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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PA | $20,000 Signing Bonus, $25/Hour—Zero Applicants

From JEMS 

Cumberland Goodwill EMS (PA) hang up a help wanted sign, but no one answered.

Assistant Chief Nathan Harig tells ABC 27 they’re seeing a shortage of paramedics and are trying to hire a paramedic for an open position. One problem: not one person applied despite the agency offering a $20,000 signing bonus and $25 per hour pay.

“We’re doing everything we can to try to motivate people to come on in but it’s just not working,” Harig told the station.

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Free! Food, Beverages, Personal Care for EMS

Request Food, Beverages, and/or Personal Care Items for Your Staff

 

FREE FOR THE ASKING: PRODUCTS AND SERVICES AVAILABLE TO COVID-19 FRONTLINE HEROES

Frontline Impact Project Works with Corporate Donors to Provide Food, Beverages, Personal Care Items and Mental Health Services to Frontline Heroes

NEW YORK — Amid a devastating Covid-19 resurgence, Frontline Impact Project is offering the nation’s healthcare workers and first responders access to non-PPE donations. Created by The KIND Foundation, Frontline Impact Project has become a primary vehicle through which the business community has shown support for the men and women who are keeping America’s communities healthy. The platform offers institutions a streamlined way to request and receive resources that will lift spirits and boost morale.

Hospitals are encouraged to make requests in whatever quantity they need. Requests as small as 25 items and as large as 30,000 items have been fulfilled. Typically, a hospital asks for one item per employee in one or more categories, including food, beverages, gum/mints, housing, skincare, hygiene, sanitizer, virtual fitness and mental health. Hospitals are also encouraged to make requests outside of the aforementioned categories if they have a need.  In addition to public and private hospitals of all sizes, institutions eligible for donations include assisted living facilities, nursing homes, community healthcare centers, outpatient clinics and EMS squads.

Norman Stein, Chief Development Officer and Senior Vice President, Boston Medical Center, says, “It is of vital importance we provide our frontline caregivers with nourishment as they work tirelessly to care for our patients and community, and the donation from Frontline Impact Project has certainly helped us stay committed to that goal.”

Sean Gibson, Manager, Duke University Hospital’s Trauma Center, echoed Stein’s sentiment saying, “We are grateful for Frontline Impact Project’s support of our healthcare community. We need everyone’s help to overcome this global health crisis, and donations such as this make a notable difference for our workers on the front lines.”

At www.frontlineimpact.org, representatives from frontline institutions can submit requests for resources along with a reference to validate the institution’s legitimacy. After a request has been submitted, Frontline Impact Project matches the requester with a corporate donor(s). The donor(s) then work to deliver the product and/or service directly. While not every request is fulfilled, Frontline Impact Project does all it can to ensure needs are met.

To date, nearly 60 corporate partners, including KIND, Unilever, Extra Gum, Nestlé, Keurig Dr Pepper, Justin’s, Hint, Harry’s, RISE Brewing Co., Headspace and Image Skincare, have donated more than 3.6 million products. The platform has made 537 matches across 41 states.

“We are prepared to support the needs of frontline healthcare workers and first responders no matter how long it takes for this crisis to pass,” says Michael Johnston, President of The KIND Foundation. “Frontline workers’ needs will inevitably change in the days and weeks to come. Our intention is to recruit diverse partners now so that we are poised to meet new and unexpected needs later.”

Visit the Frontline Impact Project website for more information. Direct questions to Jonathan Yates at jyates@lubetzky.org.

The situation

COVID-19 is one of the greatest humanitarian, health and economic crises of our time, and its impacts continue to be felt every day. Back in the spring, as the severity of the virus became known, The KIND Foundation (in consultation with Project N95) created Frontline Impact Project (FIP) to support those risking their lives to keep us safe. FIP matches healthcare workers and first responders with donated products and services. Three months later, we remain focused on helping frontline heroes who are working extraordinary hours in taxing circumstances. With support from more than 50 partners, including KIND, Unilever, Extra Gum, Nestlé, Keurig Dr Pepper, Justin’s, Hint, Harry’s, Headspace and Image Skincare, we hope to ease their stress and bring levity to their days. To date, FIP has generated 425 matches across 40 states and, together with its inaugural partner KIND, donated more than 2.5 million products. In the words of one beneficiary, “There is a big smile beneath my mask.”

While we’re proud of our impact, there is a lot of work ahead, especially as COVID ravages new parts of the country. According to a recent survey of frontline institutions, 100% of respondents said that their workers still have many needs beyond PPE. For example:

  • The volunteers at a Boston clinic, who are so busy treating homeless COVID+ patients that they barely have time to eat;
  • The ER nurse whose face is breaking out and indented due to a tight N95 mask, and whose hands are chapped from constant washing.
  • The ICU workers who are experiencing unprecedented levels of stress and psychological trauma which, if left untreated, can result in chronic burnout among other things.

Of those surveyed, more than half said that they need food and beverages, and one-in-five said that personal care and wellness products would be beneficial. Other commonly cited needs included disinfectant/sanitizer; mental health support; and housing/transportation. We are committed to providing these items and more for the duration of the crisis.

How it works

  • Through FIP’s website, frontline institutions submit requests for resources. Submitters provide a reference for vetting to ensure the institution’s legitimacy. Departments or units within a larger institution are encouraged to work with their internal procurement team before submitting so that FIP can efficiently fulfill requests and help as many people as possible;
  • The system matches requesting institutions with relevant donors, and the donors subsequently deliver the products or services directly;
  • To ensure ample supply, FIP continually recruits corporate partners to donate non-PPE items.

 

Why it works

  • Times of great uncertainty call for maximum responsiveness. FIP is able to pivot quickly based on needs expressed directly from the frontlines. The platform is built to deliver resources to a range of institutions – from major hospital systems to volunteer EMS squads. Its customized approach guarantees that small institutions are not overlooked and those located in hot spots are prioritized.
  • On the demand side, FIP centralizes resources to create efficiencies and prevents institutions from being overwhelmed by individual corporate outreach.
  • On the supply side, FIP provides a solution for companies seeking a streamlined and flexible way to direct resources. Partners have access to a diverse network of institutions and assurance that their donations will be received by legitimate institutions in need.

Public Comment Requested for COVID-19 Vaccine Allocation

On September 1, 2020, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine invited public comment on the Discussion Draft of the Preliminary Framework for Equitable Allocation of COVID-19 Vaccine, commissioned by the Centers for Disease Control and the National Institutes of Health. Input from the public, especially communities disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, is essential to produce a final report that is objective, balanced, and inclusive. The public comment period will be open for 4 days, from 12:00 p.m. ET on Tuesday, September 1, until 11:59 p.m. ET on Friday, September 4.

Learn More or Comment

NYC emergency medical workers prepare for layoffs

From NBC News

The head of New York City’s emergency medical services union said Wednesday that the city is preparing to lay off hundreds of its members as the budget crisis grows during the coronavirus pandemic.

Oren Barzilay, president of FDNY EMS Local 257, blamed Mayor Bill de Blasio and his administration for the expected fallout.

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CBS | EMTs Are Quitting Their Jobs

From CBS News | “Emergency medical technicians are quitting their jobs — COVID-19 makes it too dangerous

Rather than expose himself to a stream of infected patients in Queens, Baer opted to retire last month, ending his career at least a full year earlier than he’d planned. That disqualified him from collecting his full pension, and Baer estimates he gave up between $2,000 and $4,000 a year in retirement benefits — a decision he doesn’t regret.

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JAMA | COVID-19 Medical Leave for EMS in NYC

From JAMA Network Open

Medical Leave Associated With COVID-19 Among Emergency Medical System Responders and Firefighters in New York City

In New York, New York, from March 1 to May 31, 2020, 201 102 individuals were diagnosed with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), resulting in 51 085 hospitalizations and 16 834 deaths.1 The Fire Department of the City of New York (FDNY), the largest in the US, responds to nearly 1.5 million emergency medical calls per year in a city of more than 8.4 million people. Active paid FDNY responders include 4408 emergency medical service (EMS) responders and 11 230 firefighters. These FDNY responders are required to don personal protective equipment before patient contact per US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines.2 In this cohort study, we compared medical leave of FDNY responders during the pandemic with prior years.

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Citation

Prezant DJ, Zeig-Owens R, Schwartz T, et al. Medical Leave Associated With COVID-19 Among Emergency Medical System Responders and Firefighters in New York City. JAMA Netw Open. 2020;3(7):e2016094. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2020.16094