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NASEMSO News 2015

Petition Being Circulated to Support H.R. 2274, which would establish a National EMS Memorial

(12/08/15) Congressman Stephen F. Lynch recently introduced H.R. 2274, a bill to establish a National EMS Memorial. The legislation creates the National Emergency Medical Services Memorial Foundation, which will undertake the effort of designing, siting, and creating a memorial in Washington, D.C., to honor the service and sacrifice of the nation’s EMS members.

Each year, 850,000 EMS providers answer more than 30 million calls to serve 22 million patients in need of care at a moment’s notice and without reservation. To date, more than 600 men and women have died in the line of duty while caring for others.


H.R. 2274 will ensure that a commemorative work is created in the nation’s capital that will recognize the ultimate sacrifice of EMS providers and will honor the dedication of EMS members nationwide. See online petition.


National Wildfire Coordinating Group Issues Call for Nominations for 2015 Wildfire EMS Awards

(12/04/15) The National Wildfire Coordinating Group’s EMS Award Subcommittee is seeking nominations for its 2015 Wildfire EMS Awards. Throughout the year, many emergency medical responders go above and beyond the ordinary call of duty in wildland fire operations. The NWCG Wildfire EMS Awards recognize and honor individuals and agencies that have demonstrated outstanding performance in emergency medical service for wildland firefighters.

The five award categories are: Outstanding Wildfire EMS Individual; Outstanding Wildfire Squad/Crew/Team; Outstanding Wildfire EMS Distinguished Service; Excellence in Wildfire EMS and/or Rescue; and Lifetime Achievement in Wildfire EMS Award.


Deadline for nominations is Dec. 30, 2015. More information is available here. Downloads: call for nominations | nominations form


NASEMSO Recognizes Abstract Competition Award Winners

(10/28/15) The top four entries in the 2015 NASEMSO Abstract/Poster Competition received awards at the Oct. 15 luncheon during the NASEMSO Fall Meeting in Louisville, Kentucky. The winning abstracts are:

The lead authors or representatives of the top three entries gave brief presentations on their projects, which can be viewed here. The goal of the NASEMSO-sponsored abstract/poster competition, which began in 2014, is to foster and develop system research and performance assessment and improvement skills in state offices of EMS and trauma. "The level of competition has been outstanding," noted NASEMSO Program Committee Chair Gary Brown, who recognized Terry Mullins, Director, Arizona Bureau of EMS and Trauma System, for his vision in initiating the annual competition.

NASEMSO Awarded Two Federal Awards for Projects of National Significance

(10/15/15) The National Association of State Emergency Medical Services Officials (NASEMSO) is pleased to announce that two awards have been finalized: "Ambulance Design Guidelines and Standards," with the U.S. Department of Commerce's National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST); and "Developing Evidence-Based Guidelines for Fatigue Risk Management in Emergency Medical Services," with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). See the news release for details.

NASEMSO Board Approved Three Resolutions during its 2015 Fall Meeting

(10/15/15) At the NASEMSO Fall Meeting, which took place Oct. 12-15, 2015, in Louisville, Kentucky, the Board approved three resolutions as follows:

  • Resolution 2015-01: Honoring the Lifetime Achievement of Drew Dawson, Colleague and Friend
  • Resolution 2015-02: Honoring the Memory and Lifetime Achievements of Norman E. McSwain, Jr., MD, FACS
  • Resolution 2015-03: Toward Completion and Implementation of a Data Standard for Tracking Emergency Patients (TEP)

NASEMSO Program Advisor Kevin McGinnis Reappointed to FirstNet Board

(09/01/15) Kevin McGinnis, Chief/CEO, North East Mobile Health Services, and Program Advisor for NASEMSO, was recently appointed to a second three-year term on the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) Board. "I am extremely honored to be re-appointed to the Board," said McGinnis. "I have enjoyed the challenges and progress we have seen in my first three years with FirstNet. I believe, more than ever, that FirstNet will fundamentally change the way EMS is practiced. I look forward to building on the progress we have made to deploy a broadband network for public safety. The network will provide mission-critical, real-time information that will transform the way we all respond to emergencies for the benefit of our communities and the safety of first responders throughout the nation."

Stryker and Ferno Issue Technical Service Bulletins on Inspection and Maintenance of Cot Fastening Systems

(08/18/15) In compliance to a request by the U.S. Dept. of Transportation, both manufacturers of EMS cots and retention systems are issuing a Technical Service Bulletin (TSB). The TSB is notifying and reminding EMS providers of the importance for regular inspection and preventive maintenance with regard to ensuring proper performance of “Antler and Rail” style cot fastening systems. NASEMSO was asked to distribute the Technical Service Bulletin to our members. Stryker Medical on Aug. 18 released a technical service bulletin available here. On July 27, Ferno Group Companies released a technical service bulletin, also available here.

EMS Compass Releases First Set of EMS Performance Measure for Public Comment and Testing

(08/06/15) EMS Compass on Aug. 5 released its first set of EMS performance measures for public comment and testing. The initiative invites all members of the EMS community to view the measures at emscompass.org, test them using real data in EMS systems, and provide feedback. The public testing and comment period for these measures closes on Aug. 26, 2015. Download news release with details. Specific questions about how to test the measures should be sent to EMS Compass Project Manager Nick Nudell at nick@nasemso.org.

Ferno Technical Service Bulletin Released on Inspection and Maintenance of Cot Fastening Systems

(07/27/15) In compliance to a request by the U.S. Dept. of Transportation, both manufacturers of EMS cots and retention systems are issuing a Technical Service Bulletin (TSB). The TSB is notifying and reminding EMS providers of the importance for regular inspection and preventive maintenance with regard to ensuring proper performance of “Antler and Rail” style cot fastening systems. NASEMSO was asked to distribute the Technical Service Bulletin to our members. Download a copy of Ferno’s Antler-and-Rail Fastening System Technical Service Bulletin here.

 NASEMSO Publishes Report Assessing Programs of Community Paramedicine Systems and Service Development in U.S. States

(07/24/15) NASEMSO has published the final report EMS Office Assessment of the Status of Community Paramedicine/Mobile Integrated Healthcare in the States and Territories, completed by the NASEMSO CP-MIH Committee with support from the Office of Emergency Medical Services, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, U.S. Department of Transportation. Increasingly, state and territorial EMS offices have been involved in leadership and regulatory aspects of CP system and service development. The purpose of the report is to assess that progress and its impact.

Forty-nine of 56 states and territories (88%) responded to this Fall 2014 to Spring 2015 survey. Only five EMS offices reported no known CP-related activity in their states. Just 10 (20%) EMS offices reported having no agencies actively planning or providing some form of CP service. Another 10 EMS offices reported services in the planning/development stages, and the remaining 29 (60%) had between one and 25 agencies offering CP services.

NASEMSO Program Manager Rachael Alter to Serve on EMSC National Resource Center Council

(07/22/15) NASEMSO Program Manager Rachael Alter has been selected to serve on the Emergency Medical Services for Children (EMSC) National Resource Center (NRC) Council. NRC Council members provide input on and assist with the implementation of NRC activities as prescribed by the federal EMSC Program. Congratulations, Rachael, on this prestigious appointment.

TSAG Releases RFP for Synthesis of Technologies for Emergency Responders

(07/22/15) The Transportation Safety Advancement Group recently released a request for proposals for a project entitled, Synthesis of Technologies for Emergency Responders. The objectives of this project include identifying vehicle and wearable technologies and best practices for the general consumer and emergency response agencies.

This objective and the nature of the project as a whole strongly align with TSAG’s mission of “identifying effective ITS technologies and practices, disseminating actionable information and engaging diverse stakeholders to improve the safety of travelers and public safety responders.”

Adam Hopps will be the sole contact relating to this project. Please submit proposals, according to the guidelines in the RFP, no later than Aug. 28, 2015. Find out more about TSAG and its activities.

Industry Leaders Join EMS Compass to Lead Discussions on Shaping the Future of EMS System Improvement

(06/16/15) In two webinars on June 15, EMS Compass kicked off a week of public discussion on how best to measure the quality of EMS services. These first two of 10 webinars tackled the topics of measuring patient and family engagement and measuring patient safety. Download news release with complete information.

EMS Compass Initiative Project Manager Nick Nudell began each session with an introduction of the initiative, and then moderated a discussion among industry experts. Each session also featured several questions and comments from webinar attendees.

  • The first webinar featured Sally McCabe, a veteran empathy coach and founder of Compassion2Compliance, who discussed how and why the patient experience is being measured in the industry today.
  • The second panel included paramedic Dr. Daniel Patterson, Senior Scientist at Carolinas Healthcare System, and Dr. Doug Kupas, EMS medical director for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Dr. David Williams, a former paramedic and chair of the EMS Compass Measurement Design Group, also answered several questions from the audience.

EMS Compass will host eight more webinars this week that will tackle the other domains of performance measurement. Various industry leaders, listed below, will be providing input and examples to illustrate how the use of performance measures can increase the quality of patient care across these various subject areas. Register now for any or all of the meetings, and visit EMSCompass.org to learn more about performance measurement and the Initiative scope and process. If you are not able to attend the live events, the webinars will be available for viewing at your convenience at emscompass.org/webinars.

EMS Performance Measure Project Aims to Help Local Systems Improve; EMS Compass Initiative Looks to Communities for Input

(04/23/15) "EMS Compass, an initiative to improve systems of care though meaningful performance measures, is underway and will soon be looking for input from the public,” said Nick Nudell, EMS Compass project manager, at Tuesday’s closing session of the NASEMSO 2015 Spring Meeting. The initiative launched earlier this year with funding provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) through a cooperative agreement with NASEMSO. EMS Compass brings together many of the nation’s leading minds in EMS, healthcare and performance improvement, including the expertise of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI).
: press release | overview

DHS S&T Releases Safety Resources for Ambulances

(04/13/15) The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) on Apr. 10 announced the release of two ambulance safety resources for EMS leaders, professionals and organizations nationwide. The documents aim to reduce the injury and fatality rate of EMS personnel. According to data from the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration, the fatality rate of EMS professionals is three times greater than the average in any other occupation. The first of the two resources released, the Ambulance Patient Compartment Human Factors Design Guidebook, recommends improved physical design standards. The second resource, the Research Study of Ambulance Operations and Best Practice Considerations for Emergency Medical Services Personnel, addresses operational procedures and practices while operating an ambulance.

NASEMSO Introduces Toward Zero Deaths Efforts to Reduce Highway Fatalities

(03/10/15) The NASEMSO joined the National Strategy on Highway Safety Toward Zero Deaths (TZD) effort, a vision of eliminating fatalities on our nation’s roads. The National Strategy on Highway Safety Toward Zero Deaths effort was created by a steering committee cooperative that includes organizations representing our nation’s highway safety system that have joined together to reduce annual traffic fatalities from more than 33,000 a year to zero. The TDZ Steering Committee, which included NASEMSO as one of eight organizational members, rolled out the TZD plan that provides engineering, enforcement, education and EMS organizations with initiatives, or safety countermeasures, that can be enacted by public agencies, businesses and individuals. Download NASEMSO press release.

GAO Releases Report on Drug Shortages

(03/04/15) The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has published GAO-15-202, "Drug Shortages: Better Management of the Quota Process for Controlled Substances Needed; Coordination between DEA and FDA Should Be Improved." The GAO was asked to examine shortages of drugs containing controlled substances, which have increased sharply in recent years. This report examines: (1) the trends in such shortages; (2) the effect on patients and providers; (3) DEA’s administration of the quota process, and (4) coordination between DEA and FDA to prevent and mitigate shortages.

NASEMSO Survey Asks for Input on National Strategy for EMS Specialty Certification

(02/24/15) A new strategy from the National Association of State EMS Officials (NASEMSO) proposes to bring multiple stakeholders to the table to provide meaningful input to states and provide greater consistency in the approach to EMS specialty recognition in order to allow practitioners to provide services to the full extent of their current knowledge, training, experience, and skills. Input is being sought from state EMS officials and EMS stakeholders; proposal, press release, and survey links are posted here. The survey deadline is Mar. 31, 2015. An EMS World article in support of the proposed national strategy for EMS specialty certification is available here.

NASEMSO Sponsors EMS Strong Campaign, an Initiative to Unify and Inspire Men and Women of U.S. EMS

(02/23/15) The EMS Strong campaign seeks to celebrate, unify and inspire the men and women of our nation’s emergency medical services.Created by the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) in partnership with the National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians (NAEMT), EMS Strong brings together associations, EMS services, sponsors and national media to honor the dedication of EMS practitioners nationwide and to take National EMS Week into the future. NASEMSO is a proud sponsor of EMS STRONG. Learn more at www.emsstrong.org.
What Matters More: the stuff on the outside of a uniform or the stuff on the inside? by Jeff Lucia, NREMT-P (ret.), a Partner at the RedFlash Group.

Look up a License!

(02/17/15) NASEMSO has added a new web page that links to each U.S. state and territory website where verification of EMT and Paramedic licenses can be looked up online. The page is also linked from the Federation of Associations of Regulatory Board's (FARB) website.

GSA Issues Change Notice 7 for Revision F of the Federal Specification for the Star-of-Life Ambulance

(02/03/15) The U.S. General Services Administration has issued Change Notice 7 for Revision F of the Federal Specification for the Star-of-Life Ambulance (KKK-A-1822F dated Aug. 1, 2007). The change notice is effective immediately. This is a cumulative change notice that replaces the separate, non-cumulative Change Notices 1-6. It combines Change Notices 1-6 into a single document for ease of use, and makes minor corrections to some references to the AMD Standards which were recently updated. Change Notice 7 does not implement the new SAE International (initially established as the Society of Automotive Engineers) standards. Proposed Change Notice 8 will propose implementation of the new SAE standards, and will be posted to the Federal Vehicle Standards website by Apr. 6, 2015, for a 45-day public comment period which can be accessed here.

NASEMSO Announces Release of EMS Domestic Preparedness Improvement Strategy

(01/29/15) NASEMSO has released the Emergency Medical Services Domestic Preparedness Improvement Strategy, consisting of goals, strategies, tasks, and activities to mitigate the ten most significant gaps in EMS preparedness and response. These goals, strategies, tasks and activities were structured to provide specific guidance and assign responsibilities to EMS organizations at the federal, national, state, tribal, and local levels.

In an effort to bring solutions to published EMS domestic preparedness gaps, the Department of Homeland Security Office of Health Affairs charged NASEMSO with leading a process to analyze and summarize specific published EMS preparedness reports and document implementable solutions to the identified gaps. NASEMSO seated an EMS Domestic Preparedness Strategy Group consisting of representatives of thirteen EMS stakeholder organizations, representing EMS at the federal, national, state, tribal, and local levels. Represented constituencies included state EMS officials, EMS physicians, emergency managers, 911 communication center leaders, private- sector ambulance companies, fire chiefs, local EMS managers, and federal representatives from the departments and various programs that have EMS leadership responsibilities. The group identified and prioritized the most significant gaps in EMS domestic preparedness. The strategy group also identified general solutions to each of the ten most important gap areas.

“Outbreaks” Report Rates States in Ability to Respond to Severe Infectious Disease

(01/09/15) A report recently released by Trust for America’s Health (TFAH) and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) finds that the Ebola outbreak exposes serious underlying gaps in the nation’s ability to manage severe infectious disease threats. Half of states and Washington, D.C. scored five or lower out of 10 key indicators related to preventing, detecting, diagnosing and responding to outbreaks. Maryland, Massachusetts, Tennessee, Vermont and Virginia tied for the top score – achieving eight out of 10 indicators. The indicators are developed in consultation with leading public health experts based on data from publicly available sources or information provided by public officials.

GAO's State and Local Fiscal Simulations

(01/09/15) Fiscal sustainability presents a national challenge shared by all levels of government. Since 2007, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) has published simulations of long-term fiscal trends in the state and local government sector. These simulations have consistently shown that state and local governments face long-term fiscal pressures. Absent any policy changes, the sector will face an increasing gap between expenditures and receipts in future years. Closing this gap will require state and local governments to make policy changes to assure that receipts are at least equal to expenditures.

GAO's model uses the Bureau of Economic Analysis's National Income and Product Accounts as the primary data source and presents the results in the aggregate for the state and local sector as a whole. In summary, the 2014 update to GAO's model shows that the state and local government sector continues to face long-term fiscal challenges. The fiscal situation of the state and local government sector has improved in the past year as the sector's tax receipts have slowly increased. Nonetheless, as a percentage of gross domestic product (GDP), our model suggests that at current rates total tax revenues for the sector would not return to the 2007 historical high until 2058. Learn more.

NACo Unveils County Explore Interactive Map Tool

(01/09/15) The National Association of Counties has released the County Explorer, a one-stop-shop for county data and profiles for each of the 3,069 U.S. counties, incorporating city-county searches and other queries. This is an upgraded version of the previous NACo database, County Intelligence Connections (CIC), with the addition of the "Find a County" searches available on the NACo website. The map is available for free to NACo members and other users interested in county information. The interactive feature allows users to map county data from more than 70 datasets and 500 county indicators, or variables, for the latest year available. Learn more.

NASEMSO Announces Recent Advocacy Efforts

(01/08/15) The National Association of State EMS Officials (NASEMSO) is pleased to provide information related to resolutions approved by the membership at its 2014 Annual Meeting that serve to endorse highway safety initiatives and commemorate entities and individuals who have long-served EMS. The full text of each resolution is available at NASEMSO Resolutions.

  • Towards Zero Deaths: National Strategy on Highway Safety: The TZD National Strategy is intended to provide a roadmap for the future by identifying key safety focus areas to ensure the greatest progress and to unite efforts of highway safety advocates nationwide.
  • Ambulance Equipment and Crash Testing Standards and Related Safe Transport Recommendations for Children in Ground Ambulances: NASEMSO resolved to urge federal and organizational partners to support the development of evidence-based standards upon which EMS can make determinations of safe transport practices of children and equipment in ground ambulances.
  • Commemorating Anniversaries and Years of Service to EMS: NASEMSO recognized 30 year anniversaries of both the EMS for Children Program (EMSC) and the National Association of EMS Physicians (NAEMSP) and recognition of Liz Sibley on her retirement as the executive director for CECBEMS.

NASEMSO Joins Public Safety Partners on Feedback to FCC

(01/08/15) The National Association of State Emergency Medical Services Officials (NASEMSO) has joined the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC), and the National Sheriffs’ Association (NSA) in filing a letter addressing the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) proposal to update its wireless indoor location accuracy rules. The organizations commended the FCC for its focus on improving the location information being provided to first responders from wireless devices during 9-1-1 calls. The coalition articulated concerns regarding an alternate timeline to the FCC’s proposal suggested by the wireless carriers. In its letter to the FCC, the group expresses support for using performance-based metrics for providing dispatchable location to PSAPs. Learn more.

NASEMSO Data Managers Offer New Resource on Selecting ePCR Software

(01/08/15) NASEMSO’s Data Managers Council has just released a resource guide, “Deciding on ePCR Software: A Guide for EMS Agencies”, now available here. Developed with input from state data managers, the purpose of the guide is to help EMS agencies make educated decisions when choosing an electronic patient care reporting (ePCR) vendor.