FEMA | Alternative Care Site Fact Sheet

To address immediate and projected needs from the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, state, local, tribal, and territorial (SLTT) governments may, under certain conditions, be reimbursed through FEMA’s Public Assistance (PA) Program for costs associated with keeping Alternate Care Sites (ACS), including temporary and expanded medical facilities, minimally operational when COVID- 19 cases diminish and the facilities…

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Detroit News | Op-Ed: Don’t leave EMS behind in virus recovery

Don’t miss this  exceptional editorial   from Ron Slagell, CEO of Emergent Health, proud AAA member, and past president of the Michigan Association

As the COVID-19 relief funding becomes available, we ask our state leaders to use some of these funds to ensure we are paid for our work. Even before this crisis, the Medicaid reimbursement rate for ambulance services was far too low. In fact, there has not been a legislative increase in Medicaid rates in more than 20 years. Michigan’s ambulance providers are asking for a much-needed Medicaid rate increase to help us address skyrocketing costs,  if only temporarily to deal with this crisis.

Gowns | Merrow Forloh Reusable

AAA Professional Standards Committee Chair Bill Mergendahl has offered to coordinate a bulk order of Merrow Forloh reusable gowns.

Although each gown is pricey ($40/pp), they are made of extremely high-quality ripstop material and can be washed 100 times, making them comparable to a $0.40 disposable.  Additionally, they can be sprayed with standard outdoor gear water repellant and be good for another 100 washes.  One size fits all.

These gowns are American made in Fall River, Massachusetts, which avoids a number of the quality assurance problems many member organizations have experienced with imports.

The goal is to pull together a group order of 10,000 pieces for delivery in 3–4 weeks. Pro EMS will coordinate splitting the payments between providers.

Please see the attached brochure, then contact wmerg@proems.com if you would like to participate.

#MinutesMatter Campaign | Don’t Hesitate to Call 911


Reports across the country indicate that some members of the public hesitate to call 911 for medical assistance out of fear of COVID-19. Share our #MinutesMatter Facebook post or retweet our Tweet to help spread the word that time is of the essence when it comes to heart attack, stroke, or respiratory distress.

The American Ambulance Association has heard reports that some members of the community are hesitant to call 911 out of…

Posted by American Ambulance Association on Wednesday, April 22, 2020

CMS | Re-opening Facilities for Non-Emergent Healthcare: Phase I

CMS Issues Recommendations to Re-Open Health Care Systems in Areas with Low Incidence of COVID-19

Today, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services issues new recommendations specifically targeted to communities that are in Phase 1 of the Guidelines for President Trump’s Opening Up America Again with low incidence or relatively low and stable incidence of COVID-19 cases. The recommendations update earlier guidance provided by CMS on limiting non-essential surgeries and medical procedures. The new CMS guidelines recommend a gradual transition and encourage health care providers to coordinate with local and state public health officials, and to review the availability of personal protective equipment (PPE) and other supplies, workforce availability, facility readiness, and testing capacity when making the decision to re-start or increase in-person care.

The new recommendations can be found here (PDF). 

The Guidelines for Opening Up America Again can be found here.

NYT: Disposable N95 Masks Can Be Decontaminated

Disposable N95 Masks Can Be Decontaminated, Researchers Confirm The National Institutes of Health released research showing N95 masks can be used more than once using certain decontamination methods to prevent infection from the coronavirus, a claim that has been proven from previous research but never specifically for COVID-19. The researchers found that using vaporized hydrogen…

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Personal Protective Equipment Supply for Emergency Medical Services (EMS)

Personal Protective Equipment Supply for Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Document Developed by the Healthcare Resilience Task Force Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Prehospital Team.  Download PDF Current Situation Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) supplies, including N-95 respirators and gowns, are in short supply due to the COVID-19 pandemic. These shortages are anticipated to resolve over time as…

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EMS1: National associations join forces to tell the story of the front line

AAA Communications Chair Rob Lawrence shared his insights about recent  EMS and fire association joint advocacy efforts in EMS1. Don’t miss the full article!

Last week, the AAA were approached, via EMS1, by U.S. News, a national publication represented by journalist Gaby Galvin, asking about COVID-19 as it affects the front lines, rates of infection and quarantine, and generally life on the street. This opportunity provided the chance to bring together three national organizations who are all working hard to represent their members, lobby Congress and highlight the challenges at the tip of the spear.

Keep reading on EMS1►

Auto Part Settlement: Act Now!

Auto Parts Settlement Deadline Extended. Act  Now to  Ensure You Aren’t Left Out!

AAA and Class Action Refund are pleased to announce that we have partnered to assist members in the Automotive Parts Settlement. As you may know, there is a class action lawsuit pending in the U.S. alleging that dozens of parts manufacturers conspired to fix, maintain, and artificially raise the price of motor vehicle component parts. As a result of the defendants’ alleged conduct, businesses and consumers who purchased or leased new vehicles (not for resale) containing those parts or who indirectly purchased replacement parts (not for resale) from the Defendants may have paid more than they should have. The proposed settlement provides $1.2 Billion in settlement funds to purchasers and lessees for qualified vehicles from 1990 to 2019 in the qualified states below.

Arizona
Arkansas
California
District of Columbia
Florida
Hawaii
Iowa
Kansas
Maine
Massachusetts
Michigan

Minnesota
Mississippi
Missouri
Montana
Nebraska
Nevada
New Hampshire
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina

North Dakota
Oregon
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee
Utah
Vermont
West Virginia
Wisconsin

Class Action Refund has developed certain proprietary software that identifies the parts eligible for refund from your leased vehicle VIN numbers. They are well qualified to make sure that you obtain the maximum restitution that you are entitled to receive under the settlement. Class Action Refund has over 17 years of experience in managing complex claims, specializes in the recovery of antitrust settlements for businesses and can ease the burden of self-filing. Please understand that the life cycle of a claim can take several years to settle and may require various types of documentation and correspondence with the settlement claims administrator in order to substantiate the claim. Class Action Refund will manage the entire filing process and inform you of milestones as necessary, so that you may stay focused on your core business.

Additionally, there are NO OUT-OF-POCKET COSTS TO AAA MEMBERS. Class Action Refund will reduce its normal 33% contingency fee of funds recovered to 25% for AAA members. If no recovery is made, then no fee is charged.

Any member interested in availing themselves of Class Action Refund’s recovery management services, for the Automotive Parts Settlement can quickly and easily sign up by entering this URL into their browser: https://info.classactionrefund.com/112.

Complete the Short Sign-Up Form

Mr. Hugh Bellingreri, Account Manager, is the contact person for AAA members. Please call Hugh directly at 914-630-5116 or you can reach him by email at hbellingreri@classactionrefund.com with any questions.

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.

Managing Patient and Family Distress Associated with COVID-19 in the Prehospital Care Setting

The following document was 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 from FEMA Website

Managing Patient and Family Distress Associated with COVID-19 in the Prehospital care setting

Tips for Emergency Medical Services Personnel

Day to day operations for Emergency Medical Services (EMS) in the prehospital care setting can cause stress and anxiety under normal conditions. During an emerging infectious disease outbreak, such as COVID-19, the number of individuals experiencing distress—and the intensity of that stress and anxiety—may be significantly amplified. This stress and anxiety can contribute to unwanted patient behaviors, increased calls from those who are anxious but not in need of emergency care, and a reluctance to follow guidance from EMS or other healthcare clinicians, which may ultimately contribute to an increase in mortality and morbidity. This document contains strategies that may be helpful in reducing patient and family stress.

The expected surge of healthcare utilization brought on by an infectious disease outbreak may make it necessary for EMS to modify their usual care practices. These modifications may be in direct contrast with the expectations that patients and families have about prehospital care and other health care, and therefore make their experience even more distressing. Listed below are steps that EMS clinicians and their medical directors can take to help patients and their families manage this distress more effectively, EMS clinicians are encouraged to adapt recommended actions based on their agencies’ individual needs and practical considerations (e.g. limited resources and staff) as approved by the medical director.

Communication: Take time to hear patient concerns and worries

Patients may be scared for themselves or others, may feel guilty, stigmatized, or may be worried about not only practical issues (e.g., who will take care of dependents or pets, how will bills get paid, will they lose their job), but also if they may die from the COVID-19.

  • When talking with patients, speak to them directly and talk calmly and
  • Acknowledge the challenges to effective communication presented by personal protective use (PPE) (masks, face shields, and other barriers that limit non-verbal expression).
  • Reassure patients that you want to minimize any discomfort or concerns they may have about the care they are
  • Although there may not be clear answers or solutions, try and display openness and honesty to the best of your ability
  • Have difficult conversations with family members and/or patients as needed (we cannot transport you to the hospital -or – to the hospital of your choice, you are not ill enough to go to the hospital).
  • Reflect back what you have heard the patient say and identify the emotion the patient is communicating.
    • Patient: “I want my family to go to the hospital with ”
    • Provider: “It’s normal to feel scared in this situation and it’s important for you to connect with your family but at this time it is safer for them to stay home while we take you to the hospital”. (if local hospitals have policies in place to not permit family or visitors in the hospital, explain that as well)
  • VitalTalk1provides practical advice about how to have difficult conversations. The site provides tips and scripts specific to COVID-192 and these resources are also all available on an app3.
  • Make sure to take time to speak with family members about care and

Social Support: Help patients stay connected with their social support system

While in-person visits may not be possible, consider ways that patients can stay in contact with their social support system (e.g., family, friends, spiritual support).

  • Consider strategies to promote social support for these populations:
    • If transporting alone to healthcare facility
      • Allow patients to bring their phone or tablet
      • Remind patient to bring necessary
    • If patient assessed and determined not to need transport
      • Do they have access to a phone or tablet to keep in touch with their social support network?
      • Do they have access to telehealth/telemedicine resources?

 

Resources for Patients

1,2,3,4,5 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.

hippa

NASEMSO 2020 National EMS Assessment Released!

The National Association of State EMS Officials (NASEMSO) has released its 2020 EMS Assessment, updating the 2011 report. This report  provides unparalleled insights into the EMS systems that  provide mobile healthcare across our nation. We highly recommend that you download the full report at  www.nasemso.org/2020-assessment.

(Falls Church, Va.) In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic and applause for first responders in the United States, the National Association of State Emergency Medical Services Officials (NASEMSO) has released the 2020 National EMS Assessment updating the 2011 assessment. The 2020 assessment provides a comprehensive accounting by state/territory of the numbers and types of all 911 ambulance services and emergency medical services (EMS) professionals.

The 2020 National EMS Assessment is the first set of documentation about these critical emergency medical response personnel and agencies to be published in nearly 20 years. Every year in times of disasters, disease outbreaks and daily medical emergencies, such as heart attacks and car crashes, out-of-hospital emergency medical care systems make life-and-death differences in the lives of millions of Americans. EMS systems are the safety net for hospital emergency departments and public health as the front lines of response to 911 calls. Additionally, responders place themselves in high risk situations on a daily basis, as well as during communicable disease outbreaks and pandemics.

Data collection for this assessment was completed in 2019 by NASEMSO members, who are the staff of the state agencies that license America’s critical EMS personnel and agencies. State EMS offices protect the public by regulating the human and organizational components of EMS systems across the United States, as well as executing their legislative mandates to implement and improve systems of care for time-sensitive emergencies in order to offer every patient an opportunity for survival and optimal outcomes. The assessment provides the following key findings:

  • More than 18,200 local EMS agencies respond to 911 calls for medical emergencies and injuries, utilizing nearly 73,500 ground vehicles such as ambulances and fire engines.

  • Local EMS agencies respond to nearly 28.5 million 911 dispatches every year in 41 states.

  • More than 750 services are licensed by state EMS offices to fly patients, using helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft to provide rapid transportation to critical care.

  • More than 1.03 million personnel are licensed as emergency medical technicians, paramedics, and other levels of EMS patient care capability within all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and American Samoa.

  • More than 9,300 physicians serve as local EMS Medical Directors, assuring that contemporary and quality care is provided to patients.

  • Sixty percent of 53 state EMS offices participated or expect to participate in mass casualty exercises involving a biological threat during the 18-month evaluation period.

  • The report is available from NASEMSO at www.nasemso.org/2020-assessment.

JEMS: The Ethics of PPE and EMS in the COVID-19 Era

Read the  full piece at JEMS.

By  Brian J Maguire, Dr.PH, MSA, EMT-PKirsty ShearerJohn McKeown, MAScot Phelps, JD, MPHDaniel R. Gerard, MS, RN, NRPKathleen A. Handal, MDPaul Maniscalco, PhD(c), MPA, MS, EMT/P, LP  and Barbara J. O’Neill, PhD, RN

These are trying times for emergency medical services (EMS) personnel on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic. In this article we discuss two critical areas of concern. First, we articulate the ethical challenges EMS personnel face in the absence of having proper personal protective equipment (PPE) and offer some guidance on how to frame their decisions.

Second, we give voice to the urgent need for a national dialogue to address the needs of EMS clinicians and leaders. We present key questions that must be answered to improve the future structure of the profession and the safety of all personnel.

These are times that are putting EMS to the test. These are times that will define the future of EMS.

Continue Reading►

Webinar | Living Room Leadership

Living Room Leadership – Addressing Telework, IT, Compliance and Security Issues in a Remote Office Environment

Wednesday, April 17, 2020 | 1:00 pm Eastern Time
Presented by:  Katie Arens, Scott Moore, Esq., and Frank Gresh

During the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, EMS providers have been forced to adopt new strategies for working while social distancing, though this has raised new challenges. Join Director of Customer Accounts & Mobile Health Solutions at LIFE EMS Katie Arens, EMS workforce consultant Scott Moore, and Chief Technology Officer at EMSA Frank Gresh as they discuss the challenges and solutions to the new normal of working from home. Learn best practices for IT support and maintenance, compliance, cybersecurity, and other challenges facing the at-home workforce.

Savvik: Genlantis Ozilla Sterilization System

Through Savvik’s partnership with Genlantis, we are able to offer this unique unit that could be vital to your members.  This is not cheap to purchase, but if you look at the cost (and limited availability) of protection equipment this starts to make financial sense.  The base cost of the Ozilla $4,799 plus packing and freight.   The optional NEST unit runs $2,059.  With the size and weight of the shipping unit  (36x33x32) , we will need to quote the total delivered based on units and location.  The quote link is below.

Lead time is 2-3 weeks.

http://go.savvik.com/Ozilla.html

Ozone is the most powerful oxidative agent that occurs naturally. With its extra free radical oxygen molecule, ozone is able to destroy germs, viruses, and microbes that may cause surface or air contaminations. Furthermore, ozone leaves no chemical residue typical of alternative detergent or synthetic cleaners, and if handled properly, by converting ozone back to oxygen molecules, it can be one of the most effective sterilizing tools. Ozone is a powerful and natural purifier, and now with the Ozilla® Ozone Sterilizer, Genlantis has made it safer and easier than ever to use ozone gas for multiple sterilization applications.

The Genlantis Ozilla® Sterilization System is a high quality, compact and purpose-built ozone gas generator measuring 13 x 11 x 5 inches. When used properly, it is able to eliminate airborne and surface contaminants and germs. The Ozilla sterilizer is easy and safe to use and has a novel -scrubbing- technology that removes all ozone gases at the end of each sterilization cycle, by converting ozone gas back to oxygen.  As an added advantage, the Ozilla air sterilizer will leave your room or cabinet odor-free and smelling fresh, clean, and ready for your next usage.