EMS.gov | Rural EMS training and recruiting grants

From NHTSA’s Office of EMS

DEADLINE REMINDER: Apply now for rural EMS training and recruiting grants
Eligible applicants from rural EMS agencies are encouraged to submit applications before March 18, 2021

EMS organizations planning on applying for a Rural EMS Training Grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) Center for Substance Abuse Treatment must submit applications by March 18. SAMHSA plans on awarding up to $5.5 million in awards to help eligible agencies recruit and train personnel. More information is available on SAMHSA’s website.

In recognition of the great need for emergency services in rural areas and the critical role EMS personnel serve across the country, SAMHSA plans on funding up to 27 projects, with a maximum of $200,000 per grant awardee. Eligible applicants include rural EMS agencies operated by a local or tribal government (fire-based and non-fire based) and non-profit EMS agencies.

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Minnesota | EMS workers adapt and persist, amid stress of pandemic

From Minnesota Public Radio

Comfort in the chaos: EMS workers adapt and persist, amid stress of pandemic

Paramedic Heidi Rennick describes her first COVID-19 call last spring like “walking on to a movie set.”

When she arrived at the hospital, there were COVID-19-only floors, red tape and full beds.

The challenges have mounted since those first cases, and emergency medical services across the state have adapted with new protocols, treatment plans and personal protective equipment — and in some smaller communities, where emergency medical services are volunteer-operated, shifts have been hard to fill.

Rennick, a staff paramedic, and EMT John Aldrich work together for Lakes Region EMS, covering the Chisago Lakes area, north of the Twin Cities.

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VeryWell Health | How Non-Emergency Ambulances Work

From VeryWell Health on February 7 

We all know that ambulances respond to 911 calls, rushing down the street with sirens wailing and lights flashing. The paramedics are on the way to save lives. When they arrive at the scene, they’ll take control of the situation and find the solution to the problems. The patient will be stabilized and transported to an emergency department for definitive care.

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Rural Policy Research Institute EMS Study

From RUPRI in January 2021

Characteristics and Challenges of Rural Ambulance Agencies – A Brief Review and Policy Considerations

Rural ambulance agencies, a fundamental component of the rural emergency medical services (EMS) system, are challenged by the following issues:

  • long distances and challenging terrain that prolong emergency response and transport times,
  • insufficient payment by insurers to cover standby and fixed costs,
  • a changing workforce that has historically relied on volunteers but increasingly must include paid personnel,
  • a lack of regional EMS plans to coordinate services, and
  • insufficient State and Federal policy coordination across oversight agencies.

Specific public policies to address rural ambulance agency challenges could include the following:

  • Increase ambulance payment to adequately cover reasonable standby and fixed costs.
  • Consider EMS an essential service, the same as firefighting and law enforcement.
  • Collect rural ambulance agency workforce data to better understand workforce needs.
  • Expand the scope and authority of the Federal Interagency Committee on EMS to address rural ambulance agency payment and workforce challenges.

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Deadline | Michael Bay’s Action-Thriller ‘Ambulance’ Adds Five To Cast

From Deadline on February 4

Grammy nominated recording artist Wale FolarinCedric SandersJackson WhiteColin Woodell and Olivia Stambouliah are joining Michael Bay’s Endeavor Content-Universal action thriller Ambulancewe have learned.

The five join the growing cast that includes Jake Gyllenhaal, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Eiza Gonzalez, Garret DillahuntA Martinez, Keir O’Donnell and Moses Ingram.

Tthe pic is based off the original Danish Film Ambulancen and in the spirit of such 1990s action pics as Speed and Bad Boys. Chris Fedak wrote the original script. Bay, Bradley Fischer of New Republic Pictures, James Vanderbilt, Will Sherak and Ian Bryce are producing. Michael Kase and Mark Moran are EPs.

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AJC | Georgia EMS crews near ‘breaking point’

From the Atlanta Journal-Constitution on January 8

On a recent day, a Dawsonville ambulance worker was trying to rush a patient with dangerously high blood pressure to the hospital.

But after a brief call, she learned its emergency department was on “diversion,” meaning her patient could wait more than an hour for a bed, tying up the ambulance from responding to other calls.

“I have been hung up … and told to go else where!” she posted on the social media page of a statewide group of emergency medical personnel.

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KHN | One Ambulance Ride Leads to Another When Packed Hospitals Cannot Handle Non-Covid Patients

From Kaiser Health News on January 11

One Ambulance Ride Leads to Another When Packed Hospitals Cannot Handle Non-Covid Patients

Keely Connolly thought she would be safe once the ambulance arrived at Hutchinson Regional Medical Center in Kansas.

She was having difficulty breathing because she’d had to miss a kidney dialysis treatment a few days earlier for lack of child care. Her potassium was dangerously high, putting her at risk of a heart attack. But she trusted she would be fine once she was admitted and dialysis was begun.

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JEMS Op-Ed | You Should Take the Vaccine

COVID-19 Can Kill You Now or Later. You Should Take the Vaccine.
By AJ Heightman on December 31, 2020

It pains me to have to write about a young, healthy EMS provider/firefighter from my hometown of Scranton, PA, but there is an important message for you to hear about COVID-19 and importance for all emergency responders to take the vaccines being offered to them.

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EMS1 | EMS advocacy and adaptability with Shawn Baird

EMS1 Interview of AAA President Shawn Baird by AAA Communications Chair Rob Lawrence

As we enter, hopefully, a happier new year, several of our national associations that have been at the forefront of collaborative advocacy efforts and the voices of the EMS profession have undergone planned changes in their leadership.

To welcome in 2021, I sat down, via Zoom, with Shawn Baird, incoming president of the American Ambulance Association and asked him about 2020 and his thoughts on the future of our industry. Shawn is the vice president for rural services with MetroWest Ambulance Family of Companies in Oregon. Shawn spent the last two years serving the AAA as president elect and has been at the center of AAA activity and advocacy.

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NYT | With Virus Surging, EMS’s Job Just Got Harder

From The New York Times on December 29, 2020

With Virus Surging, Ambulance Workers’ Hard Job Just Got Harder

By Gabriella Angotti-Jones

Emergency medical technicians for Amwest Ambulance have worked with coronavirus patients in Los Angeles since March. During this surge of cases in California, roughly 40 percent of the patients they transport are considered “Covid-19 probable.”

The day begins with calls to the dispatch center. Linze Thompson, 26, records information: the state of patients’ health, their coronavirus test results and safety precautions the E.M.T.s must take.

The dispatcher notes an estimated time for patient pickup and contacts the crew on call. Crews time each transport down to the minute.

Once on location, Joshua Berrios, 30, dons a mask, gown, face shield, goggles and gloves. The E.M.T.s approach each scene as if the patient were positive for the coronavirus.

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COVID-19 EMS Association Thank You Video

#EMS association leaders say THANK YOU to #paramedics, #EMTs, #dispatchers, and other #MobileHealthcare professionals. Thank you for serving on the very front lines of our nation’s #COVID19 response!

Thank you to Matt Zavadsky for creating this video!

COVID-19 Healthcare Resilience Working Group Vax Videos

The Federal Pre-Hospital / EMS COVID-19 Healthcare Resilience Working Group put together two wonderful videos to encourage EMS providers to get both the COVID-19 vaccination and seasonal flu shot. Please share with your staff!

Watch Video 1: https://vimeo.com/492847212/3682909c4c

Watch Video 2: https://vimeo.com/492847424/d5a17f6b4c

 

 

EMS.gov | DOT Recognizes NHTSA OEMS Staff with Prestigious Awards

Congratulations to Kate Elkins and OEMS Director Jon Krohmer, MD!

From EMS.Gov

DOT SECRETARY RECOGNIZES KATE ELKINS, JON KROHMER WITH PRESTIGIOUS AWARDS

Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao has awarded Kate Elkins the Secretary’s Award for her dedication to improving emergency services. An EMS specialist for NHTSA’s Office of EMS, Kate received the honor for her commitment to making a positive impact on EMS and 911 systems. From overseeing the allocation of $109 million in federal 911 grants, to collaborating with federal colleagues, to increasing awareness about mental health and suicide in public safety, she approaches her work with enthusiasm and passion.

Tireless in her efforts to advocate for EMS clinicians and 911 telecommunicators, Kate has provided countless hours of her time, expertise, and experience in doing what she does best—helping others. For example, Kate has focused on efforts to improve EMS pandemic response, serving as the deputy team lead of the Prehospital (EMS/911) Team as part of the HHS/FEMA COVID-19 Healthcare Resilience Working Group. At the same time, she continued to serve her local community as a paramedic, chief officer and EMS and public health educator.

The secretary also honored the leaders of the department’s response to the COVID-19 health emergency with a gold medal for outstanding achievement, including Jon Krohmer, MD, director of the NHTSA Office of EMS. Every member of the Office of EMS team has contributed tirelessly to the department’s response and to the interagency COVID-19 Healthcare Resilience Working Group.

Congratulations to Kate and the entire team for their outstanding achievements and contributions.

AJC | Vaccine campaign dawns in Georgia; Kemp attends 2nd day of doses

From the Atlanta Journal Constitution on December 16

Vaccine campaign dawns in Georgia; Kemp attends 2nd day of doses

… Chatham EMS Chief Chuck Kearns got the call Tuesday. His paramedics are in line for vaccination appointments next week, and his staff immediately prepared a blast email to go out first thing Wednesday on how to sign up.

“We’ve had over 100 personnel who’ve gone into quarantine at one time or another since March,” Kearns said. “When they got the result of tests for quarantine, days were cut in half. We’ve had a few dozen of our employees test positive and some were hospitalized.” He added that this is the 10th epidemic he’s worked as a paramedic, starting with AIDS. To him, his staff’s vaccines are arriving fast enough.

“We’re very relieved,” Kearns said.

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National Academies | Vaccine Confidence Information Gathering Session

Friday. December 18, 2020
11:30–16:00 ET

Register Free

To inform a forthcoming rapid expert consultation on building public confidence in SARS-CoV-2 vaccines, the Societal Experts Action Network (SEAN) of the National Academies will hold an information gathering session on vaccine confidence. The session will cover the current state of vaccine confidence, reasons for hesitancy, and best practices for messaging. Facilitated discussions will incorporate special attention to communities at higher risk of contracting and dying from COVID-19, including underserved and vulnerable communities. Drawing from what is known about reaching and engaging diverse audiences to change beliefs and attitudes, this session will illustrate strategies that are likely to promote uptake of FDA-approved vaccines to prevent COVID-19.

This project is being done in collaboration with the Standing Committee on Emerging Infectious Diseases and 21st Century Health Threats.

Register Free

LED lights found to kill coronavirus

From Tel Aviv University on December 14

LED lights found to kill coronavirus: Global first in fight against COVID-19

TAU finding suggests technology can be installed in air conditioning, vacuum, and water systems

Researchers from Tel Aviv University (TAU) have proven that the coronavirus can be killed efficiently, quickly, and cheaply using ultraviolet (UV) light-emitting diodes (UV-LEDs). They believe that the UV-LED technology will soon be available for private and commercial use.

This is the first study conducted on the disinfection efficiency of UV-LED irradiation at different wavelengths or frequencies on a virus from the family of coronaviruses. The study was led by Professor Hadas Mamane, Head of the Environmental Engineering Program at TAU’s School of Mechnical EngineeringIby and Aladar Fleischman Faculty of Engineering. The article was published in November 2020 issue of the Journal of Photochemistry and Photobiology B: Biology.

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ACEP | EMS Priority Access to the COVID-19 Vaccine

Thank you to ACEP for the following statement.

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Fox | ‘What if you call EMS and nobody comes?’

From Fox News by Hunter Davis on December 10

Coronavirus crippling emergency response agencies: ‘What if you call EMS and nobody comes?’

DALLAS, Texas – The coronavirus pandemic has strained the country’s hospital systems and pushed front-line workers mentally and physically as the number of cases spikes upward again. Some agencies dealing with budget issues due to demand in personal protective equipment (PPE) and an uptick in calls have been forced to shutter, begging the question of who will respond in the event of an emergency?

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Yahoo | Dr. Racht Discusses the EMS Breaking Point

From Yahoo Finance

‘The COVID pandemic has become the perfect storm for emergency medical services’: Doctor

Dr. Ed Racht, Chief Medical Officer at Global Medical Response joins Yahoo Finance’s Kristin Myers to discuss the “breaking point” America’s emergency services are reaching amid the pandemic

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