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NASEMSO News Archive 2007

2007 NASEMSO Annual Report

Annex to HSPD-8 Establishes U.S. National Planning System (12/17/07) President George W. Bush has approved an annex to Homeland Security Presidential Directive-8 (HSPD-8). The annex directs the establishment of a national planning system to ensure consistent and standardized planning within and among all levels of government in the United States. All U.S. federal departments and agencies have an important role in implementing the direction contained in the annex. “If properly implemented, the annex will significantly strengthen U.S. ability to prevent, protect against, respond to and recover from potential or actual domestic terrorist attacks, major disasters and other incidents,” said Joel Bagnal, Deputy Assistant to the President for Homeland Security. HSPD-8 Annex | HSPD-8

U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security Releases REAL ID Grant Guidance (12/14/07) The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) on Dec. 14 released grant guidance and application kits for two grant programs totaling more than $35 million to assist states in preparing for REAL ID implementation. REAL ID addresses a core 9/11 Commission finding to enhance the security, integrity and protection of licensing and identification systems nationwide, and was mandated by Congress. 

    • The REAL ID Demonstration Grant Program will provide $31.3 million for checking motor vehicle records in other states to ensure that drivers do not hold multiple licenses, and for verification against federal records like immigration status.
    • The REAL ID Vital Events Verification State Project Grant will provide $4 million to help verify birth certificates and other vital records.

States competing for the REAL ID Demonstration Grant are encouraged to submit proposals that demonstrate how other states would be able to use, modify, or transfer a personal identification verification system or established architecture that is designed and developed through federal funding. For more information and the complete application kit, please visit www.grants.gov.

The Ready Campaign Partners With Citizen Corps to Encourage Businesses and Voluntary Organizations to Resolve To Be Ready in 2008 (12/14/07) The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Ready Campaign is partnering with FEMA’s Citizen Corps Program to encourage businesses and voluntary organizations to Resolve to be Ready in 2008. Download a toolkit to help your organization develop internal and external messages to encourage your members, employees, constituents, customers and community to make a New Year’s resolution to prepare for emergencies. You will also find Web banners for your organization’s Web site, a sample E-mail you can send to your key constituents, as well as background information on Ready. You can also visit ready.gov or call 1-800-BE-READY to learn more about how to prepare for emergencies and receive free materials, including family emergency plan templates and sample business continuity plans. Additionally, you can help spread the message throughout your community by partnering with state and local Offices of Emergency Management, Citizen Corps Councils, and other organizations to host and arrange activities and events on and around New Year’s Eve.

Remarks by Homeland Security Secretary on 2007 Achievements and 2008 Priorities (12/13/07) U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff presented remarks at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars on the agency's accomplishments in 2007 and its priorities for 2008. "By any measure, 2007 was a year of strong progress and maturation for our department," noted Secretary Chertoff. "From border security and immigration enforcement to passenger screening, critical infrastructure protection, and emergency response, we launched important initiatives to strengthen America’s security and we began to see the fruits of our labor in many vital areas." complete text of speech | fact sheet

Order Your EMS Week 2008 Planning Guides/Kits Today (12/12/07) EMS Week 2008 will take place May 18-24, 2008, with May 21 designated as EMS for Children Day. The slogan for 2008 is “EMS: Your Life is Our Mission,” and the logo can be downloaded here. Also, download the order form for your free EMS Week 2008 Planning Guides/Kits; you can order up to 9 free of charge. You can also order one Planning Guide/Kit online here.

FEMA Releases Alert on 2007-08 NIMS Compliance and Document on Medical and Public Health Criteria for National Emergency Response Credentialing System (12/07/07) The intent of the latest NIMS Alert released by the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is to inform states, territories, tribal nations, and local government with regard to FY 2007 National Incident Management System (NIMS) compliance and the pending release of FY 2008 NIMS compliance materials. Complete materials will be available in January 2008. Download NIMS Alert. FEMA also released a document describing baseline and additional medical and public health criteria for the National Emergency Response Credentialing System. The Public Health/Medical Working Group determined the job titles listed herein to be the most commonly requested public health and medical personnel in a state-to-state mutual aid-based response. Download FEMA document on credentialing. Access more information on the National Mutual Aid and Resource Management Web site.

Dia Gainor Elected Chair of ITS America's Public Safety Advisory Group (12/01/07) Dia Gainor, Bureau Chief of Emergency Medical Services (EMS) for the State of Idaho and a past President of NASEMSO, has been elected Chair of ITS America's Public Safety Advisory Group (PSAG). the National Association of State Emergency Medical Services Officials. The PSAG advises the U.S. Dept. of Transportation on the development and deployment of ITS technologies that optimize travel mobility, safety and security, economy and environmental quality. The group initiates programs that promote inter-disciplinary, inter-agency and inter-jurisdictional coordination and cooperation, and that promote partnerships for advancing transportation services technologies. Learn more.

Report Suggests Laboratory Preparedness for Pandemic Influenza Is Not Optimal (11/30/07) While all states reported that their public health laboratories conduct year-round influenza testing to detect and subtype influenza viruses, most states reported that they have no sentinel laboratory capability to subtype H5 influenza in a recent report released by the OIG. The H5 strain of influenza infects birds but does not typically infect humans. However, it has caused human deaths and has the potential to evolve into a human pandemic strain. Forty-four of 51 states reported that they have no sentinel laboratories with the capability to perform H5 influenza subtyping, and four states reported that they did not know whether sentinel laboratories in their state had H5 influenza subtyping capability. Download report.

NASEMSO Will Develop Model State EMS Document for United States (11/27/07) The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Office of Emergency Medical Services (NHTSA) has contracted with the National Association of State EMS Officials (NASEMSO) to develop a Model State Emergency Medical Services System (EMSS) document for the nation. The document includes a model state EMSS plan and self-assessment tool. The NASEMSO has been working in coordination with NHTSA, state EMS officials and other EMS partners to review this EMSS Model Plan document as it has developed. Although the plan is managed by NASEMSO, this plan, and the final results, will be a collaborative effort with EMS stakeholders and Federal partners. NASEMSO members have been asked to review the current draft of "Model State Emergency Medical Services System: Model, Self-Assessment, Planning and Implementation." Download document here. Please send suggestions and changes by Dec. 7, 2007, to Kevin McGinnis, technical writer for this project

New CMS Signature Requirements for Emergency Ambulance Transports (11/27/07) Although signature requirements have been in place for several years for non-emergency transports, ambulance services will be required to obtain a signature following emergency transports from a representative of the receiving facility on behalf of incapacitated Medicare patients who do not have another authorized individual capable of signing a claim form documenting the name of the beneficiary and the date and time they were received. The proposed rule, which becomes effective January 1, 2008, had been opposed by ambulance provider organizations based on the belief that it would increase the burden to ambulance personnel and decrease their response times back to communities. The final rule appeared in the Federal Register on Nov. 27, 2007.

NASEMSO Endorses NTIMC's National Unified Goal for Traffic Management (11/20/07) NASEMSO has endorsed the National Unified Goal for Traffic Management, launched on Nov. 20 by the National Traffic Incident Management Coalition, of which NASEMSO is a member. "If you, or your family members, are involved in a crash, you will depend on our emergency medical system (EMS) to care for you," said Kevin McGinnis, NASEMSO Program Advisor. "We ask that you, in turn, care for us. We join with other traffic incident responders in asking that you slow down and move over when you see ambulance crews and other responders working at crash scenes. NASEMSO endorses the National Unified Goal and is working through NTIMC to improve overall coordination and communication among all responders at traffic incident scenes, so we can maximize the chances that our patients will survive crashes with minimal injuries. We also share concern about keeping roadways open, so our ambulances can respond swiftly to all types of medical emergencies." Press release.

FCC Announces $417 Million in Grants to Help Rural Health Care Groups Build High-Speed Internet Networks (11/19/07) To significantly increase access to acute, primary and preventive health care in rural America, the Federal Communications Commission recently announced grants of more than $417 million for the construction of 69 statewide or regional broadband telehealth networks in 42 states and three U.S. territories under the Rural Health Care Pilot Program (RHCPP). The three-year pilot program aims to help extend broadband lines to about 6,000 hospitals, research centers, universities and clinics in hard-to-reach regions, many of which still rely on dial-up Internet service. Learn more.

Final Version of Uniform Emergency Volunteer Health Practitioners Act Announced (11/05/07) The final version of the Uniform Emergency Volunteer Health Practitioners Act, as drafted by the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform States Laws (NCCUSL), was approved and recommended for enactment by all states at the NCCUSL's 2007 annual conference. A primary purpose of this act is to establish a robust and redundant system to quickly and efficiently facilitate the deployment and use of licensed practitioners to provide health and veterinary services in response to declared emergencies. Download here.

NHTSA Releases Final Documents on Pandemic Influenza Guidelines and Recommendations (10/28/07) The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) Office of Emergency Medical Services (OEMS) is pleased to announce that EMS Pandemic Influenza Guidelines for Statewide Adoption and Preparing for Pandemic Influenza: Recommendations for Protocol Development for 9-1-1 Personnel and Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs) have been posted on the NHTSA website. There is also a link to the documents on PandemicFlu.gov.

2008 EMSC State Partnership Grant Guidance Released (10/26/07) The 2008 EMSC State Partnership Non-competing Continuation Grant Guidance was distributed to all EMSC State Partnership grantees on Oct. 26, 2007. The application deadlines are Nov. 26, 2007, for Grants.gov and Dec. 10, 2007, for EHB (Electronic Handbook). To download the grant application and instructions, click here and enter CFDA number 93.172.

President Bush Signs Homeland Security Presidential Directive on Public Health & Medical Preparedness (10/22/07) U.S. President George W. Bush on Oct. 18 signed Homeland Security Presidential Directive HSPD-21. This directive establishes a National Strategy for Public Health and Medical Preparedness, which builds upon principles set forth in Biodefense for the 21st Century (April 2004) and will transform the U.S. national approach to protecting the health of the American people against all disasters. Learn more.

Robert Bass Receives ACEP Award (10/09/07) Robert Bass Receives ACEP Award
During the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) Scientific Assembly held Oct. 8-9, 2007, in Seattle, Dr. Robert Bass, immediate past president of NASEMSO and director of emergency medical services, MIEMSS, was presented the “Outstanding Contribution in EMS Award.” ACEP is a national medical specialty society representing emergency medicine with more than 25,000 members. NASEMSO congratulates Dr. Bass.

TOPOFF 4: Exercising National Preparedness (10/09/07) Top Officials 4 (TOPOFF 4) is the premier U.S. terrorism preparedness exercise, involving top officials at every level of government, as well as representatives from the international community and private sector. Taking place Oct. 15-19, the TOPOFF 4 Full-Scale Exercise (T4 FSE) will feature thousands of federal, state, territorial, and local officials. These officials will engage in various activities as part of a robust, full-scale simulated response to a multi-faceted threat. The exercise will address policy and strategic issues that mobilize prevention and response systems, require participants to make difficult decisions, carry out essential functions, and challenge their ability to maintain a common operating picture during an incident of national significance. Learn more.

NASEMSO Supports "Vision for a Healthier America" (10/02/07) In August, NASEMSO signed onto the Vision for A Healthier America that Trust for America’s Health (TFAH) drafted in partnership with several dozen national public health organizations. On Oct. 2, the most up-to-date version, with 105 signatories, together with a cover letter, was delivered to all members of Congress. This document also is being shared with other policy makers. Download here. In addition, TFAH has continued working toward production of a “Blueprint for a Healthier America,” which will outline for a new federal Administration what needs to be done to improve government-funded public health programs, and to ultimately make Americans healthier. In the works are various supporting documents that will be made available on the TFAH Web site, and directly to policy makers, over the course of the next year. Details here.

DHS Adopts 11 NFPA Standards for Emergency Responders (09/19/07) The National Fire Protection Association and the U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security (DHS) announced the adoption of 11 NFPA standards for emergency responders by DHS. The newly adopted standards will set requirements to assist federal agencies and state and local officials responsible for procuring equipment and services used by emergency responders. The documents adopted will provide direction and allow officials to make better procurement decisions in the following areas: professional qualifications, occupational safety and health, fire apparatus, personal protective clothing, powered rescue tools, and other equipment. Details here.

DHS Seeks Comments on Revised National Response Framework (09/17/07) The new revision of the National Response Framework (NRF) has been released by the U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security (DHS). Download the revised version here. There is currently a 30-day comment period; the ESF comment period is 60 days. NASEMSO members are asked to e-mail their comments to NASEMSO Program Advisor Leslee Stein-Spencer. DHS press release | DHS NRF Resource Center

NCCUSL Approves Two New Sections for the Uniform Emergency Volunteer Health Practitioners Act (08/22/07) The National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws recently approved two new sections for the Uniform Emergency Volunteer Health Practitioners Act. These sections focus on civil liability protections and workers compensation benefits. model law | updates on civil liability and workers compensation | more info

NASEMSO Provides Comments on National EMS Education Standards (08/03/07) NASEMSO members have provided comments on the the National EMS Education Standards. The association leaders believe that this dialogue provides NASEMSO members with a means of providing input that will impact the quality of EMS education for years to come. NASEMSO commends the project team for its continued diligence in this regard. Read comments.

FEMA's ICS Division Releases Updated EMS Job Titles (08/01/07) As part of U.S. efforts to strengthen catastrophic response capabilities in line with the National Incident Management System (NIMS), FEMA's Incident Management Systems Division has released updated EMS Job Titles. These job titles are a part of the National Emergency Responder Credentialing System which documents minimum professional qualifications, certifications, training and education requirements that define the standards required for specific emergency response functional positions. Details here.

FCC Revises 700 MHz Rules to Advance Interoperable Public Safety Communications and Promote Wireless Broadband Deployment (07/31/07) In an order adopted on July 31, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) revised the 700 MHz band plan and service rules to promote the creation of a nationwide interoperable broadband network for public safety and to facilitate the availability of new and innovative wireless broadband services for consumers. The 700 MHz Band spectrum, which runs from 698-806 MHz, currently is occupied by television broadcasters and will be made available for other wireless services, including public safety and commercial services, as a result of the digital television (DTV) transition. The Digital Television and Public Safety Act of 2005 (DTV Act) set a firm deadline of February 17, 2009, for the completion of the DTV transition. In implementing Congress’ directive to reallocate the airwaves, the Commission is focused on serving the public interest and the American people. press release | revised 700 MHz band plan chart | FCC-07-132

Opinion Letter Issued Regarding Release of Information by State EMS Agencies to NEMSIS (07/21/07) Several state EMS staff have expressed reluctance on the part of state attorneys to release state EMS data to the National EMS Database in light of the Health Insurance Portability & Accountability Act (HIPAA). The University of Utah School of Medicine commissioned the law firm of Page, Wolfberg & Wirth to prepare an opinion letter on this topic. The opinion letter has received NHTSA approval for distribution. Download letter.

NASEMSO Supports National First Responder Appreciation Day: Sept. 25 (08/14/07) NASEMSO supports the designation of Sept. 25 as National First Responder Appreciation Day. Learn details at the First Response Coalition Web site.

Coalition of 18 Health Organizations Releases Recommendations for Improved Disaster Response (07/19/07) A coalition of 18 health organizations, led by the American Medical Association (AMA) and American Public Health Association (APHA) and including the NASEMSO, on July 18 released a consensus report with 53 strategic recommendations for legislators, government officials and organizational leaders to more effectively prepare for and respond to catastrophic emergencies. The recommendations, especially nine identified as "critical," serve as a national call to action from medicine, dentistry, nursing, hospitals, emergency medical services (EMS), and public health. The recommendations seek to strengthen health system preparedness and response through increased funding, greater integration, continued education and training and ensured legal protections for responders. press release | flyer | action brief | full report

NASEMSO Provides Comments on Draft Children's Bill (07/13/07) Draft legislation has been crafted by Senator Christopher Dodd’s office in partnership with Save the Children and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). The bill establishes a Commission on Children and Disasters that would examine the range of federal disaster efforts in light of children’s needs and make recommendations. It also provides for a National Resource Center on Children and Disasters that would serve as a clearinghouse for the growing body of information on children and various aspects of disasters. NASEMSO reviewed the bill and noted concern that only one of the 10 members of the new commission would be required to have a health background in either child health or pediatrics. NASEMSO stated that the commission could benefit by having more members with medical, preparedness and response expertise. In addition, NASEMSO noted that the creation of the new resource center duplicates or ignores resources that already exist. The EMSC National Resource Center already is established with federal funding and has information on children and disasters readily available. For more information on the draft bill, contact Anika Pierce at apierce@aap.org.

EMS Web Site Adds New Grants Management Section (07/13/07) The EMSC National Resource Center has added a news Grants Management section to its EMSC Web site. The section provides information on key pieces of grants management, including: applying for a competitive EMSC program grant, registering at Grants.gov, registering with EHB, applying for a non-competitive EMSC Program grant, and responding to conditions in the Notice of Grants Awards (NGA). Information also is provided on how to submit a carryover request or no-cost extension, as well as how to submit a request for redirection of funds. The Grants Management section also includes a section on who to contact for help, organized by state, and answers to more than 40 frequently asked questions. To access the Grants Management section of the Web site, visit http://www.mchb.hrsa.gov/emsc. Once there, click on “Grants Management” located in the left side bar of the page.

NEMA/CDC Release Incident Command System for Executives Training Package (07/09/07) With funding provided through the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention, the National Emergency Management Association (NEMA) and Innovative Emergency Management, Inc., have developed a 1-1/2 day training curriculum and supporting materials that provide an overview of the Incident Command System/National Incident Management System (ICS/NIMS), an overview of biological terrorism, and a facilitated bioterrorism tabletop exercise. Following pilot testing, NEMA is making the training package for Incident Command System for Executives available online. Materials include the training manual as well as the training presentation. The exercise scenario can be modified to meet local and agency needs, as NEMA and CDC wish the training curriculum to be used as widely as possible in order to aid in bioterrorism preparedness throughout the United States.

New Documentary Available on Understanding Traumatic Brain Injury (07/09/07) The Defense & Veterans Brain Injury Center has produced a documentary on Understanding Traumatic Brain Injury that can be viewed on their Web site. This 29-minute video, introduced by General Colin L. Powell, USA (Ret.), offers an introduction to traumatic brain injury (TBI), a health issue affecting at least 1.4 million Americans each year. It features the recovery journeys of several service personnel and their families. Other resources include a fact sheet on TBI awareness and prevention, and a documentary user's guide for organizations that plan to use the video as part of their educational efforts.

NPSTC Issues Position Summary on FCC Deliberations on 700 MHz Proceedings (07/06/07) Recognizing that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) soon will complete its deliberations in the 700 MHz proceedings, decisions that will shape critical wireless telecommunications capabilities for decades to come, the National Public Safety Telecommunications Council (NPSTC) has issued a position summary to clarify for members of Congress and the FCC certain matters relating to issues affecting public safety. NASEMSO is a member of the NPSTC, a federation of national organizations representing the communications leadership of the public safety community. The NPSTC has released Principles Surrounding the 700 MHz Band that the council believes should guide the FCC in its deliberations. NPSTC urges the FCC to integrate these principles into its decisions addressing the structure and rules of the 700 MHz band. news release

Government's Response to U.S. Emergency Room Crisis Examined in Hearing Conducted by House Committee on Oversight/Reform (06/29/07) On June 22, the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform conducted a hearing on “The Government’s Response to the Nation’s Emergency Room Crisis.” In the opening statement, Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) noted that the hearing would examine the response of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to the nation’s emergency care crisis. The hearing featured testimony from leading private sector experts on emergency care, trauma care, and ambulance services. Robert O’Conner, M.D., professor and chairman, Department of Emergency Medicine at the University of Virginia, represented the Advocates of EMS. (NASEMSO is one of the founding members of this organization.) Witnesses at the hearing said that U.S. emergency departments are overcrowded, understaffed and unprepared for large natural disasters or terrorist attacks. read testimony

WHA Adopts Resolution on Emergency Trauma Care Systems (06/29/07) On May 23, 2007, the World Health Assembly (WHA) adopted a resolution on emergency trauma care systems. This first ever WHA resolution on this topic, initially proposed by Romania and Thailand, draws the attention of governments to the need to strengthen pre-hospital and emergency trauma care systems (including mass casualty management efforts) and describes a number of steps governments could take. In addition, the resolution invites the World Health Organization (WHO) to scale up its efforts to support countries. Although not legally binding, the resolution is an important commitment from senior public health and development officials around the world to increase efforts to strengthen trauma care systems. download resolution

"Working with People with Disabilities" Training DVD Now Available (06/29/07) "Working with People with Disabilities: A Guide for Responders" now is available from the Baltimore Co. Fire Dept. This 26-minute training DVD, produced in cooperation with the Baltimore Co. Commission on Disabilities, is designed to help personnel from emergency medical services, fire, police, and others work effectively and compassionately with persons with disabilities. This training has been endorsed by the Maryland Dept. of Disabilities, Maryland Institute for Emergency Medical Services Systems, Maryland Fire and Rescue Institute, Maryland State Firemen’s Association, and the Maryland Police and Correctional Training Commissions, as well as a number of other public agencies and non-governmental disabilities advocacy groups. This DVD features people with disabilities who were gracious enough to appear in the video and share their “first person” accounts. They communicated their views, concerns, needs and expectations effectively. To obtain a free copy of the DVD for training purposes, contact Fire Director James M. Korn at jkorn@baltimorecountymd.gov.

HHS Awards Two Contracts to Expand Domestic Vaccine Manufacturing Capacity for a Potential Influenza Pandemic (06/29/07) On June 14, Health & Human Services (HHS) Secretary Mike Leavitt announced the award of two contracts to expand the domestic influenza vaccine manufacturing capacity that could be used in the event of a potential influenza pandemic. The department has awarded two cost-reimbursable contracts totaling $132.5 million to sanofi pasteur and MedImmune over five years to retrofit existing domestic vaccine manufacturing facilities on a cost-sharing basis and to provide warm-base operations for pandemic influenza vaccines. In warm-base operations, the contractor does not shut down the facility. news release

Special EMS Sessions Set for 5th International Bird Flu Summit (06/29/07) Paramedics, firefighters, police officers, and other emergency first responders will have a chance to learn firsthand the best practices and model protocols they need in order to effectively respond to a pandemic, when they attend the 5th International Bird Flu Summit, Sept. 25-26, 2007, in Las Vegas, Nev. Nine breakout sessions specifically designed for these different emergency management service (EMS) providers were recently added to the agenda of the two-day event. The sessions will be held concurrently with the main plenary session, giving EMS providers a chance to hone their specific expertise and tailor their pandemic preparedness plans. conference site

Labor-Health and Human Services-Education Appropriations Bill Marked by Subcommittee (06/15/07) On June 7, the House Appropriations Committee Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education considered the chairman’s mark of the Fiscal Year 2008 appropriations bill. The Preventive Health and Health Services Block Grant received a $10 million increase over last year’s level. The House Subcommittee-passed bill contains $109 million. This program was cut and/or level funded over the past three years. Sixteen states use this funding for EMS programs. The EMS for Children (EMSC) Program was level funded at $19.8 million. The Trauma Planning Systems and Development Act received no funding. Rural Health Outreach Grants received a $14 million increase over the FY 2007 level and is funded at $52.96 million. Flex Grants were level funded at $62.5 million. Rural and Community AEDs received a $537,000 increase, with funding at $2 million. HRSA’s Traumatic Brain Injury program was restored to last year’s level at $8.9 million. Poison Control received a $7.1 million increase to be funded at $30.1 million. No funding was provided to re-establish the Trauma-EMS program. This was undoubtedly due, in part, to the fact that the bill reauthorizing the program was only signed into law a few weeks before the mark-up. A chart of the recommended appropriations is available for NASEMSO members. To obtain the chart, first log in to Members Only and then click here.

CDC Issues Call for Model Communities (05/29/07) The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), through its Terrorism Injuries: Information Dissemination and Exchange (TIIDE) Project, is examining the relationship between the emergency care community and public health in relation to preparedness for mass casualty incidents. The CDC TIIDE Project is seeking examples of “model communities” in which the relationship between the emergency care community and public health is well-established and operationally functional in terms of its capacity to respond to events that might produce large numbers of injuries. Selected communities will be invited to participate in a TIIDE Partners conference at which they can present their model systems. This conference will be held in Atlanta, Ga., on Aug. 13-14, 2007. The CDC will fund two representatives to attend the meeting. Responses are due by July 13. Learn more.

NASEMSO Endorses AHA Conference Proceedings (06/15/07) In late March, the American Heart Association (AHA) convened a three-day conference, “Development of Systems of Care for ST-segment Elevation Myocardial Infarction (STEMI) Patients,” with multidisciplinary groups of physicians, nurses, EMS personnel, community and tertiary hospital administrators, payers, government officials, and quality, outcomes research and policy experts involved in the care of patients with STEMI. The conference attendees were charged with reviewing the current state or system of care, developing the ideal implementation system, addressing the gaps and barriers between the current and ideal system, and formulating recommendations for research, programs, and policy from the perspective of the constituency they were to represent. Members of more than 20 organizations representing key constituents were in attendance. NASEMSO participated in the conference. The full proceedings have been published in the May 29 issue of Circulation. NASEMSO endorsed the proceedings. Learn more.

AHRQ's Annual State Snapshots Highlight States' Strengths and Weaknesses in Health Care Quality (06/15/07) On June 11, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) released the new State Snapshots. The Web tool shows that states have made promising gains in health care quality while identifying needed improvements in areas ranging from cancer screening to treatments of heart attack patients. AHRQ’s State Snapshots Web tool was launched in 2005. It is an application that helps state health leaders, researchers, consumers, and others understand the status of health care quality in individual states, including each state’s strengths and weaknesses. The 51 State Snapshots are based on 129 quality measures, each of which evaluates a different segment of health care performance. The Web tool provides summaries that measure health care quality in three different contexts: by types of care; by settings of care; and by clinical area. View details here.

Order Your Copy of the New NASEMSO Monograph on Training and Certification of EMS Personnel (05/29/07) Order your copy of the recently published NASEMSO monograph, "The Training and Certification of Emergency Medical Services Personnel." The monograph was produced by NASEMSO with support from the U.S. Dept. of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. "EMS systems have evolved differently in each of the 56 states and territories according to the resources, advocacy, political climate, case law and governing experiences of each jurisdiction. As a result, the training and certification of emergency medical services personnel also varies between states," said NASEMSO President, Fergus Laughridge. "We believe an understanding of the current status of these systems is essential to effective planning and better understanding of both the challenges and opportunities facing EMS. This monograph represents extensive work over the past year in instrument design, information gathering and data analysis. We are pleased that 53 of the eligible 56 jurisdictions participated in this project. All of the 50 states and the District of Columbia participated. Because of this high response rate, our confidence in the findings is also high. We hope you will find the monograph useful in furthering the ongoing development of emergency medical services systems locally and nationally."

NHTSA Publishes Report on Feasibility of EMS Workforce Safety and Health Surveillance System (05/29/07) The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) Office of Emergency Medical Services has announced publication of Feasibility for an EMS Workforce Safety and Health Surveillance System. This is the final report of a study funded by NHTSA’s Office of Behavioral Safety Research (OBSR) and conducted in collaboration with federal and national EMS stakeholder organizations. This report discusses the challenges and possible solutions in conducting national epidemiological surveillance of EMS worker injuries and illnesses. This feasibility study serves as a valuable supplement to ongoing national EMS workforce research. NHTSA continues to examine issues affecting the Nation’s EMS workforce. NHTSA and the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) EMS for Children (EMS-C) program are collaborating with the national EMS community in the EMS Workforce for the 21st Century project, managed by the University of California San Francisco (UCSF). NASEMSO Immediate Past President Robert Bass, MD, represented the association on this project. Download the report.

CDC Requests Influenza-Related Pediatric Mortality Data (05/18/07) A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Health Advisory is requesting that states report all cases of influenza-related pediatric mortality for the 2006-07 influenza season, noting that information collected to date shows an increase in the number of pediatric influenza deaths associated with Staphylococcus aureus co-infection from previous years. The alert suggests that healthcare providers request bacterial cultures when bacterial co-infection is suspected. The CDC requests that all cases of pediatric influenza-associated deaths be reported by state health departments to CDC. View the advisory

DHS Completes Key Framework for Critical Infrastructure Protection (05/22/07) The U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security (DHS) announced on May 21 the completion of 17 Sector-Specific Plans (SSPs), including one for emergency services, in support of the National Infrastructure Protection Plan (NIPP). The NIPP outlines a comprehensive risk management framework that defines critical infrastructure protection roles and responsibilities for all levels of government and private industry. Each SSP is tailored to the unique risk characteristics of that sector to promote greater consistency of protective programs and resources within the sectors. Homeland Security Presidential Directive 7 identified 17 critical infrastructure and key resource sectors that require protective actions to prepare for, or mitigate against, a terrorist attack or other hazards. Press Release | Fact Sheet

President Bush Signs Trauma Systems Bill Into Law (05/03/07) On May 3, 2007, President Bush signed the Trauma Care Systems Planning and Development Act (H.R. 727). The act reauthorizes Title XII of the U.S. Public Health Service Act. The bill authorizes $12 million in FY 2008 in grants to states, consortiums of states, and sub-regions of states to develop and improve their trauma care systems. Unlike grants in FY 200-FY 2005, this law authorizes both competitive grants and state formula grants. See a copy of the final bill at http://thomas.loc.gov; query by bill number.

NASEMSO Joins NPSTC Comments to FCC on the Effects of Communications Towers on Migratory Birds (04/30/07) NASEMSO as part of the National Public Safety Telecommunications Council (NPSTC) submitted comments on Apr. 26 to the Federal Communications Council (FCC) regarding the effects of communications towers on migratory birds. The issue under consideration by the FCC addresses communications towers in excess of 200 feet and concludes that such infrastructure should project medium intensity white strobe lights for nighttime conspicuity as preferred means over the current red obstruction lighting systems. FCC seeks comment on whether scientific evidence supports this requirement and how it should be implemented. They also seek other measures that might serve to mitigate the impact of communications towers on migratory birds. NPSTC stated that “the widely divergent positions mask an underlying need to ascertain the financial and logistic effects of mounting white strobe lights, prohibiting guy wire infrastructure and reducing tower heights. All have the potential to impose significant resource demands on licensees and, with regard to lowering tower heights, an alternative that is not reasonable as it will impede public safety communications.” NPSTC took no position on the legal and factual issues surrounding migratory birds and communications towers. Learn more.

Illinois EMSC Releases Disaster Preparedness Exercises Addressing the Pediatric Population (04/30/07) Inclusion of infants and children in disaster drills and exercises is an essential component in preparedness efforts. The recently released Disaster Preparedness Exercises Addressing the Pediatric Population can assist organizations in preparing to treat critically ill or injured pediatric patients during an actual disaster or mass casualty event. Developed by the Illinois EMSC under the direction of the Pediatric Bioterrorism Work Group, Illinois Terrorism Task Force, this 30-page booklet includes several scenarios and tabletop exercise templates as well as checklists, a list of resources, and information about the START and JumpSTART triage systems. Download booklet.

DHS Will Conduct Public Assistance Pilot Program (04/30/07) The Dept. of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in coordination with state and local governments will conduct a Public Assistance (PA) Pilot Program designed to reduce the federal costs of administering the PA Grant Program, increase flexibility in administering the program, and expedite delivery of much-needed recovery dollars to the program’s applicants following disasters. FEMA is developing the PA Pilot Program in response to the 2007 DHS Appropriations Act. The pilot procedures are applicable to debris removal and the repair, restoration and replacement of damaged facilities. Beginning in summer 2007, FEMA will implement the PA Pilot Program nationwide during disaster recovery operations. Participation in the PA Pilot Program is open to state and local governments on a voluntary basis. Learn more.

AAP Releases Resources in Response to Shootings at Virginia Tech (04/30/07) In response to the shootings at Virginia Tech University, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) posted to its Web site a list of resources for parents, teachers, students, schools and pediatricians. The resources address how to cope in the aftermath of this tragedy, as well as such topics as violence prevention, school safety and suicide prevention. The resource list is intended to be both comprehensive and concise. Access the resources.

AHRQ's HCUP Has Injury Data Available Online (04/30/07) In collaboration with the Children’s Safety Network’s Economics and Data Analysis Resource Center and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality’s (AHRQ) Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP), the West Virginia University Injury Control Research Center has released state-specific injury data tables. These tables are to help program planners and researchers assess the costs and incidence of injuries and violence and the potential return on investment from prevention. Injury incidence is based upon 2003 data obtained from the State Inpatient Databases. Access the tables.

NASEMSO Publishes Monograph on Training and Certification of EMS Personnel (04/17/07) NASEMSO announces the publication of its latest monograph, "The Training and Certification of Emergency Medical Services Personnel." The monograph was produced by NASEMSO with support from the U.S. Dept. of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. "EMS systems have evolved differently in each of the 56 states and territories according to the resources, advocacy, political climate, case law and governing experiences of each jurisdiction. As a result, the training and certification of emergency medical services personnel also varies between states," said NASEMSO President, Fergus Laughridge. "We believe an understanding of the current status of these systems is essential to effective planning and better understanding of both the challenges and opportunities facing EMS. This monograph represents extensive work over the past year in instrument design, information gathering and data analysis. We are pleased that 53 of the eligible 56 jurisdictions participated in this project. All of the 50 states and the District of Columbia participated. Because of this high response rate, our confidence in the findings is also high. We hope you will find the monograph useful in furthering the ongoing development of emergency medical services systems locally and nationally." How to order.

DHS Announces FY 2007 CEDAP Application Period (04/17/07) The U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced on Apr. 17 the start of the application period for approximately $33.7 million in equipment and equipment training awards for first responders through its 2007 Commercial Equipment Direct Assistance Program (CEDAP). Since its inception in fiscal year 2005, more than $69.7 million in equipment and equipment training has been awarded through CEDAP to law enforcement agencies, fire, and other emergency responders. CEDAP equipment awards are integrated with state planning processes for regional response and asset distribution. Each state’s administrative agency has the opportunity to review applications submitted by first responder organizations within their state to ensure that equipment requests are consistent with their state homeland security strategy. Prospective applicants may review the program solicitation through the Responder Knowledge Base at www.rkb.mipt.org. The application submission period is open via the Web site from Apr. 25 through 11:59 p.m. EDT, May 29, 2007. For more information on CEDAP and other DHS grant programs, visit http://www.dhs.gov/. There will likely be significantly less “competition” for this funding this period, and non-fire applications from eligible parties (such as EMS) have an excellent chance of getting needed funding.

Current Emergency Alert System Has Limitations, According to New GAO Report (04/15/07) According to stakeholders, the media are generally prepared to participate in Emergency Alert System (EAS) as required, but EAS has limitations that could affect its performance. FEMA officials and other stakeholders told the Government Accountability Office (GAO) that the current EAS faces a range of technical, cultural, and other challenges, such as interfacing with new communications technologies and issuing alerts in multiple languages. In its report, “Current Emergency Alert System Has Limitations, and Development of a New Integrated System Will Be Challenging,” GAO recommends that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) develop a plan to verify the dependability and effectiveness of the EAS relay system, and that EAS participants have the training to issue effective EAS alerts. Also, DHS and FCC should establish a forum for stakeholders to address the challenges of implementing an integrated alert system. Read report.

NASEMSO Submits Comments on the EMS Workforce Assessment Report (04/15/07) On Mar. 23, 2007, NASEMSO submitted comments on the Draft EMS Workforce Report. Along with comments on specific sections of the report, NASEMSO shared a document regarding the volunteer workforce. The document examined volunteers (quantity, hours and dollar value) from 1989-2000. NASEMSO will provide a link to the Final EMS Workforce Report upon its completion.

NASEMSO Provides Comments to SGA on "Achieving Interoperability for Public Safety Communications" (04/15/07) NASEMSO on Mar. 16, 2007, participated in the Southern Governors’ Association (SGA) Task Force review entitled “Achieving Interoperability for Public Safety Communications.” In comments to the SGA Task Force, NASEMSO noted that “the implementation of a nationwide public safety broadband network, created through a public/private partnership, controlled by the public safety community, which holds a nationwide license for 30 MHz of spectrum in the upper 700 MHz band and is authorized to deploy this network pursuant to a public-private sector partnership model” is the superior approach between the two alternative methods of achieving functionality cited in the review. NASEMSO further endorsed the addition of the 30 MHz of band in the upper 700 MHz to the 24 MHz already dedicated to public safety inthat band. Questions about the comments should be directed to NASEMSO Program Advisor Kevin McGinnis, MPS, EMT-Paramedic, at k.mcginnis@adelphia.net.

NASEMSO Supports Pandemic Flu Funding (04/11/07) On Apr. 11, the Working Group on Pandemic Influenza Preparedness, including NASEMSO, sent a letter to Appropriations conferees in support of the House-passed funding level for pandemic flu contained in the FY 2007 Emergency Supplemental. The letter urged Congress to act immediately and include the House-passed total of $1.02 billion for pandemic preparedness activities within the Department of Health and Human Services, as well as $13.2 million for the Department of Interior and $161 million for the Department of State’s pandemic activities, in the final version of the emergency supplemental. For more information, contact Jeff Levi at jlevi@tfah.org.

NGC Center Launches Pandemic Outbreak Workshops to Enhance State Preparedness (04/10/07) On Apr. 10, the National Governors Association (NGA) Center for Best Practices, in partnership with the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services (HHS), convened officials from the upper- Midwest in the first of a series of regional workshops designed to assess and enhance overall state and regional pandemic preparedness. State, local and private sector officials from Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin engaged in a variety of exercises, including a “tabletop” simulation, to improve communications among state, federal and local agencies; examine existing response protocols; and identify effective strategies for ensuring that states can continue providing essential services to their citizens when confronted with a pandemic. The next workshop will be held in Scottsdale, Ariz., May 21-23, and will include state officials from American Samoa, Arizona, California, Guam, Hawaii, Nevada, and the Northern Mariana Islands. For additional information on the pandemic workshop series, visit www.nga.org.

NASEMSO Supports STOP Stroke Act (04/10/07) On Apr. 10, The STOP Stroke Coalition, including NASEMSO, sent a letter to Senators urging them to become a co-sponsor for S.999, the Stroke Treatment and Ongoing Prevention Act (STOP Stroke Act). The STOP Stroke Act would help educate the public about the need to treat stroke as a medical emergency and establish coordinated statewide systems of care so that all stroke patients have access to the latest and most effective treatments and therapies. The letter was organized by the
American Heart Association/American Stroke Association. For more information on the bill, visit http://thomas.loc.gov and search by bill number.

Trauma System Bill Heads to President for Signing (03/30/07) On Mar. 27, the House of Representatives passed by a voice vote H.R. 727, the “Trauma Care Systems Planning and Development Act.” The act reauthorizes through FY 2012 the Health Resources and Services Administration’s (HRSA) Trauma-EMS Program. According to the American College of Surgeons, the bill also creates a new competitive grant program for states that have already begun the process of establishing a trauma care system using national standards and protocols. On Mar. 29, the Senate also passed the bill and it was sent to the President to be signed into law. Following President Bush’s signature, the Trauma-EMS program will be reauthorized, and at a level of $12 million for FY 2008. NASEMSO was one of many that signed a letter coordinated by the Coalition for American Trauma Care (CATC) urging the House and Senate appropriators to include public health programs that support trauma care, trauma care research and injury prevention in the FY 2008 budget.

STOP Stroke Act Passes House, Moves to Senate (03/30/07) The STOP Stroke Act was passed by voice vote in the House of Representatives on Mar. 27. The bill will close existing gaps in the awareness and treatment of a deadly disease that afflicts about 700,000 Americans each year and threatens quality of life. Also on March 27, Senator Thad Cochran (RMS) joined with Senator Edward Kennedy (D-MA) to introduce the “Stroke Treatment and Ongoing Prevention Act of 2007” in the Senate. This legislation is a companion to the House bill. The bill would authorize funds for the development of statewide systems for stroke care. This is the same bill approved by the Senate during the last (107th) Congress. For more information, including the text of the bill, visit http://thomas.loc.gov and query for bill number S.999.

NASEMSO Is Coordinating Member Comments on NIMS and NRP (03/30/07) The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is coordinating a comprehensive review of the National Response Plan (NRP) and the National Incident Management System (NIMS) to assess their effectiveness and identify improvements. The second national comment period for the NIMS document is Mar. 26-Apr. 6, 2007. The document is available at www.dhs.gov/nrp. Click on “currently under review” and scroll down to the “progress” section. NASEMSO Policy Advisor Leslee Stein-Spencer is leading the comment formulation for NASEMSO; e-mail comments to LesleeSS@aol.com.

DHS Establishes TechSolutions Program to Support Emergency Response Community (03/15/07) The Department of Homeland Security’s Science and Technology (S&T) directorate has established a program, TechSolutions, to support the first responder community by accelerating delivery of emerging technologies. The program is designed to collect technological requirements and provide solutions for first responders. S&T’s commitment to spiral development and rapid prototyping ensures funding for selected proposals within 45 days, and a solution demonstrated within 12 months of funding.

Costs of the solutions should be commensurate with the proposal, but less than $1 million per project. Solutions also should deliver up to 100 percent of identified requirements, and first responders will partner with the department from start to finish. First responders are encouraged to submit ideas that would aid the first responder community by increasing efficiency and on-the-job safety. Details here.

DHS Provides First Responders $34.6 Million in Equipment and Training Programs (03/15/07) On Mar. 27, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security announced the award of $34.6 million in equipment and training to first responders across the nation as a part of the Fiscal Year 2006 Commercial Equipment Direct Assistance Program (CEDAP). DHS awarded more than 2,000 direct assistance grants to ensure that law enforcement and emergency responders receive specialized equipment and training to meet their homeland security mission. 

CEDAP offers equipment in the following categories: personal protective equipment; thermal imaging, night vision, and video surveillance tools; chemical and biological detection tools; information technology and risk management tools; and interoperable communications equipment. This program also focuses on smaller communities and metropolitan areas not eligible for the Urban Areas Security Initiative grant program. Awardees are required to receive training on their awarded equipment either on-site or at a CEDAP training conference. Learn more.

FEMA Director Speaks on FY 2008 Budget Proposal (03/15/07) Under Secretary for Federal Emergency Management R. David Paulison testified before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security on Mar. 9, 2007. He discussed the past, present and future of FEMA and the proposed FY 2008 budget. Paulison’s testimony included discussion about the reforms FEMA implemented during the past year in the areas of communications, continuity programs, logistics and financial management that helped reduce waste, fraud and abuse. He noted the stronger response FEMA had during recent tornadoes across the Southeast and cited improved coordination with FEMA’s partners at the tribal, state and local levels. He also highlighted elements of the announced reorganization scheduled to be implemented on Mar. 31, 2007. Read testimony.

NAEMSO Joins FCC Filing on Implementing a Nationwide, Broadband, Interoperable Public Safety Network in the 700 MHz Band (03/15/07) NASEMSO, as part of the National Public Safety Telecommunications Council (NPSTC), joined in response to the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) Ninth Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on Implementing a Nationwide, Broadband, Interoperable Public Safety Network in the 700 MHz Band. NPSTC noted that deployment of a nationwide public safety broadband network is enormously important for emergency responders at all levels of government: local, state and federal. It will be an essential tool for addressing the expanded domestic defense and emergency response obligations of all public safety agencies. See comments filed on Feb. 26, 2007., 2007, visit http://www.npstc.org/fccpositions.jsp.

EMS Cost Analysis Project (EMSCAP) Publishes Results of Study on Determining the Cost of an EMS System (03/15/07) The EMS Cost Analysis Project is a collaboration between the National Association of State EMS Officials (NASEMSO) and E. Brooke Lerner, Graham Nichol, Daniel Spaite, Herbert Garrison, and Ronald Maio. It is a continuation of the Emergency Medical Services Outcomes Project (EMSOP), a recently completed, five-year National Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA) project intended to support and facilitate emergency medical services (EMS) outcomes research and evaluation.

To determine the cost of an emergency medical services (EMS) system, researchers, policymakers, and EMS providers need a framework with which to identify the components of the system that must be included in any cost calculations. Such a framework will allow for cost comparisons across studies, communities, and interventions.  A Comprehensive Framework for Determining the Cost of an EMS System (Ann Emerg Med. 2007;49:304-313), was developed by a consensus panel after analysis of existing peer-reviewed and non–peer-reviewed resources, as well as independent expert input. The panel was convened by NASEMSO.

Homeland Security Tests First Responder Credential Capabilities (03/15/07) The U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security Office of National Capital Region Coordination and the Dept. of Defense Pentagon Force Protection Agency joined public and private sector participants Feb. 15 in a demonstration to validate the functionality of the First Responder Authentication Credential. Winter Storm was a multi-jurisdictional test – with more than 50 organizations and 20+ locations – designed to verify the integration and interoperability of credential system attributes such as qualifications, authorizations, certifications and privileges. Participants and observers viewed details on commercially available mapping programs that gave local, regional and nationwide emergency operation centers real-time situational awareness of first responders. Learn more.

Materials for EMS Week 2007 Available (03/15/07) The American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) and the Emergency Medical Service for Children (EMSC) Program have announced that the 34th Annual Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Week will be celebrated May 20-26, 2007, with EMSC Day set for May 23. National EMS Week and EMSC Day will feature hundreds of grassroots activities coast-to-coast that will be planned around this year’s theme, “Extraordinary People, Extraordinary Service,” which exemplifies the excellent services provided every day, under any circumstance by the 750,000 EMS providers who serve their communities. Obtain a 2007 EMS Week Planning Kit.

STOP Stroke Act Passes in Committee (03/15/07) On Mar. 15, 2007, the House Energy and Commerce Committee passed the Stroke Treatment and Ongoing Prevention Act of 2007 (STOP Stroke Act, H.R. 477). Introduced by Representatives Lois Capps (D-CA) and Charles Pickering (R-MS), the STOP Stroke Act would help advance the fight against stroke, our nation’s No. 3 killer and leading cause of disability. The STOP Stroke Act would help educate the public about the need to treat stroke as a medical emergency and establish coordinated statewide systems of care so that all stroke patients have access to the latest and most effective treatments and therapies. Similar legislation is expected to be re-introduced in the Senate this spring. NASEMSO has signed on as a supporter of the act and joined letters organized by the American Heart Association. For more information on the bill, visit http://thomas.loc.gov and search by bill number.

NQF Seeks Comments on Draft Clinician Performance Measures for Stroke and Stroke Rehab (02/28/07) Comments are invited by the National Quality Forum on its draft set of clinician performance measures for stroke and stroke rehabilitation. The NQF is a non-profit umbrella group that conducted this work under contract from CMS.  The goal of the measures is to increase accountability through public reporting on clinician performance. The sections of the report that relate to stroke are in Chapter 3 (p 13-18) and Appendix F (p F12-16) found here. The technical specifications for the measures are in Appendix B (p B37-58) found here.

APHA Releases Prescription for Pandemic Flu (02/28/07) The American Public Health Association (APHA) on Feb. 22 released its Prescription for Pandemic Flu, a blueprint for strengthening U.S. pandemic preparedness, amid ongoing concern about a potential influenza pandemic. APHA recommends key changes to U.S. strategy in regard to a flu pandemic to ensure the healthy and safety of all. Top concerns include the need for additional resources for the public health workforce, as well as the needs for clear federal guidance on school closures and quarantine.

National EMS Scope of Practice Model Published (02/28/07) The National EMS Scope of Practice Model is a continuation of the commitment of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Health Resources and Services Administration to the implementation of the EMS Agenda for the Future. It is part of an integrated, interdependent system, first proposed in the EMS Education Agenda for the Future: A Systems Approach which endeavors to maximize efficiency, consistency of instructional quality, and student competence. The National EMS Scope of Practice Model supports a system of EMS personnel licensure that is common in other allied health professions and is a guide for states in developing their scope of practice legislation, rules, and regulation. States following the National EMS Scope of Practice Model as closely as possible will increase the consistency of the nomenclature and competencies of EMS personnel nationwide, facilitate reciprocity, improve professional mobility, and enhance the name recognition and public understanding of EMS. Download document.

DHHS Issues Report on Commissioned Corps' Response to Katrina/Rita (02/28/07) The U.S. Dept. of Health & Human Services' Office of Inspector General on Feb. 20, 2007, issued a report on "The Commissioned Corps' Response to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita." The report recommends changes that it states will assist the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps to improve its efficiency and effectiveness. Recommendations include more training for officers and an improved system for contacting officers for deployment. Download the complete report.

President Issues Directive on Medical Countermeasures Against WMD (02/28/07) President George W. Bush on Feb. 7 issued Homeland Security Presidential Directive/HSPD-18, "Medical Countermeasures Against Weapons of Mass Destruction." Download HSPD-18 here.

NASEMSO Comments on Pandemic Influenza Vaccine Prioritization (02/28/07) On January 18, 2007, NASEMSO provided comments to the Office of Public Health and Science at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) on pandemic influenza vaccine prioritization. NASEMSO noted that “the groups at highest priority to receive the pandemic vaccine include those who provide critical pandemic response functions, those who maintain critical social infrastructure, those at highest risk of serious disease or death, and those at highest risk of spreading disease.” Further, NASEMSO agreed “that state health officials, working collaboratively with local public health and safety providers are best suited to guide allocation of vaccine in their jurisdictions during shortage situations.” Read comments. For more information about NASEMSO’s comments, contact Program Advisor Kathy S. Robinson, RN, EMT-P, at krobinson@asmii.net.

Two NASEMSO Members Elected to NREMT Board (02/28/07) NASEMSO provided nominations for members to the National Registry of EMTs (NREMT) Board. Joe Ferrell (Iowa) was elected to a three-year term until Dec. 31, 2009. Bob Graff (S.D.) received a four-year term until Dec. 31, 2010.

Abdullah Rehayem Named Massachusetts EMS Director (02/28/07) The governor of Massachusetts in mid-January approved Abdullah Rehayem’s appointment as the Massachusetts EMS Director. He had been the acting director. Learn more about the Massachusetts OEMS.

NASEMSO Provides Comments to OSHA on Best Practices Document (02/28/07) NASEMSO members recently provided comments to OSHA on its working draft of a best practices document for EMTs exposed to hazardous substances. Comments were coordinated by Leslee Stein-Spencer, RN, MS, NASEMSO program advisor. For more information, e-mail lesleeSS@aol.com.

CDC Releases Community Mitigation Strategy for Pandemic Flu (02/28/07) The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention on Feb. 5 released a document outlining CDC guidelines on actions, designed primarily to reduce contact between people, that community government and health officials can take to try to limit the spread of infection should a pandemic flu develop. This document will be the cornerstone of the statewide EMS guidelines for pandemic flu. Download Interim Pre-Pandemic Planning Guidance: Community Strategy for Pandemic Influenza Mitigation in the United States.

AMA and CDC Release Call for Presentations (01/31/07) The Call for Presentations has been released for the Second Annual AMA/CDC National Congress on Health System Readiness, set for July 18-20 in Washington, DC. Deadline is Mar. 2, 2007. Learn more.

NAEMT Releases PSA to Educate Public About EMS (01/31/07) In an effort to raise awareness about the importance of emergency medical services in local communities across the United States, the National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians (NAEMT) has released a public service announcement on behalf of the Emergency Medical Services (EMS). The NAEMT PSA, which features real EMS professionals who volunteered their time, is designed to educate the American public about emergency medical services. Learn more and download the PSA here.

Pandemic Flu Congressional Briefing Materials Available (01/31/07) A Congressional briefing, Where Will We Be When a Killer Flu Hits, was held on Jan. 30, 2007. The agenda and speaker PowerPoint presentations are posted under the What’s New section at http://www.pandemicfluandyou.org.

NIAC Releases Study on the Prioritization of Critical Infrastructure for a Pandemic Outbreak in the U.S. (01/31/07) The National Infrastructure Advisory Council (NIAC) on Jan. 22, 2007, submitted its final report and recommendations, Prioritization of Critical Infrastructure for a Pandemic Outbreak in the United States. The Council was asked to study and make recommendations on critical infrastructure prioritization for a pandemic, including distribution of medical countermeasures. View the report.

HHS Funds Advanced Development of H5N1 Influenza Vaccines (01/19/07) Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Mike Leavitt announced on Jan. 17, 2007, that the department has awarded contracts totaling $132.5 million to three vaccine makers for the advanced development of H5N1 influenza vaccines using an immune system booster or adjuvant. Under the contracts, each company will build up its capacity to produce within six months after the onset of an influenza pandemic either 150 million doses of an adjuvant-based pandemic influenza vaccine or enough adjuvant for 150 million doses of a pandemic influenza vaccine. Learn more.

DHS Releases Nationwide Interoperable Communications Assessment (01/19/07) The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) recently released scorecard assessments of interoperable communications capabilities in 75 urban and metropolitan areas nationwide.  Interoperable communications involve policies, technology, and training that enable law enforcement, fire, and emergency medical services from multiple jurisdictions in a common community to effectively communicate within one hour of an incident. The report included large and small cities and their suburbs, along with U.S. territories. Learn more.

National EMS Advisory Council To Be Formed (01/19/07) The NHTSA Office of Emergency Medical Services (EMS) on Dec. 19 announced its plan to form a National EMS Advisory Council (NEMSAC). NEMSAC will be a nationally recognized council of EMS and 9-1-1 representatives and consumers, who will provide advice and recommendations to NHTSA's EMS program on a broad range of issues. Any interested party may submit a nomination for NEMSAC, provided they comply with nomination procedures which are described in the Notice of Establishment posted in the Federal Register (NHTSA-2006-26143, December 18, 2006).