Massachusetts | Stress On EMTs Increases During Pandemic

From CBS Boston

‘You’re Always Thinking About COVID,’ Stress On EMTs Increases During Pandemic

MEDFORD (CBS) – Frontline workers are now in their ninth month battling the COVID-19 pandemic. For Emergency Medical Technicians coronavirus has introduced a new kind of uncertainty to their jobs.

“You’re always thinking about COVID,” paramedic Victor Markaze told WBZ-TV. “You don’t know who’s sick and who’s not sick anymore, so now everyone is being treated as sick.”

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FBHA Workshop | Saving Those Who Save Others

American Ambulance Association mental and behavioral health partner the Firefighter Behavioral Health Alliance is offering two sessions of their “Saving Those Who Save Others” virtual workshop.

Saving Those Who Save Others

December 17
Afternoon Session: 14:00 ET | Register►
Evening Session: 19:00 ET | Register►

This Zoom seminar, typically $25, is free to AAA members! Please enter “AAA member” in the comment section of the registration page and you will not be charged for your attendance.

FBHA understands the stress COVID 19 has brought to fire and EMS organizations in regard to educating your members on behavioral health, PTSD and suicide awareness. To date, FBHA has cancelled over 80 workshops across the US this year. Since we are not able to travel and businesses are still on lockdown, we are offering another option.

We are excited to offer needed training virtually! We are offering our “Saving Those Who Save Others” workshop on the Zoom platform. During the workshop, we will discuss PTSD within the fire and EMS services as well as suicide awareness, plus recommendations to help yourself and your department.

Two classes will be offered on December 17, 2020. The afternoon class is at 1300 hours (CST) and the evening class is at 1900 hours (CST). The 2 hour class is $25.00.

Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders in EMS

From JEMS on October 9, 2020

Recognizing and Supporting EMS Providers with Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders

By Meredith M. O’Neal, MA; Simone Joannou, MA; and James Langabeer, PhD, EMT

About 30 percent of first responders develop mental health disorders, including depression, Acute Stress Disorder (ASD) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), as compared with 20 percent in the general population.3 Another common occupational risk factor includes acute and chronic exposure to both primary and secondary trauma, the latter referring to the phenomenon of emotional and moral attachment to the experience of the individuals they rescue.

These overwhelming demands from first responders can lead to compassion fatigue, a depleted capacity for empathy that results in various behavioral issues including depression and anxiety. Burnout is a similar phenomenon of exhaustion resulting from occupational strain such as overwork and lack of support from leadership. These conditions have been found to directly contribute to the more than doubled suicide rates among medics than other professionals.

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EMS Sleep Health Study—Agencies Wanted

From the National Association of State EMS Officials

OMB Control Number: 2127-0742
ICR Reference Number: 201811-2127-003
Expiration Date: 08/31/2022

Who?

Daniel Patterson, PhD, NRP from the University of Pittsburgh Department of Emergency Medicine is leading a research study that seeks to examine the impact of a sleep health and fatigue education and training program tailored to Emergency Medical Services (EMS) clinicians. This research study has financial support from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to the National Association of State EMS Officials (NASEMSO). The University of Pittsburgh has partnered with the NASEMSO as a sub-contractor for purposes of conducting this research study.

What?

This research study is an experiment that will test the impact of a new sleep health and fatigue training education program. The program is designed to improve the individual EMS clinician’s sleep health and reduce work-related fatigue through education and training. The program will be administered entirely online (via the internet) and will be accessible to EMS clinicians located at the EMS agencies that agree to participate in this research study.

When?

The study team will begin recruiting EMS agencies to participate in this study in late January 2020. Each agency will be asked to participate for a total of 24 weeks. Participation is voluntary.

How?

Researchers will ask EMS agency administrators to help recruit individual EMS clinicians at their agency to participate in this research study. Participation will be completely voluntary and confidential. The study team will mostly use data collection tools available via the Internet. Some data collection will involve mobile phone text messages. The research study’s website will be secure and require a unique login (username and password) from each individual EMS clinician. Some EMS clinicians may be asked to wear a wrist actigraph to measure sleep and complete a reaction time test at the start and end of a few scheduled work shifts during the study period.

Who is Eligible?

The study team is seeking participation from EMS agencies located in the United States (including Alaska and Hawaii). Criteria for eligibility include: [1] The EMS agency provides EMS services (including 911 response and transport). [2] The EMS agency provides ground-based EMS services 24-hours a day. Agencies limited to air-medical services only are not eligible. [3] The EMS agency employs between 50 and 300 EMS paid full-time and part-time clinicians/personnel. Agencies that use an all-volunteer staffing model are not eligible. [4] Agencies restrict their EMS clinicians to use their personal mobile phones/smartphones during shifts are not eligible. [5] Operations that provide both fire suppression and EMS 911 response and transport are eligible and encouraged to participate.

Remuneration

Those who qualify for the study and choose to participate will receive remuneration worth approximately $35 U.S. dollars. All individual participants will receive remuneration in the form of a gift card totaling approximately $35 in value. A $5 gift card will be distributed at the beginning, when the individual enrolls, every month the individual is involved in the study, and at the end of the study (month 6). All gift cards will be distributed via U.S. Mail directly to individual participants.

Interested?

If you are the administrator/manager of an EMS agency that is eligible to participate, and wish to participate or wish to know more about this study, please contact the study principal investigator (Daniel Patterson, PhD, NRP) at: pdp3@pitt.edu or 412-864-3830.

COVID-19 fatalities among EMS clinicians

From EMS1
by
By Brian J. Maguire, Dr.PH, MSA, EMT-P
Barbara J. O’Neill, PhD, RN
Scot Phelps, JD, MPH, Paramedic
Paul M. Maniscalco, PhD(c), MPA, MS, EMT/P, LP
Daniel R. Gerard, MS, RN, NRP
Kathleen A. Handal, MD

The devastating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic resonate around the world. Escalating infection and death rates are reported daily. While emergency medical services clinicians have been operating at the far forward front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic from the start, their infections, lost work time, long-term clinical manifestations and deaths have not been adequately reported or recorded [1]. In this article, we examine currently available EMS COVID-19 mortality data in order to describe the extent of EMS losses and to compare the risks for EMS clinicians to the risks for other related professions.

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DOL | Employee vs Independent Contractor

From Seyfarth on September 22, 2020

DOL Proposes Its First-Ever Interpretation on Independent Contractor vs. Employee

By: Noah A. Finkel, Camille A. Olson, Louisa J. Johnson, and John R. Skelton

For decades, companies have wrestled with whether certain workers must be treated as employees subject to various employment laws and company rules or whether they are appropriately classified as independent contractors with different terms of engagement, work, and pay and tax consequences. Amid a changing economy and evolving business models, companies continue to consider the application of an alphabet soup of federal employment statutes plus the laws of the states in which they do business, many of which contain different definitions of “employee” and conversely “independent contractor,” few of which provide clear guidance on how to meet the definition of independent contractor status.

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