Tag: Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)

Application Period Extended for FY 2021 Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) Program

Please see the below notice from FEMA on the extension of the Assistance to Firefighter Grant (AFG) Program:

“FEMA has been working with the General Services Administration to resolve interface issues related to SAM.gov that were affecting some applicants’ ability to begin inputting their federal fiscal year (FY) 2021 Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) Program applications into the FEMA GO System. Specifically, this issue included applicants that received error messages stating their organizations were not found and that their Unique Entity Identifier (UEI)/Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) combination did not exist despite the applicants’ SAM.gov accounts being fully active.

As this issue is ongoing, the FY 2021 AFG Program application period will remain open until January 21, 2022 5:00 p.m. ET. All applicants will automatically be granted this extension. This ensures that applicants affected by the UEI/EFT issue will have sufficient time to complete the online application. The extension to the application period will not affect the award timeline. In the meantime, FEMA continues to strongly encourage applicants to review the FY 2021 AFG Program Notice of Funding Opportunity and the associated tools posted on the FEMA website here: FY 2021 Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) Application Guidance Materials | FEMA.gov. In preparation for application submission, applicants may also draft their narratives separately and cut and paste them into the appropriate areas of FEMA GO once the SAM.gov interface issue is resolved. The questions that are asked in the narrative section may be found in the FY 2021 AFG Program Narrative Get Ready Guide.

Fire Grants Help Desk: If you have questions about the NOFO or application process, call or email the Fire Grants Help Desk. The toll-free number is 1-866-274-0960; the e-mail address for questions is firegrants@fema.dhs.gov.The Fire Grants Help Desk is open Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. ET. “


Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program- Non Affiliated EMS Organizations Are Eligible

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program (AFG) applications are open. The goal of the grant program is to assist fire departments and non-affiliated emergency medical service organizations in meeting their needs to serve their communities. The grant assists these organizations in obtaining equipment, protective gear, emergency vehicles, training and other resources. Non-affiliated EMS organizations including non-hospital based (private or public) nonprofit, or governmental organizations are eligible to apply. Applications close on Friday, December 17, 2021 at 5pm ET.

Eligible organizations can review the help documents linked below:

If you need assistance in completing your grant application or have any questions you can call or email the Fire Grants Help Desk at 1-866-274-0960 or firegrants@fema.dhs.gov Monday-Friday from 8am-4:30pm ET.

Letter to Senate HELP Committee Leadership on Provider-Type Equity

The Honorable Patty Murray
Chair, United States Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions

The Honorable Richard Burr
Ranking Member
United States Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions

Dear Chairwoman Murray and Ranking Member Burr:

The American Ambulance Association (AAA) appreciates the opportunity to provide suggestions for bipartisan legislation to improve medical preparedness and response programs. The AAA is the primary association for ground ambulance service suppliers/providers, including governmental entities, volunteer services, private for-profit, private not-for-profit, and hospital-based ambulance services. Our members provide emergency and non-emergency medical transportation services to more than 75 percent of the U.S. population. AAA members serve patients in all 50 states and provide services in urban, rural, and super-rural areas. As the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration identified in its 2013 report on emergency services, EMS-only systems – such as our members – provide the vast majority of emergency ambulance services throughout America.

Our members are often the first health care teams to encounter patients who are sick and/or suspect they might have COVID-19. In addition to responding to 911 emergencies and transporting patients to appropriate destinations, they are also being asked to provide health care services within their existing State-defined scope of practice without transporting patients to help reduce hospital surge, as well as to protect high-risk patients from potential exposure to COVID-19. State and Local governments and public health authorities are also enlisting ground ambulance organizations to assist with testing suspected COVID-19 patients. In addition, ground ambulances provide important medical transitional care for patients moving between facilities in both emergency and non-emergency situations.

During this pandemic, our members have experienced first-hand the gaps in the public health infrastructure and the medical preparedness and response systems and programs. One of the most frustrating aspects of the current system has been the lack of recognition and support for communities that contract with non-governmental ground ambulance providers/suppliers in everything from federal grant programs to the distribution of personal protective equipment for EMTs and paramedics.

Many of the federal grant programs triggered during the pandemic have fallen short of their promise because the statutes and regulations governing them do not recognize non-governmental ground ambulance providers/suppliers as eligible entities. This distinction remains confusing because in other areas of health care, federal grant programs are accessible by private, for-profit health care providers and suppliers.

Outdated statutes and regulations often assume that first responders are governmental or not-for-profit entities and ignore the decisions of State and Local governments to contract with private ground ambulance providers/suppliers to provide 911 or equivalent services. As others have recognized, “State and Local officials know what works best in their communities – what works best in New York City may be much different than what works in rural Tennessee.”1 The federal government should respect these local decisions and support all first responders.

An example of this problem arose early during the COVID-19 pandemic. The FEMA public assistance grant program reimburses first responders for PPE and other expenses related to the response to COVID-19. When public and private non-profit emergency ambulance providers/suppliers sought direct reimbursement under the program, they were turned away. Private emergency ambulance providers/suppliers were required to have a State or Local government agency apply on their behalf. As State and Local governments responded to the public health emergency, it was understandably difficult for them to allocate resources to work through the application process on behalf of their contractors.

This differential treatment impacts communities across the United States, including those in Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Nevada, New York, Oregon, Texas, and Wisconsin, among others.

In contrast to statutes like the one government FEMA allocations, the Homeland Security Act of 2002 (6 U.S.C. § 101) includes language that recognizes the decision of State and Local governments to contract with private not-for-profit and for-profit ground ambulance providers/suppliers within the definition of “emergency response providers.”

The AAA urges the Congress to adopt the Homeland Security Act definition of “emergency response providers” throughout the U.S. Code as applicable. Such language will help to make sure that when funding is available to help State and Local governments prepare and respond, the allocation mechanisms governing the funding permit all types of first responders, including non-governmental ground ambulance providers/suppliers, to access the dollars quickly and with minimal burden.


The Committee should carefully review federal public health programs and revise them as necessary to ensure that the funds may be used to support both non-governmental and governmental ground ambulance providers/suppliers to ensure that all communities, regardless of their individual decisions related to the entities operating their EMS systems, have federal funds to support their response efforts during public health emergencies.

On behalf of the AAA, I want to thank you for your ongoing support of EMS and ground ambulance providers/suppliers, as well as the leadership demonstrated by your work to prepare for the next pandemic. Over the years, the Congress has consistently recognized the vital and unique role that ground ambulance providers/suppliers play in protecting their communities and providing mobile health care services. In light of the lessons learned during this pandemic, we encourage you and your colleagues to revise antiquated language that no longer represents the innovations and progress that have led to State and Local governments to rely upon ground ambulance providers/suppliers, including non-governmental organizations.

The AAA and its volunteer leaders would welcome the chance to discuss this recommendation. We would also be pleased to participate in any fact-finding discussion or hearing that the Congress plans to host to better understand how the problems experienced during the current pandemic can be avoided in the future. Please do not hesitate to reach out to Tristan North at (202) 486-4888 or tnorth@ambulance.org, or Kathy Lester at (202) 534-1773 or klester@lesterhealthlaw.com to schedule a time for further discussion.


Shawn Baird
President, American Ambulance Association
Vice President of Rural Services, Metro West Ambulance

1The Honorable Lamar Alexander, “Preparing for the Next Pandemic” White Paper” 4 (June 9, 2020).

USFA | Fire & EMS Civil Unrest Response

Read best practices on the FEMA US Fire Administration Website

Civil unrest may occur as a period of social upheaval during heightened community tension or at mass gatherings such as sporting events, concerts and political conventions. The safety risk for fire and emergency medical services (EMS) personnel responding to these fluid incidents may be elevated.

The U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Office of Emergency Medical Services worked together to compile these best practices to assist you with your response to civil unrest incidents in your community. Fire and EMS personnel should follow the general guidance in this section to prepare personnel, the station, apparatus and the community for emergency response in a challenging environment.

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FEMA Grants for Public & Non-Profit EMS Providers

From EMS.gov on October 9, 2020

American Ambulance Association members are advised that these grants are regrettably open ONLY to public and non-profit non-hospital-based EMS providers.

FEMA Accepts New Applications for COVID-19 Assistance to Firefighters Grant

FEMA is providing an additional chance for volunteer and combination fire departments to apply for funding under this year’s Assistance to Firefighters COVID-19 Supplemental grant.

FEMA made $100 million available in funding for personal protective equipment (PPE) and related supplies. This includes reimbursement for expenditures made since Jan. 1, 2020.

Volunteer and combination fire departments are eligible to apply in this round even if they had a successful application in the first round earlier this year. Departments that applied in the first round but were unsuccessful must reapply to be considered for funding in this round. Applications from the first round will not automatically carry over to this round for consideration.

FEMA will host live webinars on Tuesday, Oct. 13, and Thursday, Oct. 15, demonstrating the application process and walking through the questions. Access the full training schedule and information on how to login to the webinars here.

FEMA will accept applications until 5 p.m. ET on Nov. 13. More information on eligibility requirements and how to apply is available on the FEMA website.

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Free Webinar 6/17 | FEMA Public Assistance Program Overview

June 17, 2020 | 14:00 ET | Free
The webinar will cover the Public Assistance Process under the Stafford Act and how EMS agencies can apply for cost recovery for costs incurred under the COVID19 Disaster Declaration.

Register Now


G. Keith Bryant U.S. Fire Administrator

G. Keith Bryant was sworn in as the U.S. Fire Administrator on Aug. 4, 2017. Prior to his presidential appointment, he was the chief of the Oklahoma City Fire Department (OCFD).

He joined the OCFD in 1982 after serving as a U.S. Army firefighter/crash rescue specialist for four years. He also served a short time with the Edmond Fire Department in Edmond, Oklahoma.

During his 35 years with the OCFD, Administrator Bryant was a member of the Underwater Rescue and Recovery Team, Hazardous Materials Response Team, and the Critical Incident Stress Management Team. He also responded to many significant incidents, including the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in 1995, as well as two EF-5 tornados in 1999 and 2013.

Bryant moved up through the ranks of the department, serving in many roles, including district/battalion chief, chief training officer, battalion chief of operations, and deputy chief of operations. He was appointed the 20th fire chief of the OCFD in 2005 by the city manager.

He is a past president of the International Association of Fire Chiefs, the Metropolitan Fire Chiefs Association, and the Oklahoma Fire Chiefs Association (OFCA). He currently serves on the National Fallen Firefighters Advisory Committee.

Bryant was recognized with many awards throughout his fire service career. The Metropolitan Fire Chiefs Association designated him as the 2014 Fire Chief of the Year, and he received their 2016 President’s Award of Distinction. The OFCA selected him as the recipient of the 2010 J. Ray Pence Chief Officer Leadership Award, and he received the OCFD Chief Officer of the Year Award in 2001.

Star Black, FEMA Public Assistance Program SME

Star joined FEMA over 23 years ago with the Disaster Field Training Office. Since 2002, she has served in the Public Assistance Program working with State, Local Tribes, and Territories assisting Applicants through the FEMA grant process. She not only has had over 210 deployments during her career, but has performed in various Public Assistance roles. She was instrumental in the rollout of the New Public Assistance process and was one of the first to assist the States, Local, Tribes, and Territories on the rollout of Grants Manager and Grants Portal. She created the Grants Portal Applicant User Manual and the Recipient Grants Portal User Manual. She was also the lead in creating and implementing the 28 Public Assistance Independent Study Courses, currently hosted on the Emergency Management Institute’s website. Star currently serves as the FEMA Public Assistance Training Deputy Section Chief out of FEMA Headquarters which is responsible for all Public Assistance course content/delivery, webinars, and the Grants Portal/Grants Manager hotline.

Resource Links

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On Demand Presentation: Emergency Medical Services and 911

Healthcare Resilience Task Force: EMS/911

May 29, 2020
Dr. Jon Krohmer, NHTSA, HRTF EMS/Pre-hospital Team Lead
Kate Elkins, NHTSA, HRTF EMS/Pre-hospital Deputy Team Lead

911, the universal number to call for emergency help nationwide, is a proven, life-saving service to the public. NHTSA’s Office of EMS oversees the National 911 Program, which envisions an emergency response system that best serves the public, providing immediate help in all emergency situations. This presentation covered the current Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Environment, Impacts and Next Steps for EMS in regards to COVID-19, and EMS and Fire Impacts on Community Lifelines.

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FEMA: COVID-19 Guidance for Hurricane Season

FEMA released “COVID-19 Pandemic Operational Guidance for the 2020 Hurricane Season” to help emergency managers and public health officials best prepare for disasters, while continuing to respond to and recover from COVID-19.

The guide provides actions emergency managers and public officials can take to prepare for response and recovery operations during ongoing COVID-19 response efforts. Specifically, the guidance:

  • Describes anticipated challenges to disaster operations posed by COVID-19.
  • Highlights planning considerations for emergency managers based on current challenges.
  • Outlines how FEMA plans to adapt response and recovery operations.
  • Creates a shared understanding of expectations between FEMA and emergency managers.
  • Includes guidance, checklists and resources to support emergency managers’ response and recovery planning.

Private sector and non-governmental organizations can use the guidance to gain an understanding of the government’s posture, planning and readiness efforts.

To expand awareness and understanding of the guidance, FEMA’s National Preparedness Directorate is conducting four webinars. The webinars will allow emergency managers an opportunity to discuss how the guidance can assist jurisdictions review and modify their plans given the constraints and limitations of the ongoing pandemic. To register, please click on the link for the preferred webinar from the list below:

Download the COVID-19 Pandemic Operational Guidance for the 2020 Hurricane Season on the FEMA website.

John Hopkins | How to better protect EMS personnel from infectious disease?

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Emergency medical services systems and providers are on the front lines of the health response to large-scale disasters, including COVID. EMS professionals in the United States have provided medical care and transportation during pandemic influenzas, importations of Ebola, and other high-consequence pathogens, but none have had the widespread systemic effects of COVID. Because of the unpredictable and, at times, chaotic nature of EMS practice, EMS providers face different occupational health risks compared with hospital-based clinicians. Infection control and prevention practices in EMS rely primarily on the provision and proper use of PPE and on universal precautions, such as hand hygiene. However, like other healthcare workers, EMS providers have been facing serious shortages of PPE. EMS agencies chronically struggle with inadequate funding, which limits their ability to stockpile appropriate PPE.51 As such, COVID is taking a dramatic toll on the EMS workforce in the hardest-hit areas. Amid record-high call volumes, it was reported that 1 in every 4 New York fire department EMS providers had called in sick and that roughly 10% of the workforce had tested positive for COVID.52 A similar but perhaps less dramatic strain on EMS is expected in other states with increasing COVID transmission. It is not clear what role infected EMS personnel may play in the spread of COVID.

The highly fragmented nature of EMS practice in the United States makes achieving systemic reforms challenging. However, recent years have seen some qualified successes. HHS’s Hospital Preparedness Program (HPP) provides a grant mechanism to enable hospitals, public health departments, EMS agencies, and other stakeholders in a given locality to conduct joint planning for large-scale emergencies, an investment that we believe has paid dividends. However, additional resources and creative thinking will be needed to more fully integrate EMS systems and providers into the larger healthcare response to high-consequence epidemic and pandemic diseases. To that end, we recommend the following:


  • Federal, state, and local governments should prioritize and fund EMS systems and providers to receive PPE, particularly N95 respirators, on par with hospitals.
  • States should integrate EMS data into COVID surveillance systems to better understand disease transmission, especially in large cities.
  • In the longer term, CMS should reconsider the reimbursement process for EMS, and state and local governments should reassess the baseline funding needs of EMS.”



CDC: Guidance for Institutions of Higher Education

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Who is this guidance for?

This interim guidance is intended for administrators of public and private institutions of higher education (IHE). IHE includes a diverse set of American colleges and universities: 2- or 4-year; public, private non-profit, or private for-profit; and comprehensive, research-focused, or special mission. IHE administrators (e.g., presidents, deans, provosts) are individuals who make policies and procedures, set educational aims and standards, and direct programming of institutions of higher education.

Why is this guidance being issued?

This guidance will help IHE and their partners understand how to help prevent the transmission of COVID-19 among students, faculty, and staff. It also aims to help IHE react quickly should a case be identified in the IHE or if there is spread within the community in which the IHE is located. The guidance includes considerations to help administrators plan for the continuity of teaching, learning, and research if there is community spread of COVID-19 and address concerns related to COVID-19 associated stigma.

What is the role of IHE in responding to COVID-19?

IHE, working together with local health departments, has an important role in slowing the spread of disease. IHE’s efforts will help ensure students, staff, and faculty have safe and healthy environments in which to learn and work. IHE welcomes students, staff, faculty, and visitors from throughout the community. All of these people may have close contact in IHE settings, often sharing spaces, equipment, and supplies. Some individuals are experiencing stigma and discrimination in the United States related to COVID-19. This includes people of Chinese and Asian descent, as well as some returning travelers and emergency responders who may have been exposed to the virus. It is important for IHE to provide accurate and timely information
about COVID-19 to students, staff, and faculty to minimize the potential for stigma on college and university campuses. It is also important to provide mental health support to promote resilience among those groups affected by stigma regarding COVID-19. CDC has information IHE can share to reduce COVID-19 associated fear and stigma.

How should IHEs prepare for, and respond to, COVID-19?

IHE should be prepared for COVID-19 outbreaks in their local communities and for individual exposure events to occur in facilities, regardless of the level of community transmission, for example, a case associated with travel.

When a confirmed case has been on campus, regardless of community transmission

Any IHE in any community might need to implement short-term building closure procedures regardless of community spread if an infected person has been on campus. If this happens, CDC recommends the following procedures, regardless of level of community spread:

  • Coordinate with local health officials. Once learning of a COVID-19 case in someone who has been on the campus, immediately reach out to local public health officials. These officials will help administrators determine a course of action for their IHE.
  • Work with local public health officials to determine cancellation of classes and closure of buildings and facilities. IHE administrators should work closely with their local health officials to determine if a short-term closure (for 2-5 days) of all campus buildings and facilities is needed. In some cases, IHE administrators, working with local health officials, may choose to only close buildings and facilities that had been entered by the individual(s) with COVID-19. This initial short-term class suspension and event and activity (e.g., club meetings; on-campus sport, theater, and music events) cancellation allows time for the local health officials to gain a better understanding of the COVID-19 situation impacting the IHE. This allows the local health officials to help the IHE determine appropriate next steps, including whether an extended duration is needed to stop or slow further spread of COVID-19.
    • Local health officials’ recommendations for the duration and extent of class suspensions, building and facility closures, and event and activity cancellations should be made on a case-by-case basis using the most up-to-date information about COVID-19 and the specific cases in the community.
    • Discourage students, staff, and faculty from gathering or socializing anywhere. This includes group childcare arrangements, as well as gathering at places like a friend’s house, a favorite restaurant, or the local coffee shop.
    • Communicate with students, staff, and faculty. Coordinate with local health officials to communicate dismissal decisions and the possible COVID-19 exposure.
    • This communication to the IHE community should align with the communication plan in the emergency operations plan.
    • Plan to include messages to counter potential stigma and discrimination.
    • In a circumstance where there is a confirmed COVID-19 case that has been on campus, it is critical to maintain confidentiality of the student or staff member as required by the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act, as applicable.
  • Clean and disinfect thoroughly.
    •  Close off areas used by the patient. Open outside doors and windows to increase air circulation in the area and then begin cleaning and disinfection.
    • Cleaning staff should clean and disinfect all areas (e.g., offices, bathrooms, and common areas) used by the COVID-19 patient focusing especially on frequently touched surfaces.
    •  If surfaces are dirty, they should be cleaned using a detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection.
    •  For disinfection most common EPA-registered household disinfectants should be effective. A list of products that are EPA-approved for use against the virus that causes COVID-19 is available here. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for all cleaning and disinfection products (e.g., concentration, application method and contact time, etc.).
    • Additional information on cleaning and disinfection of community facilities such as schools can be found on CDC’s website.
  • Make decisions about extending the class suspension and event and activity cancellation. Temporarily suspending classes is a strategy to stop or slow the further spread of COVID-19 in communities.
    • When classes are suspended, IHE administrators should work closely with local public health officials to determine if some buildings and facilities may stay open for staff or faculty that are not ill while students temporarily stop attending in-person classes.
    • IHE administrators should work in close collaboration with local public health officials and the IHE’s university system to make class suspension and large event and activity cancellation decisions. IHE are not expected to make decisions about suspending classes or canceling events on their own. IHE can seek specific guidance from local health officials to determine if, when, and for how long to take these steps. The nature of these actions (e.g., geographic scope, duration) may change as the local outbreak situation evolves.
    • Administrators should seek guidance from local health officials to determine when students, staff, and faculty should return to campus and what additional steps are needed for the IHE community. In addition, students, staff, and faculty who are well but are taking care of or share a home with someone with a case of COVID-19 should follow instructions from local health officials to determine when to return to campus.
  • Implement strategies to continue education and other related supports for students.
    • Ensure continuity of education and research.
      •  Review continuity plans, including plans for the continuity of teaching, learning, and research. Implement e-learning plans and distance learning options as feasible and appropriate.
      • Ensure continuity plans address how to temporarily postpone, limit, or adapt research-related activities (e.g., study recruitment or participation, access to labs) in a manner that protects the safety of researchers, participants, facilities, and equipment.
      • Consider the following approaches:
        • Use of existing infrastructure and services (e.g., Blackboard, Skype, Zoom) to support efficient transition of classes from in-person to distance-based formats. This may include using strategies such as faculty check-ins, recorded class meetings or lectures, and live class meetings.
        • Other student support services such as online library services, print materials available online, phone- or internet-based counseling support, or study groups enabled through digital media.
        •  IHE will need to determine, in consultation with their university system:
        • How to convert face-to-face lessons into online lessons and how to train faculty to do so.
        • How to triage technical issues if faced with limited IT support and staff.
        • How to deal with the potential lack of students’ access to computers and the Internet at home or in temporary housing.
        • Ensure continuity of safe housing.
        • Work in close collaboration with local public health officials to make all decisions related to on-campus housing.
        • If cases of COVID-19 have not been identified among residents of on-campus community housing, students may be allowed to remain in on-campus housing. In this situation, educate housing residents on the precautions they should take to help protect themselves when there is community spread of COVID-19. Residents should follow any more specific recommendations provided by local health officials. Any on-campus resident who may have been in close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 should follow instructions provided by local public health officials, including possible temporary relocation to alternate housing for self-quarantine and monitoring for symptoms.
        • If cases of COVID-19 have been identified among residents of on-campus community housing, work with local public health officials to take additional precautions. Individuals with COVID-19 may need to be moved to temporary housing locations. These
          individuals will need to self-isolate and monitor for worsening symptoms according to the guidance of local health officials. Close contacts of the individuals with COVID-19 may also need temporary housing so that they can self-quarantine and monitor for symptoms. Consult with local health officials to determine when, how, and where to move ill residents. Information
          on providing home care to individuals with COVID-19 who do not require hospitalization is available on CDC’s website.
        • Residents identified with COVID-19 or identified as contacts of individuals with COVID-19 should not necessarily be sent to their permanent homes off-campus.Sending sick residents to their permanent homes could be unfeasible, pose logistical challenges,
          or pose risk of transmission to others either on the way to the home or once there. IHE should
          work with local public health officials to determine appropriate housing for the period in which
          they need to self-isolate and monitor for symptoms or worsening symptoms.
          ƒ Remember to consider all types of IHE-affiliated housing when making response plans.
          Distinct housing types (e.g., residence halls, apartments, fraternity and sorority houses) and
          situations (e.g., housing owned and run by the IHE, housing on the IHE campus but not run by
          the IHE) may require tailored approaches.
          ƒ Ensure any staff remaining to support students in on-campus housing receive
          necessary training to protect themselves and residents from spread of COVID-19.
          Staff should also be trained on how to respond if a resident becomes ill. Adequate cleaning and
          personal hygiene supplies should be made available.
          ο Ensure continuity of meal programs.
          ƒ Consult with local health officials to determine strategies for modifying food service offerings to
          the IHE community.
          ƒ Consider ways to distribute food to students, particularly those who may remain on campus,
          while classes or other events and activities are dismissed.
          ƒ If there is minimal to moderate or substantial community spread of COVID-19, design strategies
          to avoid food distribution in settings where people might gather in a group or crowd. Consider
          options such as “grab-and-go” bagged lunches or meal delivery.
          ƒ If on-campus housing residents have been relocated to temporary alternative housing,
          consider how meals can be provided to these students. Work with local public health officials
          to determine strategies for providing meals to residents with COVID-19 or who are being
          monitored because of contact with persons with COVID-19.
          ƒ Ensure any staff remaining on campus to support food services receive necessary training to
          protect themselves and those they serve from spread of COVID-19.
          ο Consider if, and when, to stop, scale back, or modify other support services on campus.
          ƒ Consider alternatives for providing students with essential medical, social, and mental health
          services. Identify ways to ensure these services are provided while classes are dismissed or
          students are in temporary housing.
          ƒ Identify other types of services provided to students, staff, and faculty (e.g., library services,
          cleaning services). Consider ways to adapt these to minimize risk of COVID-19 transmission
          while maintaining services deemed necessary.

When there is no community transmission (preparedness phase)

        • The most important thing to do now is plan and prepare. IHE administrators should reinforce healthy practices among their students, staff, and faculty. As the global outbreak evolves, IHE should prepare for the possibility of community-level outbreaks in their communities. IHE need to be ready in the event COVID-19 does appear in
          their communities. Here are some strategies:

          • Review, update, and implement emergency operations plans (EOPs). This should be done in collaboration with local public health departments, the IHE’s university system, and other relevant partners. Focus on components, or annexes, of the plans that address infectious disease outbreaks.
          • Ensure the plan includes strategies to reduce the spread of a wide variety of infectious diseases (e.g., seasonal influenza). This includes strategies for social distancing and IHE dismissal that may be used to stop or slow the spread of infectious disease. The plan should also include strategies for continuing education, meal programs, and other related services in the event of IHE dismissal.
          • Ensure the plan emphasizes preventive actions for students and staff. Emphasize actions individuals can take, including staying home when sick, appropriately covering coughs and sneezes, cleaning
            frequently touched surfaces, and washing hands often.
          • CDC has workplace resources including guidance posters with messages for staff about staying home when sick and how to avoid spreading germs at work.
          • Include procedures in the EOP for how to ensure safe housing for students.
          • Reference key resources while reviewing, updating, and implementing the EOP.
          • Multiple federal agencies have developed resources on school planning principles and a 6-step process for creating plans to build and continually foster safe and healthy school communities before, during, and after possible emergencies. IHE may find this guidance for developing highquality emergency operations plans helpful.
          • Readiness and Emergency Management for Schools (REMS) Technical Assistance (TA) Center’s website contains free resources, trainings, and TA for schools, including IHE, and their community partners, including many tools and resources on emergency planning and response to infectious disease outbreaks.
          • Develop information-sharing systems with partners.
            • Institutional information systems should be used for day-to-day reporting on information such as absenteeism or changes in student health center traffic to detect and respond to an outbreak. Remember that IHE are not expected to screen students, staff, or faculty to identify cases of
              COVID-19.. If a community (or more specifically, an IHE) has cases of COVID-19, local health officials will help identify those individuals and will follow up on next steps.

              • Local health officials should be a key partner in information sharing.
      • Reinforce healthy hygiene practices.
        • Ensure handwashing strategies include washing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or
          sneezing. If soap and water are not available and hands are not visibly dirty, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
        • CDC offers several free handwashing resources that include health promotion materials and information on proper handwashing technique.
        • Ensure adequate supplies (e.g., soap, paper towels, hand sanitizer, tissue) to support healthy
        • hygiene practices.
  • Intensify cleaning and disinfection efforts.
    • Routinely clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that are frequently touched. This may include cleaning objects/surfaces not ordinarily cleaned daily (e.g., doorknobs, light switches, classroom sink handles, countertops). Clean with the cleaners typically used. Use all cleaning products according to the directions on the label. For disinfection most common EPA-registered household disinfectants
      should be effective.
    • A list of products that are EPA-approved for use against the virus that causes COVID-19 is available here. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for all cleaning and disinfection products (e.g., concentration, application method and contact time, etc.).
    • Provide disposable wipes to staff and faculty so that commonly used surfaces (e.g., keyboards, desks, remote controls) can be wiped down before use. Ensure adequate supplies to support cleaning and disinfection practices. Monitor and plan for absenteeism. Review attendance and sick leave policies. Students, staff, and faculty should not attend class or work when sick. Allow them to stay home to care for sick household members.

Make accommodations

  • (e.g., extended due dates, electronic submission of assignments), as possible, for individuals who
    may be temporarily unable to attend class due to restrictions placed on them related to possible
    exposure to the virus that causes COVID-19.
  •  Identify critical job functions and positions, and plan for alternative coverage by cross-training staff and faculty. Review the usual absenteeism patterns at your institution and on your campus among students, staff, and faculty. Consider identifying and implementing processes for faculty and IHE leadership to report noticeable changes in absenteeism, even if subjective, to a designated administrator.
  • Alert local health officials about large increases in student, staff, and faculty absenteeism or substantial increases in student health center traffic due to respiratory illnesses (like the common cold or the “flu,” which have symptoms similar to symptoms of COVID-19).
    • Determine what level of absenteeism will disrupt continuity of teaching, learning, and research.
  • Assess group gatherings and events. Consider postponing non-critical gatherings and events.
    • Ensure you have a clear understanding of all upcoming gatherings and large events for your IHE (e.g., special performances, athletic events, award banquets). Give special consideration to events that might put students, staff, or their families in close proximity to others from communities that may have identified cases of COVID-19 or include populations at increased risk of severe illness with
    • Consider whether any of these events should be canceled. Speak with local health officials to help determine the best approach.
  • Establish procedures for how to re-house roommates of those that are sick.
    • Ensure IHE health clinics prepare for COVID-19.
    • Review CDC guidance to help healthcare facilities prepare for COVID-19. Guidance includes steps to
      take now and strategies for preparing for community transmission of COVID-19.
  • Create plans to communicate accurate and timely information to the IHE community.
    •  Include strategies for sharing information with staff, students, and faculty without increasing fear and stigma. Keeping the community informed with accurate information can counter the spread of misinformation and reduce the potential for fear and stigma.
    • Include strategies to communicate steps being taken by the IHE to prepare and how additional information will be shared
    •  Include strategies to communicate changes to usual campus schedules or functions.
    • Include strategies to communicate information IHE community members can use to protect themselves from infectious disease, including COVID-19.
  • Review CDC’s guidance for businesses and employers.
  • Review this CDC guidance to identify any additional strategies the IHE can use, given its role as an employer.
    IHE administrators can support their IHE community by sharing COVID-19 informational resources with students, staff, and faculty. Coordinate with local health officials to determine what type of information is best to share with the IHE community. Consider sharing the following fact sheets and information sources:
  • Information about COVID-19 available through state and local health departments
  • General fact sheets to help students, staff, faculty, and their families understand COVID-19 and the steps they can take to protect themselves:
    • What you need to know about coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)
    • What to do if you are sick with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)
    •  Stop the spread of germs – help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses like COVID-19
    • Share facts about COVID-19 to help prevent stigma
  • CDC information for students, staff, and faculty who have recently traveled back to the United States from areas where CDC has identified community spread of COVID-19:
  • A list of countries where community spread of COVID-19 is occurring can be found on the CDC
    webpage: Coronavirus Disease 2019 Information for Travel
  • Implement multiple social distancing strategies. Select strategies based on feasibility given the unique space and needs on IHE campuses. Not all strategies will be feasible for all IHE. IHE administrators are encouraged to think creatively about all opportunities to increase the physical space between students and limit interactions in large group settings. IHE may consider strategies such as:
    • Cancel large gatherings. Cancel activities and events such as athletic events or practices, or special performances for groups of 250 people or more. Cancel events for groups of 20 people or more if attendees are at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19
    • Cancel or modify courses where students are likely to be in very close contact, such as lecture courses with close seating, or music or physical activity classes where students are likely to be in close proximity.
    • Increase space between desks. Where possible, rearrange desks to maximize the space between students. Turn desks to face in the same direction (rather than facing each other) to reduce transmission caused from virus-containing droplets (e.g., from talking, coughing, sneezing).
    • Reduce congestion in the health clinic. For example, consider using the health clinic for students with flu-like symptoms and a satellite location for routine clinic visits (e.g., preventive screenings or annual exams).
    • Consider if and how existing dining services should be scaled back or adapted. For example, an IHE may close some of or all its cafeterias/cafes, offering meal delivery or grab-and-go options to discourage students, staff, and faculty from gathering in group settings. Self-serve stations that require multiple students to touch the same equipment (e.g. cereal dispensers, ice cream dispensers) may be scaled back.
  • Consider ways to accommodate the needs of students and staff at higher risk of severe illness with COVID-19. Consider if and how to honor requests of students or staff who may have concerns about being on campus due to underlying medical conditions or those of others in their home.
  • Ensure continuity of safe housing.
    • Work in close collaboration with local health officials to make all decisions related to oncampus housing.
    • If cases of COVID-19 have not been identified among residents of on-campus community housing, students may be allowed to remain in on-campus housing. In this situation, educate housing residents on the precautions they should take to help protect themselves when there is community spread of COVID-19. Residents should follow any more specific recommendations provided by local health officials.
    • Help counter stigma and promote resilience on campus.
    • Share facts about COVID-19 through trusted dissemination channels to counter the spread of misinformation and mitigate fear.
    • Speak out against negative behaviors, including negative statements on social media about groups of people.
    • Develop plans to support students, staff, and faculty who may feel overwhelmed by COVID-19 and associated events on campus.
    • Ensure continuity of mental health services, such as offering remote counseling. Encourage students to call 911 or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255) if they are feeling overwhelmed with emotions such as sadness, depression, anxiety, or feel like wanting to harm themselves or others.

When there is substantial community transmission

    • Additional strategies should be considered when there is substantial transmission in the local community in
      addition to those implemented when there is no, minimal, or moderate transmission. These strategies include:
  • Continue to coordinate with local public health officials. If local health officials have determined there is substantial transmission of COVID-19 within the community, they will provide guidance to administrators on the best course of action for IHE. Mitigation strategies are expected to extend across organizations (e.g., K-12 schools, business, community and faith-based organizations) within the community, as they are
    not necessarily tied to cases within IHE.
  • Consider extended in-person class suspension. In collaboration with local public health officials, implement extended class suspension and event/activity cancellations (e.g., suspension/cancellations for longer than two weeks). This longer-term, and likely broader-reaching, strategy is intended to slow transmission rates of COVID-19 in the community. During extended class suspensions, also cancel extracurricular group activities and large events. Remember to implement strategies to ensure the continuity of education, research, and housing as well as meal programs and other essential services for students.

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 are no longer in use. View on FEMA’s Website

FEMA Public Assistance Program

In accordance with sections 403 and 502 of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, 42 U.S.C. 5121 et seq. (the “Stafford Act”), emergency protective measures taken by SLTT governments to respond to the COVID-19 emergency at the direction or guidance of public health officials may be reimbursed under the PA program. Under this authority, FEMA may approve work and costs associated with maintaining minimal operational readiness at ACS facilities when necessary in response to the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency.

Public health experts have warned of the potential for a second wave of COVID-19 cases, the severity and timing of which are uncertain. ACS facilities that are unused but remain operationally ready and available for potential medical surge capacity for COVID-19 response are referred to as “warm sites.”

Work to Eliminate or Lessen an Immediate Threat

FEMA has the authority to provide funding for activities that eliminate or lessen immediate threats to lives, public health, or safety, such as operating an ACS facility. To determine whether work-related to ACS warm sites is necessary to eliminate or lessen an immediate threat, FEMA may consider SLTT assessments of need based on:

  • Public health guidance, including the continued declaration of a Public Health Emergency by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and other information on the likelihood of a resurgence of COVID-19 cases;
  • Whether the ACS facility is strategically located for areas projected to be most impacted by a resurgence (e.g., if the ACS facility needs to be relocated to better address the most impacted areas, it may not be prudent to maintain the facility as a warm site); and
  • SLTT hospital bed capacity relative to the projected need.

FEMA regions will work with the state, territory, or tribe acting as the Recipient to:

  • Identify ACS warm sites based on SLTT projections of need as supported by predictive modeling or other supporting information and in accordance with federal, state, and/or local public health guidance;
  • Provide support for ACS warm sites to either suspend medical care activities while maintaining minimal operational readiness for future rapid activation, or to demobilize the ACS and store necessary medical equipment and supplies for future rapid activation; and/or
  • Reduce excess capacity by demobilizing and closing ACS facilities that are no longer in use and not anticipated to be required in future planning scenarios based on the projected needs.

Eligible Costs to Maintain ACS Warm Sites

All claimed costs must be necessary and reasonable in order to effectively respond to the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency, in accordance with public health guidance, and are subject to standard program eligibility, the applicable cost share for the declaration, and other federal requirements. Pursuant to Section 312 of the Stafford Act, FEMA is prohibited from providing financial assistance where such assistance would duplicate funding available from another program, insurance, or any other source for the same purpose. FEMA will reconcile final funding based on any funding provided by another agency or covered by insurance or any other source for the same purpose. FEMA will coordinate with HHS to share information about funding from each agency to assist in preventing duplication of benefits. Costs that may be necessary to maintain the minimum operational level of an ACS warm site include:

  • Renting/leasing the space for an ACS facility and/or the necessary equipment to operate the facility and provide adequate medical care in the event of a COVID-19 resurgence;
  • Other facility costs such as utilities, maintenance, and/or security;
  • Keeping the necessary equipment and supplies (including PPE) in stock, including inspection and maintenance of equipment and supplies, and replacement of non-functioning equipment and expired supplies and commodities;
  • Demobilization of ACS facilities when it is more cost effective than maintaining a warm site, and remobilizing in the event of a COVID-19 resurgence based on projected needs;
  • Storage of equipment and supplies for ACS warm sites or demobilized ACS facilities which can be re- deployed for future rapid activation;
  • Wraparound services, as defined in the ACS Toolkit, necessary for minimal operational readiness;
  • Minimal level of medical and/or non-medical staffing, if necessary;
  • Site restoration to allow a facility that was/is being used as an ACS to return to normal operations until such time as the facility is needed as an ACS again in the event of a COVID-19 resurgence; and/or
  • Other costs necessary to maintain a minimum level of operational readiness.

Time Limitations

Funding for ACS warm sites is limited to maintaining the site no longer than is necessary and reasonable based on projected needs and in accordance with public health guidance.

  • The continued need for an ACS warm site should be assessed on a monthly basis by FEMA and SLTTs and based on the latest federal and/or SLTT COVID-19 projections of the likelihood of a COVID-19 resurgence in the area and the subsequent capacity and capability needs.
  • FEMA will not reimburse costs related to maintaining ACS warm sites for more than 30 days after


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.

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.

Webinar April 15 | Tax Day…Not! Tax Implications from the Stimulus Packages

Tax Day…Not! Tax Implications from the Stimulus Packages for your Personal and Business Tax Filings

Wednesday, April 15, 2020 | 1:00pm Eastern Time
Watch on Demand 
Presented by:  Peter K Scott, Esq.

Join former Deputy Chief Counsel to the IRS Commissioner, Peter Scott Esq. for an informative presentation on COVID 19 tax and business relief provisions. Learn from one of the leading experts in tax law the best ways to navigate the complex IRS codes and sometimes contradictory statutes. If you are trying to discern from a TAX perspective which of the loan and grant programs are best for tax purposes, you won’t want to miss this webinar from a true tax expert.

Watch On-Demand

FEMA Advisory | Supply Chain Stabilization

The following information was delivered by FEMA via email on April 9.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic Supply Chain Stabilization 

The Supply Chain Task Force continues executing a strategy maximizing the availability of critical protective and lifesaving resources through FEMA for a whole-of-America response. Efforts to date have focused on reducing the medical supply chain capacity gap to both satisfy and relieve demand pressure on medical supply capacity. The task force is applying a four-prong approach of Preservation, Acceleration, Expansion and Allocation to rapidly increase supply today and expand domestic production of critical resources to increase supply long-term.

The preservation line of effort focuses on providing federal guidance to responders and the non-medical sector, such as public service (police, fire, EMT), energy distribution and the food industry on how to preserve supplies when possible, to reduce impact on the medical supply chain.

The  acceleration  line of effort provides direct results to help meet the demand for personal protective equipment PPE through the industry to allow responders to get supplies they need as fast as possible.

The  expansion  line of effort is charged with generating capacity with both traditional and non-traditional manufacturers, such as adding machinery or by re-tooling assembly lines to produce new products.

The  allocation  of supplies facilitates the distribution of critically needed PPE to “hot spots” for immediate resupply. States report on supplies and can request assistance when they experience a shortage.

The Supply Chain Task Force is working with the major commercial distributors to facilitate the rapid distribution of critical resources in short supply to locations where they are needed most. This partnership enables FEMA and its federal partners to take a whole-of-America approach to combatting COVID-19. The task force is providing distributors with up-to-date information on the locations across the country hardest hit by COVID-19 or in most need of resources now and in the future. The distributors have agreed to focus portions of their distributions on these areas in order to alleviate the suffering of the American people.

A key example of this partnership in action is Project Airbridge. The airbridge was created to reduce the time it takes for U.S. medical supply distributors to receive PPE and other critical supplies into the country for their respective customers. FEMA covers the cost to fly supplies into the U.S. from overseas factories, reducing shipment time from weeks to days.

Overseas flights arrive at operational hub airports for distribution to hotspots and nationwide locations through regular supply chains. Flight arrivals do not mean supplies will be distributed in the operational hub locations.  Per agreements with distributors, 50 percent of supplies on each plane are for customers within the hotspot areas with most critical needs. The remaining 50 percent is fed into distributors’ normal supply chain to their customers in other areas nationwide.  HHS and FEMA determine hotspot areas based on CDC data.

Working together, we can efficiently distribute these vital resources to hospitals, nursing homes, long-term care facilities, pre-hospital medical services, state and local governments, and other facilities critical to caring for the American people during this pandemic.

FEMA_Adv_SCTF_Supply Chain Stabilization.pdf

Webinar April 10 | Navigating the COVID-19 Stimulus Loans and Grant Programs

Navigating the COVID-19 Stimulus Loans and Grant Programs

Friday, April 10, 2020 | 1:00pm Eastern Time
Watch On-Demand Below!
Presented by:  Scott Moore, Esq. and Asbel Montes

The last few weeks have pushed field providers and EMS organizations to their limits, testing their ability to prepare and respond to this unprecedented pandemic. In response, Congress has provided the first in many relief measures under the CARES Act in an effort to ensure that EMS agencies can continue to answer the calls for help. This webinar is intended to provide an overview of the financial relief that is available to EMS organizations, including loans and grant monies and will provide attendees with the advantages and disadvantages of each, as well as, the strategies and best practices for accessing funds under the FEMA or HHS grant programs. In addition, we will discuss how to best prepare your organization to apply for the various financial relief options, as well as, help you institute the appropriate cost tracking mechanisms to ensure that you are prepared for any subsequent financial relief compliance review from the granting authority.


Asbel Montes
Senior Vice President of Strategic Initiatives and Innovation, Acadian Ambulance Service


Asbel has been a member of the American Ambulance Association (AAA) for eight years and has served on its Board of Directors; he currently is Chair of the Payment Reform Steering Committee. Asbel also sits on the board of the Louisiana Ambulance Alliance. He is a respected thought leader on reimbursement initiatives within the industry and is a requested speaker at many conferences. He has also been asked to testify as an expert witness before federal and state health committees regarding ambulance reimbursement.

Asbel began his employment with Acadian in May 2009. He oversees Acadian’s revenue cycle management, contract management, business office process improvements, and government relations for state and federal reimbursement policy initiatives.

In 1999, Asbel began working for an ambulance billing and consulting firm. After three years, he decided to work for a private, non‐emergency ambulance service. Since then, he has provided leadership in revenue cycle management to four ambulance agencies located throughout the Southeast.

Asbel pursued his education the non‐traditional way by attending college online while maintaining a fulltime job. He received an associate’s degree in accounting in 2007 and graduated in November 2010 with a bachelor’s degree in business management.

Asbel is married to Stephenie Haney‐Montes. He has one daughter and resides in Carencro, LA.

Scott Moore, Esq.
AAA Human Resource and Operations Consultant; Moore EMS Consulting, LLC


Scott A. Moore, Esq. has been in the emergency medical services field for more than 28 years. Scott has held various executive positions at several ambulance services in Massachusetts. Scott is a licensed attorney, specializing in Human Resource, employment and labor law, employee benefits, and corporate compliance matters. Scott has a certification as a Professional in Human Resources (PHR) and was the Co-Chair of the Education Committee for the American Ambulance Association (AAA) for several years.

In addition, Scott is a Site Reviewer for the Commission on the Accreditation of Ambulance Services (CAAS). Scott earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Salem State College and his Juris Doctor from Suffolk University Law School. Scott maintains his EMT and still works actively in the field as a call-firefighter/EMT in his hometown. Scott is a member of the American Bar Association, the Massachusetts Bar Association, the Society for Human Resource Management, and the Northeast Human Resource Association.

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