

If you would like to apply to have your service featured, please complete and submit all fields below by May 12. Thank you for your service to your community!

 

 

 

EMS Week | EMS for Children Resources

From EIIC, the Emergency Medical Services for Children Innovation and Improvement Center

Celebrate the 5 Days of EMS Week

EMS Week celebrates both the EMS profession and professionals for the vital role they play in the healthcare continuum. Each year, every weekday of EMS Week is appointed a theme that represents the multi-faceted nature of EMS. This section provides fact sheets, with a pediatric focus, identifying their importance, and providing ideas on ways to celebrate them.

EMSC Day Proclamation

Includes a customizable proclamation and a sample letter to a state or city official to attract public attention to your local activities by designating Wednesday of EMS Week, as EMS for Children Day.

EMS Professionals Appreciation Templates

Includes certificates of appreciation and thank you cards (for use by preschoolers, elementary students, teens/adults) to honor the EMS and acute care professionals for the work they do on behalf of children.

Social Media Artwork

This includes social media graphics, web banners, email badges, and a postcard to help you spread the word about National EMS for Children Day.

Child Activity Sheets

Includes coloring pages, dot-to-dots, mazes, crosswords, and much more to enhance awareness among children on how to prepare for and respond to a health care emergency and how to prevent childhood injury and illness.

EMSC History and Background

Includes fact sheets to promote greater awareness of EMSC activities, resources, and accomplishments

EMS Week 2021!

EMS Strong banner
Dear EMS Professional,

Over the last year, the pandemic has given people a small glimpse of the vital role of EMS professionals. The sacrifice and dedication of EMTs, paramedics and other EMS practitioners has rightfully earned them admiration and gratitude in their communities. Calling us heroes sometimes obscures the fact that—behind those masks—are people who, every day, take on many crucial roles: Healthcare professional. Emergency manager. Social worker. Crisis counselor. Consoler. Caregiver.

What is EMS Strong?

EMS Strong is a campaign that seeks to celebrate, unify and inspire the men and women of our nation’s emergency medical services. Learn More

Download the 2021
EMS Week Planning Guide

FINDING NEW WAYS TO CARE FOR HER COMMUNITY

Paramedic, firefighter and R.N., Jessica Banks, of Palm Beach County Fire Rescue, has built many successful programs designed to improve patient care and outcomes. Read More

SOUTH DAKOTA PARAMEDIC FINDS HIS CALLING

Paramedic Ralph Young is an emergency medicine advocate who has spent three decades supporting the Rosebud Sioux Tribe Ambulance Service in South Dakota. Read More

LEARNING FROM HER FIREHOUSE FAMILY

20-year-old Kaylee Eckert, a volunteer at Goochland County Fire & Rescue Department, manages long transports in rural Virginia. Read More

BUILDING A CAREER AS A CONSTRUCTION SITE MEDIC

EMT Savanna Fatony has spent the past two years employed as a health and safety medical technician for Amphibious Medics, a company that provides occupational health and wellness services on construction sites and in industrial settings. Read More

CARING FOR OUR COMMUNITIES DURING A PANDEMIC

It was a year like no other. During EMS Week 2020, Philadelphia Fire Department crews faced staff shortages due to COVID-19. Read More

EMS WEEK 2021 IS ALMOST HERE!

Get ready to recognize and honor EMS in your community.
Now more than ever, it’s important to acknowledge all of your team members and educate your community about the valuable role that EMS plays. Read More

5 THEME DAYS FOR 5 WAYS TO CELEBRATE

National EMS Week, May 16-22, celebrates both the EMS profession and professionals for the vital role they play in the healthcare continuum. Here are the themes for each weekday:

Monday: EDUCATION DAY
Tuesday: SAFETY DAY
Wednesday: EMS FOR CHILDREN DAY
Thursday: SAVE A LIFE DAY (CPR & National Stop the Bleed Day)
Friday: EMS RECOGNITION DAY
Read More

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Copyright © 2021 EMS Strong, All rights reserved.

Registration Open! Annual & Stars In Texas

Annual & Stars of Life—Even Better Together!

The 2021 American Ambulance Association Annual Conference & Trade Show and Stars of Life EMS recognition event will take place TOGETHER in Grapevine, Texas, this November.

It has been a LONG year, but the wait is over and we can finally get together in person. Please join us in Texas in November to celebrate all that EMS has overcome, as well as to work collaboratively to solve the problems of today—and tomorrow.

Early Bird rates for the 2021 Annual Conference & Trade Show are available now! This is the best opportunity to save on registration for the EMS leadership event of the year. Save even more on registration when you bring a team of two or more!

Learn from the industry’s best, reconnect with peers from across the country, and return to your service with a renewed sense of purpose. What are you waiting for? We can’t wait to see you in Texas in November. Register now for AAA 2021!

► This year only, the American Ambulance Association’s Stars of Life will take place at the same location in Texas! Register your Stars for the November 2–3 Stars of Life event using the same convenient online process you use to register your leadership team for the November 1–3 Annual Conference & Trade Show.◄
AAA 2021 features a star-studded lineup of industry experts. Check out this year’s speakers and review the full agenda to find out what we have in store for you in Texas!

Elliot Eisenberg | The Macroeconomics of EMS
Chief Economist, Graphs & Laughs
Internationally acclaimed, member-recommended speaker and economics expert.
@Econ70 | Facebook
Good Morning American Ambulance Association!
Join Rob Lawrence (Pro EMS, California Ambulance Assoc), Alexia Jobson (REMSA), and Mark Tenia (Richmond Ambulance Authority) for an EMS morning show that will energize, inspire, and connect.
The American Ambulance Association’s Stars of Life program celebrates the contributions of ambulance professionals who have gone above and beyond the call of duty in service to their communities or the EMS profession.

Recognize the unsung heroes at your ambulance service—nominate EMTs, Paramedics, Dispatchers, and other EMS professionals for this year’s class of Stars. Stars of Life honors the contributions of these heroes while shining light on the critical role EMS plays in our healthcare infrastructure.

2021 Stars of Life will take place in Grapevine, Texas November 2–3 in conjunction with the American Ambulance Association’s Annual Conference & Trade Show. Visit www.annual.ambulance.org to nominate YOUR Stars today! 

Stars of Life 2021 Agenda

Tuesday, November 2

  • 15:00 | Expo Hall Closing Reception (Optional)
  • 16:00 | Awards at President’s Reception
  • Dinner with Hosting Agency Leaders (Optional)

Wednesday, November 3

  • 09:30 | Secrets of EMS Post Secret Keynote
  • 10:30 | EMS Improv Class
  • 13:00 | Luncheon with AAA Leaders
  • 14:00 | Safetech Leadership Workshop
  • 16:30 | Adjournment

Note: We regret that we are not presently able to accommodate family member guests at the full 2021 Stars of Life event. There are no face-to-face or virtual legislator visits planned for this year’s Stars of Life.

Experience the Gaylord Texan
Everything is bigger in Texas and that undoubtedly includes Gaylord Texan Resort & Convention Center! Standing on the shores of Lake Grapevine with 4.5 acres of indoor gardens, several world-class restaurants, a 10-acre outdoor waterpark, seasonal resort pool, and indoor lap pool, this is a hotel that could only make its home in The Lone Star State.Enjoy the convenient location near Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, Grapevine Mills® shopping centerLEGOLAND®, and the Dallas Cowboys Golf Club.The Gaylord Texan’s spacious hotel rooms and suites provide an exceptional opportunity to relax, and you can unwind even more at the resort’s on-site spa, Relâche Spa & Salon. Make your time at the AAA conference extraordinary at the Gaylord Texan Resort & Convention Center! Reserve your rooms for Annual and Stars of Life now at low AAA rates!►
New for 2021, the American Ambulance Association is offering even more opportunities to connect with new colleagues!
Put your brand in the spotlight! If you are interested in showcasing your organization at our tradeshow, email hello@ambulance.org to receive information when booth registration opens mid-May.

EMS Week is May 16–22


EMS Strong banner

Dear EMS Professional,

Over the last year, the pandemic has given people a small glimpse of the vital role of EMS professionals. The sacrifice and dedication of EMTs, paramedics and other EMS practitioners has rightfully earned them admiration and gratitude in their communities. Calling us heroes sometimes obscures the fact that—behind those masks—are people who, every day, take on many crucial roles: Healthcare professional. Emergency manager. Social worker. Crisis counselor. Consoler. Caregiver.

What is EMS Strong?

EMS Strong is a campaign that seeks to celebrate, unify and inspire the men and women of our nation’s emergency medical services. Learn More

Download the 2021
EMS Week Planning Guide

COLUMBINE TRAGEDY LEADS TO CAREER IN EMS

How does your past impact your decisions and the direction your life will take? For Heather Edwards, one spring day more than 20 years ago set her on a course for a career in emergency medicine. Read More

EMS IN DEATH VALLEY NATIONAL PARK

He’s part EMT, part park ranger and part law enforcement officer: Meet Max Gallegos, a law enforcement ranger in Death Valley National Park.
Read More

PASSING ON A LOVE FOR EMS

Yolanda Johnson spent 10 years on an ambulance in Peoria, IL, before becoming an EMS instructor. Read More

A SEAT AT THE TABLE

It’s time for EMS to take the lead in making sure our healthcare partners know who we are. Read More

TO CARE FOR YOUR COMMUNITY, YOU ALSO MUST TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF

Managing stress and anxiety during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond Read More

EMS WEEK 2021 IS ALMOST HERE!

Get ready to recognize and honor EMS in your community.
Now more than ever, it’s important to acknowledge all of your team members and educate your community about the valuable role that EMS plays.
Read More

5 THEME DAYS FOR 5 WAYS TO CELEBRATE

National EMS Week, May 16-22, celebrates both the EMS profession and professionals for the vital role they play in the healthcare continuum. Here are the themes for each weekday:

Monday: EDUCATION DAY
Tuesday: SAFETY DAY
Wednesday: EMS FOR CHILDREN DAY
Thursday: SAVE A LIFE DAY (CPR & National Stop the Bleed Day)
Friday: EMS RECOGNITION DAY

Read More

Presented by ACEP in Partnership with NAEMT



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Copyright © 2021 EMS Strong, All rights reserved.