May 29, 2020
Dr. Jon Krohmer, NHTSA, HRTF EMS/Pre-hospital Team Lead
Kate Elkins, NHTSA, HRTF EMS/Pre-hospital Deputy Team Lead
911, the universal number to call for emergency help nationwide, is a proven, life-saving service to the public. NHTSA’s Office of EMS oversees the National 911 Program, which envisions an emergency response system that best serves the public, providing immediate help in all emergency situations. This presentation covered the current Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Environment, Impacts and Next Steps for EMS in regards to COVID-19, and EMS and Fire Impacts on Community Lifelines.
May 21, 2020
Presentation by N. Clay Mann PhD, MS, MBA
NEMSIS Technical Assistance Center
This document is provided by NHTSA in an effort to help State EMS Officials track particular EMS activations occurring during the COVID‐19 pandemic. This document will be updated periodically to provide current information regarding temporal variations in the type and characteristics of EMS activations occurring in the U.S. during the COVID‐19 outbreak.
Please contact the NEMSIS Technical Assistance Center for updates to this document.
Contact N. Clay Mann at firstname.lastname@example.org.
EMS Focus webinar on Tuesday, May 12, at 3 p.m. ET/12 p.m. PT will feature local EMS medical directors and Federal officials discussing COVID-19 testing and implications for EMS organizations and clinicians
Tuesday, May 12, 2020
3:00 PM ET / 12:00 AM PT
As we continue to learn more about the novel coronavirus and COVID-19, we’re also learning more about COVID-19 testing: Who should get tested, and when? How accurate are the tests? In this webinar, hosted be NHTSA’s Office of EMS, you’ll learn:
Three panelists deeply involved in the EMS and public health response to COVID-19 will share their expertise:
Jonathan Jui, MD, MPH, FACEP, is EMS medical director for Multnomah County, Oregon, including the City of Portland and the county 911 center. He is also a member of the Oregon 2 Disaster Medical Assistance Team and a professor of emergency medicine at Oregon Health & Science University. Dr. Jui is board certified in emergency medicine, internal medicine, EMS, and infectious disease.
Michael Sayre, MD, is medical director for the Seattle Fire Department and the Seattle Medic One program and an emergency physician at Harborview Medical Center. He is a professor of emergency medicine at the University of Washington, where he also serves as the medical director for the Michael K. Copass Paramedic Training Program and leads the EMS Medicine Fellowship program.
S. Michele Owen, PhD, is associate director for laboratory science at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD and TB prevention. She is also currently serving as Co-Lead for the COVID-19 Laboratory Task Force in the CDC Incident Management Structure.
The webinar will be moderated by Jon Krohmer, MD, FACEP, FAEMS, director of the NHTSA Office of EMS and co-chair of the EMS/Pre-hospital Team within the FEMA Healthcare Resilience Task, which is leading the development of a comprehensive strategy for the US healthcare system to facilitate resiliency and responsiveness to the threats posed by COVID-19.
Note: This live webinar will be limited to the first 3000 people to login using the link provided. Attendees will be encouraged to submit questions during any point of the discussion. The webinar and Q&A will last approximately one hour. A recording of the webinar will be shared as soon as it is available.
Our partners at HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response are hosting a COVID-19 Clinical Rounds webinar this week. See below for more information and links to register. And be sure to access the latest COVID-19 information for EMS at the updated COVID-19 Resources for EMS.
Thursday, May 7, 2020
12:00 PM EDT / 9:00 AM PDT
Welcome and Introductions
Richard C. Hunt, MD, FACEP, HHS/ASPR National Healthcare Preparedness Programs
Patient Care and Operations
James E. Black, MD, Medical Director for Emergency Services for Phoebe Putney Health Systems
Additional Speakers – TBD
Q & A and Discussion
NHTSA Office of EMS Director Jon Krohmer, MD, will be moderating the next COVID-19 Clinical Rounds: EMS webinar, co-hosted by our partners at the HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response. See below for more information and links to register. And be sure to access the latest COVID-19 information for EMS at the updated COVID-19 Resources for EMS.
Monday, May 4, 2020
12:00 PM EDT / 9:00 AM PDT
Welcome and Introductions
Jon R. Krohmer, MD, FACEP, FAEMS, Director, Office of EMS, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
Patient Care and Operations
David Gerstner, EMT-P, Regional MMRS Coordinator, West Central Ohio, Dayton Fire Department & Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine
Carol A. Cunningham, MD, FAAEM, FAEMS, State Medical Director, Ohio Department of Public Safety, Division of EMS
Q & A and Discussion
Read as a PDF
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) staff prepared this summary document on the
status of the Emergency Medical Services (EMS) education pipeline during a series of recent conference
calls with EMS stakeholder organizations. Included is a list of national, state, and local considerations
for EMS stakeholders. These considerations do not necessarily reflect official policy positions of the
organizations that participated during the conference calls. This document is intended to serve as an
informational resource for EMS stakeholders. This summary does not establish legal requirements or
obligations, and its content does not necessarily reflect agency recommendations or policy.
Contributors to its content included representatives from the National Registry of Emergency Medical
Technicians (NREMT), the National Association of EMS Educators (NAEMSE), the Committee on
Accreditation for the EMS Professions (CoAEMSP), the Commission on Accreditation for Pre-Hospital
Continuing Education, the National Association of State EMS Officials, the International Association of
Fire Chiefs, the American Ambulance Association, the National Association of Emergency Medical
Technicians, the American College of Surgeons, and the Interstate Commission for EMS Personnel
Challenges Facing EMS Education
Nationwide social distancing measures have led to closures, delays, and other impacts on the national
EMS education system. National, State, and local EMS organizations are collaborating to address these
challenges, but prolonged delays are likely in the education, certification, and licensing of tens of
thousands of entry-level EMS clinicians.
EMS Education Programs Closed
Community colleges, universities, fire academies, and other programs that provide EMS education
throughout the country closed in response to social distancing measures. Many of these institutions
created distance learning programs to help current students complete their didactic education.
However, not every EMS education program has the resources to support online or distance learning
To assist EMS education programs, NAEMSE has led a webinar series on transitioning to the online
classroom2 and is collaborating with NREMT to develop best practices for distance education.
EMS students must also complete in-hospital and pre-hospital clinical rotations to graduate.
Unfortunately, most clinical and field internship sites remain closed to students based on a combination
of factors, such as government restrictions and recommendations on traveling and social distancing, lack
of personal protective equipment (PPE) for students, or the decision of the clinical site to restrict
CoAEMSP acknowledged the need for its 706 accredited paramedic education programs to modify
current graduation requirements.
On April 5th, 2020, the CoAEMSP Board of Directors issued a
statement regarding Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) to clarify that Paramedic educational programs may employ a broad array of approaches, including simulation, in determining competency in
didactic, laboratory, clinical, field experience, and capstone field internship.
Another option suggested by stakeholders for increasing the number of competent, entry-level EMS
clinicians to enter the workforce with advanced life support (ALS) skills may be allowing paramedic
students to graduate early and be tested as Advanced EMTs (AEMTs).
Testing and Certification Delayed
NREMT is the national certification agency for EMS clinicians. NREMT testing and certification (after
completion of approved education) is a requirement for EMS clinician licensure in most States. NREMT’s
cognitive (computer-based written) exam is administered by Pearson VUE. On March 17, 2020, Pearson
VUE closed most of its nearly 700 testing centers nationwide. Over the subsequent weeks,
approximately 450 of Pearson VUE’s testing centers have re-opened at reduced capacity, with more
projected to open in the future. Many testing sites remain closed under State government orders that
closed State colleges and universities. Allowing sites to remain open for the sole purpose of testing EMS
and other healthcare professionals would help alleviate the lack of testing capacity. Open testing centers
are operating at approximately 50% capacity due to social distancing measures.
NREMT is temporarily not requiring the psychomotor (hands-on skills) examination due to social
distancing guidelines. It is offering a provisional certification that requires only the successful completion of
the EMS education course and the cognitive exam. NREMT has accelerated plans for remote proctoring
of the cognitive exam, which will be available for the AEMT examination and the EMT examination in
May 2020. These emergency measures will help to continue certifying new EMS professionals.
Historically, the NREMT tests over 60,000 EMS clinicians in the spring season. NREMT projects that a
significantly lower number of EMS clinicians will be tested this year due to the cancellation of EMS
education courses. Consequently, local EMS agencies will face a severe workforce supply shortage
within the next three months.
Recertification Deadlines Extended
NREMT has approved a 90-day extension on EMS certifications that were due to expire on March 31,
2020, and waived continuing education requirements for face-to-face instruction. States are beginning
to modify relicensing requirements in line with NREMT’s actions.
Specialty certification courses (such as Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation, Pediatric Advanced Life Support,
Pre-Hospital Trauma Life Support, Advanced Cardiac Life Support, etc.) are often required as part of EMS
education, certification, licensure, or affiliation. Many specialty certification course providers have
created online courses for didactic materials, and either waived hands-on skills requirements or
provided guidance on safely facilitating in-person instruction. Most have also extended or waived
current expiration dates.
Licensure Modifications Underway
State EMS offices license EMS clinicians, regulate local EMS agencies, and support EMS system
development. Many State EMS staff are currently deployed to state operations centers supporting the
COVID-19 response, including guiding statewide efforts to support crisis standards of care (CSC) planning
for EMS. Multiple States have temporarily waived or modified licensure policies to streamline licensure.
Emergency Medical Service (EMS) Education Pipeline
Twenty States are accepting NREMT provisional certification as a condition of licensure; however, some
States4 have reported that their laws and rules prohibit issuing licenses to holders of the NREMT
A few states require fingerprinting and a criminal background check as a condition for licensure;
however, social distancing measures and public building closures have made fingerprinting services
largely unavailable. Some States5 are offering provisional licensure that defers a criminal background
check until the public health emergency ends. Employers cannot assume a provisional licensee had a
background check and may now need to do this as part of their hiring process. States are also
reactivating expired licenses within specified time frames.
Twenty States are members of the Interstate EMS Licensure Compact (Compact), which was formally
activated in response to COVID-19. The Compact will enable interstate recognition of EMS clinician
licensure between member States. However, the Compact does not address practice by EMS clinicians in
non-traditional settings, such as hospitals. Many States6 grant physicians authority to delegate certain
aspects of medical practice, which may give hospitals flexibility to use EMS personnel in an expanded
In the United States, more than 18,200 EMS agencies, staffed by a total licensed workforce of more than
1.03 million EMS clinicians, provide ubiquitous 24/7 coverage of the entire Nation. In 2019, these EMS
agencies responded to more than 28.5 million 911 dispatches.
Stakeholders have reported an average 30 percent decline in EMS transports in areas not yet severely
impacted by the public health emergency, which they attribute to less public willingness to be
transported to hospitals. This decline in EMS transports has led to a decline in insurance reimbursement
revenue9 accompanied by an anticipated decline in State and local tax revenue. As a result, EMS
stakeholders have reported widespread hiring freezes and potential future furloughs and layoffs.
Despite the need for 24/7 service, stakeholders anticipate that the inability to hire, coupled with
workforce supply shortages (attributed to the shutdown of EMS education programs), will lead to
prolonged EMS staffing shortfalls. In some cases, these staffing shortfalls may take effect as COVID-19
peaks locally resulting in potentially insufficient staffing to respond to an expected surge of EMS calls.
As components of the workforce pipeline partially resume operations, employers will face additional
challenges, such as delays in fingerprint-based background checks and remedial education and testing
for provisionally certified and licensed EMS personnel.
The long-term impact of system accommodations (e.g., deferred background checks, proctored exams,
provisional certification and licensing) is unknown. In addition, there is also growing concern that the
pandemic may increase EMS workforce turnover.
State and Local Considerations for EMS Stakeholders
Based on the issues and challenges discussed above, stakeholders may consider the following
measures at the State and local levels:
1. Enable EMS clinicians with a NREMT provisional certification to pursue provisional State
2. Enable EMS clinicians with expired licenses to pursue provisional State licensure.
3. Prioritize the reopening of EMS clinical skills labs when reopening educational institutions.
4. Encourage EMS education programs to provide distance learning resources to all students. Front-load didactic education for EMS students until clinical skills labs, clinical internships, and field
internships can resume.
5. Enable States, colleges, and educational programs to allow modified approaches to clinical skills
labs, clinical internships, and field internships, when they can be conducted safely.
6. Encourage the sharing of best practices by State and local authorities.
7. Encourage collaboration between educational programs to develop online education
8. Permit public and private education testing centers to administer the NREMT examination
within local jurisdictions, while following strict social distancing protocols.
9. Explore the ability to verify course completion and/or testing paramedic students at the AEMTlevel,
provided the state has approved an AEMT course.
National Considerations for EMS Stakeholders
In addition, stakeholders may consider the following measures at the national level to the extent
permitted by applicable law:
1. Permit fingerprinting centers to open to support criminal background checks for EMS clinicians
as a condition of licensure or employment. Explore other innovative solutions for conducting
criminal background checks.
2. Continue convening national EMS organizations to facilitate collaborative and innovative
problem-solving. Engage additional stakeholders, such as the Accreditation Council for Graduate
Medical Education, to coordinate healthcare education efforts.
3. Consider, as essential critical infrastructure workers, those workers involved in the certification,
licensing, and credentialing of EMS personnel and other healthcare workers.
4. Consider, as essential critical infrastructure workers, those workers supporting public and
private education testing centers for EMS personnel and other healthcare workers.
5. Share EMS educational best practices nationally.
6. Support technology for EMS education programs to conduct remote training, high-fidelity
simulation and other tools for effective training while also supporting social distancing.
March 16, 2020
EMS STRONG LAUNCHES “READY TODAY. PREPARING FOR TOMORROW.” CAMPAIGN TO HONOR EMS PROFESSIONALS
Campaign unifies the profession and brings awareness to National EMS Week, May 17-23, 2020
WASHINGTON March 16, 2020– The American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP), in partnership with the National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians (NAEMT), is proud to announce this year’s EMS STRONG campaign theme: READY TODAY. PREPARING FOR TOMORROW. The annual EMS STRONG campaign provides opportunities to recognize the Emergency Medical Services (EMS) community, enhance and strengthen the profession on a national level and celebrate National EMS Week, May 17-23, 2020.
The campaign brings together key organizations, media partners and corporate sponsors that are committed to recognizing and fortifying the EMS community, commending recent groundbreaking accomplishments and increasing awareness of National EMS Week.
“As we enter a new decade, we look ahead to the future of prehospital care. This future will include dramatic improvements in patient care, thanks to advances in research, information sharing and life- changing technology,” says William P. Jaquis, MD, FACEP, President of ACEP. “During National EMS Week, and throughout the year, we are proud to recognize EMS and fire professionals who tirelessly serve their communities and care for patients and their families every day.”
EMSSTRONG.org serves as a resource for stakeholders and the public to learn of inspiring stories from EMS practitioners, ways to get involved and EMS Week ideas, activities and templates. The website, which is also home to the annual EMS Week Planning Guide, encourages EMS professionals and stakeholders to promote their own industry and share content on social media platforms.
“The 2020 theme ‘Ready Today. Preparing for Tomorrow’ reﬂects what individual EMS professionals and organizations do every day as they respond to calls for help at any time and in any place,” explains
NAEMT President Matt Zavadsky. “The EMT and paramedic care of tomorrow will continue to expand into services that include community paramedicine, injury and illness prevention training and CPR and bleeding control education.”
EMS Week dedicates each weekday to specific themes under the “Ready Today. Preparing for Tomorrow.” umbrella. First responders are encouraged to plan activities and events around these themes in their communities.
Integral to the campaign’s success is the continuing involvement of the corporate sponsors, strategic association partners and strategic media partners.
Genentech, American Red Cross, DrFirst, Health Scholars, Stryker, Teleflex, NHTSA/Office of EMS, National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT), AdvancedCPR Solutions, Aero Healthcare, Air Methods, Laerdal Medical, McKesson Medical-Surgical, North American Rescue, Sprint and Zoll.
American Ambulance Association, Association of Air Medical Services, Commission on Accreditation for Prehospital Continuing Education, Committee on Accreditation of Educational Programs for the EMS Professions, International Association of Fire Chiefs, International Association of Flight and Critical Care Paramedics, International Public Safety Association, National Association of EMS Educators, National Association of EMS Physicians, National Association of State EMS Officials, National EMS Management Association, National Fire Protection Association, National Registry of EMTs and National Volunteer Fire Council.
EMS1.com, EMS World and JEMS/EMS Today
For more information on the campaign, please visit: EMSSTRONG.org.
For Immediate Release
A.J. Heightman, MPA, EMT-P
Baltimore, MD, February 25, 2016 – The American Ambulance Association (AAA) and the Journal of Emergency Medical Services (JEMS) today announced a collaboration to bring robust content and educational offerings to AAA members in the emergency medical services (EMS) and medical transportation industry.
AAA members will now receive complimentary access to EMS Insider gated content covering key EMS topics for top-level decision-makers. Additionally, JEMS will provide in-depth journalistic coverage, as the exclusive media partner, of AAA’s events and initiatives, including the Stars of Life EMS personnel recognition program.
“We are excited to bring innovative EMS Insider content and high-quality event coverage to our members,” said American Ambulance Association executive vice president Maria Bianchi. “We look forward to working with the JEMS team to shine light on the AAA Stars of Life who do so much for their communities.”
“JEMS is pleased to collaborate with the American Ambulance Association,” said A.J. Heightman, editor-in-chief of JEMS and EMS Insider. “AAA members are EMS leaders, and we look forward to providing additional content that will support their efforts to provide expert care to patients while driving operational excellence.”
To kick off the partnership, AAA will exhibit at EMS Today Conference and Exposition|The JEMS Conference 2016 in Baltimore, February 25–27, accompanied by top leaders from the member community. JEMS will in turn serve as the official media partner of AAA’s Stars of Life in Washington, D.C. April 11–13, bringing fresh visibility to the EMS heroes honored there. The collaboration will carry through the 2016 AAA Annual Conference and Tradeshow and EMS Today Conference and Exposition|The JEMS Conference 2017 in Salt Lake City, UT, with additional content and networking opportunities for AAA members to be developed over time. “This is just the beginning,” said JEMS’s A.J. Heightman.
About the American Ambulance Association (AAA)
Founded in 1979, the American Ambulance Association represents hundreds of ambulance services across the United States that participate in emergency and nonemergency care and medical transportation. AAA’s advocacy, member resources, educational offerings, and publications support excellence in pre-hospital care, an essential part of the public healthcare system. www.ambulance.org
About the Journal of Emergency Medical Services (JEMS)
As “The Conscience of EMS,” JEMS leads the industry in providing the EMS advanced provider, instructor and administrator with clinical breakthroughs, product reviews, continuing education and more. JEMS is backed by the strength of PennWell, a media and information company with 130 print and online magazines and newsletters, 60 conferences and exhibitions on six continents, and an extensive offering of books, maps, websites, research products, digital media, and database services. www.jems.com.
About PennWell Corporation
Founded in 1910 in Tulsa, Oklahoma, PennWell Corporation is a privately held and highly diversified business-to-business media and information company that provides quality content and integrated marketing solutions for the following industries: Oil and gas, electric power generation and delivery, hydropower, renewable energy, water and wastewater treatment, waste management, electronics, semiconductor manufacturing, optoelectronics, fiber-optics, aerospace and avionics, LEDs and lighting, fire and emergency services, public safety, and dental.
PennWell publishes over 130 print and online magazines and newsletters, conducts 60 conferences and exhibitions on six continents, and has an extensive offering of books, maps, websites, research and database services. PennWell Public Safety, a PennWell business located in La Jolla, CA, produces public safety products and services including JEMS (Journal of Emergency Medical Services), JEMS.com, Law Officer Magazine, EMS Today Conference and Exposition, LawOfficer.com and other products.
In addition to PennWell’s headquarters in Tulsa, Oklahoma, the Company has major offices in Nashua, New Hampshire; London, England; Houston, Texas; San Diego and Mountain View, California; Fairlawn, New Jersey; Moscow, Russia; and Hong Kong, China. www.pennwell.com
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In 2016, AAA is working closely with the Journal of Emergency Medical Services (JEMS) to bring members even more high-quality educational opportunities.
As such, we are proud to offer members a special Buy-One, Get-One discount on Gold Passport registrations to the upcoming EMS Today conference in Baltimore, February 25–27. Register for a Gold Passport with code AAA before February 12, and you will receive a code for a free Gold Passport to share with a friend!
EMS Today (a JEMS conference)