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

Always In Our Hearts

Please join the American Ambulance Association in honoring those who have fallen serving their communities in the COVID-19 pandemic.

What does it mean to be a hero? Paramedics, EMTs, nurses, and firefighters risk their lives every day to serve on the…

Posted by American Ambulance Association on Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Critical Care Decontamination System (CCDS) for N95 Respirators

Prehospital Use of the Critical Care Decontamination System (CCDS) for N95 Respirators Download as PDF PURPOSE: Use of personal protective equipment (PPE) during the COVID-19 pandemic response is at unprecedented levels. In order to slow usage rates and maintain supply chain stability, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has authorized an Emergency Use Authorization…

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New Hampshire | Hazard Pay for EMS

Days after announcing plans for Stay at Home 2.0, New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu announced the allocation of $40 million in aid for communities across the state dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic…

Also using the CARES Act funding, a stipend for hazard pay is being made available to police officers, firefighters, EMS personnel and correctional officers. Full-time workers will receive $300 a week, while part-time workers receive $150 a week.

Innovative 9-1-1 Call Handling for COVID-19

REDIRECTING 911 CALLS FOR INFORMATION & LOW ACUITY MEDICAL COMPLAINTS Download as a PDF Federal Healthcare Resilience Task Force EMS/Prehospital Team: As the COVID 19 pandemic continues to evolve, Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs)/Emergency  Communications Centers (ECC) may need to revise procedures and redirect resources for handling  incoming calls for COVID-19 Information and Low Acuity…

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EMS Update: Sustaining Mental Health during COVID-19

NORA Public Safety Sector Council Meeting – EMS Sustainability Update Sustaining Mental Health during COVID-19 Thursday April 30th, 2020 – 11:00am-11:30am EDT The NORA Public Safety Sector Council, is hosting an EMS Sustainability Update at 11:00 EDT on Thursday April 30, 2020 via Zoom. The topic is Sustaining Mental Health during COVID-19. The attachment includes the agenda…

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Healthcare Resilience Task Force: Three New Documents Released

The Prehospital [911 and Emergency Medical Services (EMS)] Team of the Healthcare Resilience Task Force has released three more informational documents. The first contains guidance for emergency communications stakeholders on available funding in the CARES Act. The second is a summary document on the status of the Emergency Medical Services (EMS) education pipeline during a…

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Healthcare Resilience Task Force: Six New Documents Released

Healthcare Resilience Task Force: Six New Documents Released The Prehospital [911 and Emergency Medical Services (EMS)] Team of the Healthcare Resilience Task Force has released six (6) more documents (attached).  They cover topics including crisis standards of care, PPE, and the behavioral health of 911 and EMS first responders. These documents will also be posted…

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CMS Relaxes Physician Certification Statement Signature Requirements During Public Health Emergency for COVID-19

CMS Relaxes Physician Certification Statement Signature Requirements During Public Health Emergency for COVID-19  By Kathy Lester, J.D., M.P.H.   The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has released guidance that recognizes the difficulty ambulance service providers and suppliers may have during the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (PHE) in obtaining a physician certification statement (PCS) signed…

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Healthcare Resilience Task Force: Three New Documents Released

Healthcare Resilience Task Force: Three New Documents Released Documents developed by the Prehospital [911 and Emergency Medical Services (EMS)] Team of the Healthcare Resilience Task Force. Managing Patient and Family Distress Associated with COVID-19 Intended to provide care instructions for the psychological challenges associated with real or perceived exposure to COVID-19. This document includes practices…

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Financial Relief for Personnel

Financial Relief for Personnel Download as a PDF Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) • Emergency Paid Family & Medical Leave • Emergency Paid Sick Leave Tax Assistance Options • Extension of 2019 Tax Filing Deadline • $1,200 checks to each individual making $75,000 or less and a sliding scale (downwards) for people making between…

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Discounts | Northface

Thank you to The Northface for offering a 50% first responder discount.

As a small show of our heartfelt gratitude for their dedication and bravery in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, from April 14, 2020, to Dec. 31, 2020 we will be giving a 50% discount to first responders in the United States. This discount can be used for the purchase of non-sale items on thenorthface.com and at The North Face-owned retail stores in the United States. During this same period we will also be offering these individuals a 10% discount on non-clearance items at our outlet stores in the United States.

The following groups are eligible for the First Responder Discount:

  • Firefighters (incl. volunteer and career firefighters)

  • EMTs

  • Law Enforcement (incl. local police, state police, Federal police, sheriffs, constables, marshals, corrections officers and civilian employees)

  • Employees of the FBI, DEA, CBP and TSA

Learn More

FFCRA EMS Emergency Paid Leave Toolkit

FFCRA EMS Emergency Paid Leave Toolkit This toolkit is intended for use by EMS organizations to facilitate the implementation and management of the emergency paid leave provided under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). The individual forms included in the toolkit are templated, and members are encouraged to add their own logo. FFCRA EMS…

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New Benefit: Kindercare Discount & Priority Placement

AAA understands that EMS staff often experience significant challenges securing quality, reliable childcare, and that these challenges have been exacerbated by school and daycare closures caused by COVID-19. We are here to help!

The American Ambulance Association is proud to share that we have partnered with Kindercare to offer EMS providers priority childcare placement as well as a 10% discount on tuition. Please share this information with your staff! Visit www.kindercare.com/aaa for full details.

Kindercare Locations

AAA member employee families receive priority placement at all 1600 Kindercare centers, including the 400 Essential Care Centers that remain open during the pandemic.

Childcare Services & Age Range

AAA member employees save 10% on full-time, part-time, and drop-in tuition for children ages six weeks to 12 years at any KinderCare Learning Center or Champions before- and after-school sites nationwide.

Existing  Kindercare Families

This offer is available to new families as well as those already enrolled in a participating center.

Tuition Discount Guide

  1. Search for a center or site that is near you (Search Essential Centers Open During COVID-19 | Search All Centers, Including Those Currently Closed)
  2. Schedule a tour of the center or site online or by phone with the center information provided.
  3. When you enroll (or if you’re already enrolled), let your Center Director know you are a member of American Ambulance Association and that you are eligible for a 10% tuition benefit.
  4. Your Center Director will apply the discount on your next billing cycle.

 

Mitigate Absenteeism By Protecting EMS Mental Health

Document Developed by the Healthcare Resilience Task Force Behavioral Health Work group and Adapted by the Prehospital [911 and Emergency Medical Services (EMS)] Team. This guidance applies to all delivery models including but not limited to; free standing, third-service; fire-based, hospital-based, independent volunteer, and related emergency medical service providers.

Download PDF

Mitigate Absenteeism by Protecting Emergency Medical Service (EMS) Clinicians’ Psychological Health and Well-being during the COVID-19 Pandemic

The resilience of our Nation’s healthcare system depends on our healthcare workforce’s ability to report for duty. Critical supplies, equipment, and surge capacity rely on dedicated, trained health professionals and support staff to enable care. This document contains general concepts to prepare and take action, such as those listed below, to help your EMS/911 agency protect your workers’ psychological health and well- being.

 

Prepare your workforce for what is to come before the surge takes place:

  • Organize peer support—staff-to-staff and family-to-family—to provide assistance with tangible needs like childcare, dependent care, pet care, and food and medication
    • Assist staff to locate resources to establish emergency plans for childcare, dependent care, pet care, and family communication to mitigate absenteeism due to urgent needs at
    • Encourage staff to pre-arrange their home to accommodate isolation should the staff member become ill (as not to spread infection to other household members).
  • Develop a plan to provide boarding on or near the work site for staff who are unable to commute, have a long commute, or concerned about infecting family and
    • Establish workforce housing by setting up dormitories, acquiring hotel space, or converting unused areas of the
    • Ensure plans account for non-medical staff (e.g., administration, billing, medical supplies, fleet maintenance, ).
    • Consider setting up shuttle service for employees, or designate drivers for staff working unusual shifts or prolonged
    • Check with your local and State Emergency Operations Centers to identify available resources and plans that may help with this
  • Encourage staff to develop a personal stress management plan to address exercise, nutrition, sleep, mindfulness, and
  • Pre-identify behavioral health resources in your area such as local behavioral health providers, Red Cross chapters, and Medical Reserve Corps units, tele-mental health services, as well as grief and loss resources for staff who may lose patients, colleagues, or loved
    • Use the SAMHSA Treatment Locator to locate behavioral health providers in your
      • Identify if any behavioral health providers in your area have experience treating EMS Clinicians.

 

Support your workforce effectively during the surge:

EMS Clinicians may not be able to use the coping mechanisms that they typically rely on to manage stress. Teaching and encouraging the use of simple relaxation techniques may help to decrease their physiological arousal levels and focus on something besides the situation at hand.

  • Maximize opportunities for effective
  • Relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, and guided imagery can help clinicians focus on decreasing the intensity of their
  • Provide opportunities while working for stress reduction activities i.e. comfort dogs, exercise,
  • Direct EMS leadership and senior staff to role model good stress management, empathy, and psychological support. Organizational policy should support the workforce and a culture and climate of safety.
  • Establish bi-directional communication and a mechanism for staff to make recommendations to leadership through use of dedicated email or a physical suggestion
  • At each shift change provide briefings on the current status of the work environment, safety procedures, and required safety
  • Work with agency for plan of judicious and strategic days off or
  • Establish a behavioral health (or resilience or fatigue management) safety officer who will regularly monitor staff stress, coping, and fatigue management and provide guidance, recommendations, and corrective action as needed. This important role needs to be empowered by leadership and leadership should be committed to adjusting course based on feedback and ground
  • Stress compromises the immune system and affects physical health. Address staff stress and fatigue with organizational strategies.
    • Establish and adhere to regular breaks throughout the shift to mitigate fatigue. Limit overtime whenever possible
    • Rotate workers from high-stress to lower-stress functions and monitor and adjust to address fatigue related to diurnal/shift timing
    • Monitor and evenly redistribute increased workload resulting from staff illness or accidental exposure.
    • Establish communications capabilities so that staff can communicate with loved ones and connect with their social supports through internet, video, and
    • Designate a quiet room or area for staff to use to facilitate rest during
    • Develop a strategy to ensure that healthy food, water, refreshments, hygiene, and comfort items are readily available without the need to leave the
    • If staff are sheltering in place at the facility, ensure access to:
      • Wifi
      • exercise equipment;
      • information such as newsletters, social media, or television;
      • facilities and supplies needed for hygiene (e.g., showering, teeth brushing, laundry); and
      • a means to get needed medications and capability to support personal medical equipment (e.g., CPAP).
  • Assign experienced staff to mentor and support newer staff and develop just in time onboarding materials to orient staff new to work site, including screening and infection control
  • Ensure staff know how to access psychological support through available mechanisms such as Employee Assistance Programs, Critical Incident Stress Debriefing (CISM) team, members trained in stress first aid, and the Disaster Distress
    • SAMHSA’s Disaster Distress Helpline provides 24/7, 365-day-a-year crisis counseling and support to people experiencing emotional distress related to natural or human-caused disasters (1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746).
    • Ensure staff know how to access telehealth/telemedicine resources

1,2,3 This is a non-federal website. Linking to a non-federal website does not constitute an endorsement by the U.S. government, or any of its employees, of the information and/or products presented on that site.

Costco Priority Access for EMS

Costco is temporarily allowing priority access to its warehouses during all open hours for Costco members who are healthcare workers and first responders such as police officers, EMTs, and firefighters. Healthcare workers and first responders who present a Costco membership card and official identification of their role will be allowed to move to the front of any line to enter the warehouse.

Learn more about Costco’s COVID-19 policies►

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