EMS.gov | EMS Week Message from Secretary Elaine L. Chao

From EMS.gov: U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao Thanks EMS Professionals in Recognition of National EMS Week “You are making a tremendous difference for our country,” Secretary Chao says in video message In recognition of National Emergency Medical Services Week, U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine L. Chao recorded a video message honoring the people of EMS and their families for their sacrifice and dedication to their communities, especially during this unprecedented pandemic. As the nation marks the 46th National EMS Week, we also recognize the 50th anniversary of the creation of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which has supported the advancement of EMS systems since its inception.

EMS.gov | EMS Week Thank you

From NHTSA’s Office of EMS: EMS professionals have long served at the frontlines of our healthcare system, ready for any emergency. For nearly half a century, we have celebrated the dedication of our nation’s emergency medical services professionals during National EMS Week. This year we mark this occasion during a most extraordinary time. Instead of hosting awards ceremonies and recognition events, EMS organizations in communities across the United States and around the globe are busy tackling a pandemic like nothing we’ve ever seen–one that tests us as individuals, and as a profession. This year’s National EMS Week 2020 theme is “Ready today. Preparing for tomorrow.” This theme is so appropriate! As the continually evolving threat of COVID-19 has shown us, we don’t always know what tomorrow will bring. Yet you and your colleagues throughout the first responder and healthcare communities have lived by these words, ready for whatever comes your way, and always preparing for what might come next–even when it’s the unexpected. I want to thank every EMS clinician and everyone who works hard to support them, including the administrative and logistics staffs and the family members whose own sacrifice makes it possible for you to perform your duty. (more…)

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. 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 (more…)

NHTSA | PPE Challenges: Important Information for the First Responder Community

From NHTSA’s Office of EMS on March 25 via email. PPE Challenges: Important Information for the First Responder Community We are all aware of the challenges of obtaining personal protective equipment (PPE) during this pandemic. We hope this information will help address concerns and clarify the replenishment request process. The current shortage applies to all health care disciplines – the challenges you are experiencing are being felt by your peers. As a nation, we are working very hard to address the challenges through ramped up production and distribution as resources become available. First Responders are recognized as a high priority component of the nation’s critical infrastructure. Decisions regarding PPE allocation are based on specific and identified need and are being prioritized based on those needs. It may be helpful to reinforce to the first responder community the process for submitting your requests for resupply. It is critical that requests are submitted through the proper process. Process: Continue to submit your request for replenishment of PPE through your normal distribution supply chain. While the supply remains limited, filling those orders will be challenging and you may not receive your entire requested order. To request supplies from state or federal resources (eg: (more…)

EMS.gov Webinar | Crisis Standards of Care and COVID-19: What EMS Needs to Know

Crisis Standards of Care and COVID-19: What EMS Needs to Know Webinar from EMS Focus Thu, Mar 26, 2020 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM EDT COVID-19 is challenging healthcare systems across the country, with many communities already seeing an increased demand for EMS, emergency department and critical care services. A systems approach to developing crisis standards of care, defined as a “substantial change in unusual healthcare operations and the level of care it is possible to deliver,” is critical for EMS systems preparing for any public health emergency. In this webinar, hosted by NHTSA’s Office of EMS, you’ll learn: – Why crisis standards of care planning is so critical in the prehospital setting – How one state is preparing for a surge in demand for EMS services – Implications for local EMS leaders who may have to implement crisis standards of care in their communities The three panelists will share their expertise on crisis standards of care from public health, legal, medical and operational perspectives: – James G. Hodge, Jr., JD, LLM, is the director of the Center for Public Health Law and Policy at Arizona State University and a professor at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law. A (more…)

EMS.gov Ambulance Crash Data

NHTSA’s Office of EMS has partnered with a number of organizations, Federal agencies and U.S. Department of Transportation offices to develop resources that help EMS agencies understand ambulance crashes, transport patients safely, report ambulance and equipment defects and build or buy safer ambulances. Download the ambulance crash infographic► Visit the site today►

NHTSA and NASEMSO Host Panel on EMS Practices

The National Association of State EMS Officials (NASEMSO) and the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) hosted a series of meetings for subject matter experts to discuss revisions to the National EMS Scope of Practice model. The experts reviewed the model’s practices, examined education and training procedures, and discussed what certification level, if any, is needed for specific treatments that are now widely-used among EMS professionals. The panel focused on five specific procedures that are commonly practiced: hemorrhage control, Naloxone use, CPAP use, therapeutic hypothermia in cardiac arrest, and pharmacological pain management. Over the next several months, the panel will continue to examine information and recommend changes to the Scope of Practice model, with final recommendations tentatively set to be submitted in August 2018. For more information, please visit NASEMSO’s website.