NASEMSO News 2014
U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee Holds Hearing on Ebola Crisis; NASEMSO Submits Outside Witness Statement
(11/12/14) On Nov. 12, the full U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee held a hearing on “U.S. Government Response to Fighting Ebola and Protecting America.” Chairwoman Barbara Mikulski (D-Maryland) focused the hearing on what is being done in the United States and what resources are needed, including discussion of the Administration's request of a $6.2 billion emergency supplemental. The statements of Chairwoman Mikulski, the witnesses, and the outside witness statements are available here. The opening statement of Ranking Member Shelby (R-Alabama) is available here. NASEMSO submitted an outside witness statement, which can be downloaded here.
USDOT Issues Safety Advisory on Packaging and Handling Ebola Virus Contaminated Infectious Waste for Transportation to Disposal Sites
(11/12/14) The U.S. Department of Transportation's Pipeline & Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) develops and enforces federal hazardous materials regulations (HMR) to ensure the safe commercial transport of hazmat in interstate, intrastate and foreign commerce by aircraft, railcar, vessel, and motor vehicle. Because state governments disposing medical waste fall beyond the HMR's purview, PHMSA has issued this safety advisory as a preventive measure. The advisory provides an inventory of all relevant information PHMSA has issued for the reference of state and local governments in dealing with the waste, including guidance on packaging. More information is available here.
NASEMSO to Partner with NOSORH in First Rural EMS Leadership Conference
(11/06/14) NOSORH’s JCREC (Joint Committee on Rural Emergency Care) in association with the National Association of State EMS Officials is planning the first ever meeting for rural EMS leaders and advocates. Plan to attend and support EMS leaders in your state to attend the National Rural EMS Leadership Conference on May 5-6, 2015, in Cheyenne, Wyoming. Topics include: Rural and Frontier EMS Agenda for the Future, Important Role of EMS with CAH, Community Paramedicine, Ambulance Service Sustainability, Legislative Update and more. Read more.
New Initiative on EMS Performance Measures Announced
(11/01/14) NASEMSO announces a cooperative agreement with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to develop a comprehensive set of EMS performance measures. The two-year project, funded by NHTSA, will engage a wide range of EMS stakeholders to develop performance measures that are relevant to EMS agencies, regulators, and patients. The measures will be based on the latest National EMS Information System (NEMSIS) version data and will allow local and state EMS agencies to use their own data meaningfully. The project will facilitate an inclusive and open development process, with participation from dozens of EMS and healthcare experts and organizations and multiple opportunities for input and public comment.
NASEMSO will be discussing performance measurement in EMS and this project in greater detail at a National EMS Performance Measurement Stakeholder Summit on Dec. 2, 2014, 1:00-4:00 p.m. in Washington, DC, immediately preceding the National EMS Advisory Council meeting. EMS industry representatives and other stakeholders are encouraged to attend. The location will be the American Immigration Lawyers Association Conference and Meeting Center at 1331 G Street NW, and the agenda will be announced soon.
NASEMSO Releases National Model EMS Clinical Guidelines
(11/01/14) Following the conclusion of a two-year project initiated by the National Association of State EMS Officials (NASEMSO) Medical Directors Council, the National Model EMS Clinical Guidelines have now been completed and are available to the public. The project was developed for the purpose of helping state EMS systems ensure a more standardized approach to the practice of prehospital patient care and to encompass evidence-based guidelines as they are developed.
The guidelines are not intended to be mandatory or to determine local scope of practice. Rather, the goal is to provide a resource to prehospital clinical practice, maximize patient care, safety and outcomes. The prehospital guidelines may be used as presented or adapted for use on a state, regional or local level to enhance patient care and benchmark performance of EMS practice. They are intended to be a core set of guidelines, at least initially, with the goal of adding more guidelines in the future.
The project was funded by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Office of EMS and the Health Resources Services Administration, EMS for Children Program. Co-Principal Investigators Dr. Carol Cunningham and Dr. Richard Kamin led a project team comprised of emergency physicians from eight national EMS-related physician organizations in creating the document. Experts from a multitude of specialties provided input and technical assistance in creating the guidelines and feedback from the EMS stakeholder community was incorporated into the final version.
President James DeTienne (left) and Dr. Carol Cunningham, Ohio State
EMS Director (right), were interviewed on Oct. 8, 2014, by WKYC News
regarding preparedness for EMS providers dealing with the threat of
Ebola, as the nation's top EMS directors met in Cleveland for the
NASEMSO 2014 Annual Meeting. watch interview
EMS Ebola Resource Section Added to NASEMSO Website
(10/01/14) Every day the NASEMSO national office receives volumes of information related to news, facts, the care of patients, and best strategies for the protection of health workers exposed to the Ebola virus. While we have been trying to circulate them to the state directors, we have learned that you are also receiving many of the same messages from your own sources including state health departments and the Health Alert Network.
Going forward, we will circulate urgent news as needed, otherwise we will continue to add resources to the NASEMSO website and announce their availability in upcoming issues of Washington Update. As we were going to print, the first U.S. case of a patient diagnosed with the Ebola virus has been reported in Texas.
There is no need for panic, but there is a need for proper planning and education to minimize the effect and spread of this deadly virus in the United States. The CDC media release and detailed explanation of the first confirmed case is available here, along with other resources.
NASEMSO Board Approves EMS Domestic Preparedness Improvement Strategy
(10/01/14) The NASEMSO Board of Directors recently approved a final draft of an “EMS Domestic Preparedness Strategy.” The document describes processes and stakeholder responsibilities necessary to successfully solve the most significant and persistent gaps in EMS preparedness.
For each of the 10 identified goals, the approach emphasizes a team of EMS subject matter experts and EMS organizational representatives to lead the planning. This strategic approach to EMS domestic preparedness also considers the ability of private and public sector EMS provider organizations and governments to implement and sustain their preparedness efforts.
Rather than listing goals in order of priority, this strategy orders goals by four interdependent categories: (1) Development and Promulgation of EMS Strategy; (2) Creation of EMS Preparedness and Response Guidelines; (3) EMS Preparedness and Response Data, Assessments and Analysis; and, (4) EMS Preparedness Organizational Relationships, Responsibilities, and Structures. The draft is currently under review by the Department of Homeland Security and will be fully disseminated in the near future.
New Document Highlights
Changes to Revised Ambulance Equipment List
(09/29/14) Mary Fallat, MD, University of Louisville, in collaboration with the EMSC National Resource Center, developed a document summarizing changes made in the recently published ground ambulance equipment list subsequent to when the list was last published in 2009. The Equipment for Ground Ambulances Joint Policy Statement was published in Prehospital Emergency Care 18(1):92-97, 2014. The current list represents a consensus by numerous national and federal organizations, all of which appointed members to a joint task force to assist with defining the current standard for ground ambulances in the United States.
DIMRC, EMSC, ASPR
Announce New Online Guide for Children in Disasters and
(09/29/14) Developed by the National Library of Medicine's Disaster Information Management Research Center (DIMRC), in collaboration with the Emergency Medical Services for Children (EMSC) Program and the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR), the Health Resources on Children in Disasters and Emergencies is a compendium of online resources related to medical and public health issues on this topic. Links are provided to both journal articles and to other documents and materials that may be useful in preparedness, mitigation, response, and recovery activities. Its intent is to consolidate the multitude of resources available across a variety of organizations, websites, databases, and training sites, making the search for relevant materials simpler and more direct.
Emergency Care Coordination Center Launches Newly Designed Website
(09/23/14) The Emergency Care Coordination Center (ECCC), Division of Health System Policy, Department of Health & Human Services, has announced the launching of its newly designed website at www.phe.gov/eccc. The ECCC aims to lead the U.S. government's efforts to create an emergency care system that is patient- and community-centered; integrated into the broader healthcare system; high quality; and prepared to respond in times of public health emergencies. Visit the site to learn more about the ECCC's mission and current areas of focus.
NHTSA Releases Notice of Request for Applications for Appointment to National EMS Advisory Council
(09/23/14) The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and its partners at the Departments of Health & Human Services (HHS) and Homeland Security (DHS) are soliciting applications for appointment or reappointment to the Department of Transportation's (DOT) National Emergency Medical Services Advisory Council (NEMSAC). The purpose of NEMSAC, a nationally recognized council of emergency medical services representatives and consumers, is to advise and consult with DOT and the Federal Interagency Committee on EMS (FICEMS) on matters relating to emergency medical services. More information on NEMSAC, including its previous recommendations, charter, and current membership, is available here.
FARE and EMS Experts Meet to Improve Understanding and Treatment of Anaphylaxis
(09/18/14) Improving emergency department protocols, expanding knowledge of anaphylaxis and biphasic reactions, and enhancing training for emergency medical technicians (EMTs) to enable them to administer epinephrine are among the primary recommendations that will be made as a result of a recent Emergency Management of Anaphylaxis Summit organized by Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE). The results of the summit include recommendations that address understanding of anaphylaxis among those at risk and the general public, as well as recognition and treatment of anaphylaxis by pre-hospital and emergency department personnel. Download press release for complete details.
NEMSAC Requests EMS Comments on Revisions to EMS Education Agenda
(08/22/14) The National EMS Advisory Council (NEMSAC) requests community input to the suggested revisions for the EMS Education Agenda for the Future. View the draft here and provide comments to NEMSAC@dot.gov by Sept. 5, 2014, using this tool. A second opportunity for input will take place later this Fall, and the formal recommendation vote will take place at the Dec. 3-4, 2014 NEMSAC meeting.
NASEMSO Member and Program Manager Quoted in Recent Article on Rural EMS
(08/14/14) NASEMSO Member Jack Fleeharty and NASEMSO Program Manager Kevin McGinnis were quote in a recent article, EMS Care Depends on Address, by Laura Nightingale, Journal Star. The article takes a look at the challenges surrounding ambulance service in rural areas.
NASEMSO Issue Brief: The Use of Naloxone in Out-of-Hospital Settings
(08/14/14) NASEMSO has released an issue brief on The Use of Naloxone in Out-of-Hospital Settings. This resource is intended as an informational guide on the use of naloxone in out-of-hospital settings and the rationale for including mandatory education and medical oversight for the use of naloxone by non-medical personnel. The National Association of State EMS Officials believes that the increase of substance abuse in the United States is a significant public health and public safety concern that warrants consideration of several related issues.
Healthcare Resources for Suspected Cases of Ebola Virus Disease
(08/14/14) The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) aim to increase understanding and encourage preparedness of emergency medical services agencies concerning the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD). Download the HHS document that provides links to resources on this topic.
JNEMSLF Submits Concerns to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics about Under Reporting of EMS Work Place Data
(07/22/14) The Joint National EMS Leadership Forum (JNEMSLF), a group of federal agencies and national organizations, including NASEMSO, submitted to the Standard Occupational Classification Policy Committee, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, its proposal regarding changes to the broad group of emergency medical technicians (EMTs) and Paramedics (29-2040) and creation of new detailed occupations under the broad group of EMTs and Paramedics (29-2040) to replace the existing detailed occupation EMTs and Paramedics (29-2041). The JNEMSLF has identified concerns about the current data collecting structure, which results in serious under reporting of critical EMS-related work place data. The JNEMSLF, which supports and represents professionals and agencies responsible for the EMS delivery in the United States, works collaboratively on issues of national importance impacting the provision of EMS at the community level and as part of U.S. disaster preparedness and response activities. Download comments here.
FDA Seeks Assistance Regarding Radiofrequency Interference in Medical Devices
(07/22/14) The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has asked NASEMSO for assistance in encouraging anyone with knowledge of a patient experience in radiofrequency interference (RFI) of electronic medical devices, such as cardiac monitors, defibrillators, pacemakers, pulse oximetry, EtCO2, etc to submit a confidential report at this link with the details of the incident. The FDA has a special team that wishes to evaluate the incidence of RFI in medical devices and make recommendations for mitigating its effects to patients in air medical or ground ambulances.
The EMS and Highway Safety Connection: New Website Launched
(06/26/14) NASEMSO is delighted that the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has created a website designed to promote collaboration between EMS and highway safety officials. The site recently became live and can be accessed at EMS and Highway Safety. One goal of the site is to encourage State EMS Offices to engage in the Strategic Highway Safety Plan (SHSP) process to reduce serious highway injuries and fatalities. The Strategic Highway Safety Plan (SHSP) is a data-driven, four to five year comprehensive plan that integrates the 4Es of highway safety: Engineering, Education, Enforcement and Emergency Medical Services (EMS).
For a number of years, NASEMSO has worked to promote such collaboration. The Highway Incident and Transportation Systems (HITS) Committee was established as a standing Committee of NASEMSO in 2008 in an effort to further promote EMS involvement in highway safety issues. In fact, HITS members provided input on the content for the new site when the developer presented the project at HITS Committee meetings in 2013. See HITS Committee & Projects for more information on NASEMSO activities in highway safety issues and projects.
NASEMSO Joins EMS Organizations to Comment on FCC Proposed Rule Making
(06/03/14) NASEMSO, the National Association of EMS Physicians (NAEMSP), the National Association of EMTS (NAEMT), and the National EMS Management Association (NEMSMA) have
collaboratively joined forces to support proposed rules by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to require indoor location accuracy as a means to enhance the E911 system. As part of the Federal Docket No. 07-114, the group submitted formal comment and continues to monitor the proposal. Download comments here.
New Information Available on Local Health Department Services and Resources
(06/03/14) The National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) has launched a new website for the National Profile of Local Health Departments (Profile) study. The website contains information from the most comprehensive survey of local health departments, including data on workforce, programs and services and partnerships.
NASEMSO Annual Meeting Update
(06/03/14) Important information is now available for the 2014 Annual Meeting. The preliminary program, hotel reservation information, and registration form have now been posted. We are excited about meeting in Cleveland (home of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame) where our hosts promise an educational and fun-filled meeting. And don’t miss the opportunity to enter the inaugural NASEMSO Poster Competition.
For those whose states restrict employees to staying at hotels charging the per diem rate, please note that the hotel is offering a limited number of “per diem” rate rooms on a first come, first serve basis. You will be required to show state ID card when checking in. Learn more.
Field EMS Bill Introduced in U.S. Senate
(05/22/14) On Mar. 22, 2014, S. 2400, the Field EMS Innovation Act (Field EMS Bill) was introduced in the U.S. Senate by Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Sen. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) and Sen. Tim Johnson (D-S.D.). This Senate bill is the companion to the Field EMS Bill introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives on February 26, 2013, as H.R. 809 by Congressman Larry Bucshon (R-Ind.). NASEMSO is part of a coalition supporting this legislation. Download NAEMT press release for more details.
The Field EMS Bill addresses many of the challenges EMS systems face while trying to fulfill public expectations that all who need EMS can depend upon the highest quality of care and transport to the most appropriate clinical setting. The first bill to seriously look at EMS issues since the 1960s, the act would improve access to essential and life-saving EMS services and better integrate EMS within the larger health care system.
NASEMSO Congratulates Joe Schmider on State Director Appointment to FICEMS
(05/08/14) Public Law 109-59 authorizes the Federal Interagency Committee on Emergency Medical Services (FICEMS), an entity that is tasked to ensure coordination among the Federal agencies involved with State, local, tribal, or regional EMS and 9-1-1 systems. NASEMSO recently learned that NASEMSO member Joe Schmider has been appointed by Transportation Secretary Foxx to fill the position reserved for a State EMS Director. Schmider has been active in EMS for many years, while serving in a variety of positions from Pennsylvania to Texas, and is well qualified to fill the shoes of retired FICEMS member, Dr. Robert Bass. Please join us in congratulating Joe on this important accomplishment.
NASEMSO Annual Report to NEMSAC Now Available
(05/08/14) Since 2007, NASEMSO has collected annual data to chart the progress of implementing the EMS Education Agenda for the Future: A Systems Approach and developed a report to advise the National EMS Advisory Council (NEMSAC). Tremendous progress has been made moving the Nation to a common goal. Today, 76% of states intend to use the National EMS Scope of Practice Model as a foundation for State licensure at the EMR level; 100% at the EMT level, 88% at the AEMT level, and 100% at the Paramedic level. 90% of states require National EMS Program Accreditation at the Paramedic level. 92% of states use the National EMS Certification process at one or more levels for state licensure. The results of data collected in the fall of 2013 have been presented to NEMSAC and posted on the NASEMSO web site. NASEMSO expresses its gratitude to 50 states and Guam for participating in this survey! Download report.
HHS Invites Comments on Proposed National Health Security Strategy
(05/08/14) The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is seeking comments on the draft 2015-2018 National Health Security Strategy (NHSS) and Implementation Plan (IP). The 2015-2018 NHSS draft puts forward a vision, goal, guiding principles, strategic objectives, priorities, and implementation activities to enhance national health security over the next four years.
Your comments may be posted here until May 21, 2014. HHS seeks feedback on the following:
- Overall strategic direction of the NHSS.
- The focus of the objectives and priorities.
- How public health departments can integrate with others across the community to implement the NHSS and build individual and community resilience.
- Whether or not these activities are the appropriate priority activities for the next four years.
- Whether or not there are existing efforts that can be leveraged and thus eliminate activities which would duplicate effort.
- Ways in which an outcome could be achieved via a different implementation approach.
- Identification of the governmental and non-governmental organizations (to include private sector and academia) that should be involved in the achievement of an activity.
FDA Further Extends Expiration Dates of Meridian's DuoDote Auto-Injector Lots
(04/07/14) The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has announced a further extension of expiration dates of DuoDote auto-injector lots. The lots of DuoDote that are specified in the alert can be used for up to two years past the originally labeled expiration date, provided the products have been and continue to be stored under labeled storage conditions. Find out more.
(04/03/14) "Drug Shortages in EMS: Coping Strategies and Best Practices," a summary report from the NASEMSO EMS Drug Shortages Summit held on Mar. 5, 2014, has been released and is now available for download here, along with presentations from the summit. The NASEMSO Medical Directors Council sponsored the gathering of EMS medical directors, EMS practitioners and other subject matter experts to identify best practices for coping with this ongoing nationwide problem.
While the outcry over the crisis has faded, the total number of existing drug shortages has increased substantially and will continue for the foreseeable future, according to recent data presented at the NASEMSO Summit by Erin Fox, PharmD, Director of the University of Utah Drug Information Service. The report highlights steps taken by state EMS offices and ambulance providers in response to the problem.
(04/03/14) Every emergency response employer in the United States is required by law to have a designated infection control officer (DICO). Individuals often are appointed to this position without being given any training or assistance on how to do the job.
The National Association for Public Safety Infection Control Officers (NAPSICO) is a new non-profit association established to fill this gap and give DICO’s the tools they need to develop and manage an effective infection control program in their organization. This Association is focused directly on the needs of the public safety DICO's.
All information provided regarding diseases and infection control will be evidence-based, which will facilitate appropriate policy and procedure development and cost-benefit analysis. Visit the web site at www.napsico.org for more information about the association and how to become a member.
DHS Releases Emergency Services Sector Roadmap to Secure Voice and Data Systems
(03/24/14) The Dept. of Homeland Security Emergency Services Sector (ESS) has released the Sector Roadmap to Secure Voice and Data Systems, which is available for download here. The Roadmap contains several mitigation measures that can be used to address the risks identified in the previously published ESS-Cyber Risk Assessment. The Roadmap is intended to serve as a guide and reference document for ESS personnel, as they adapt to the growing prevalence of and reliance upon digital technologies and other cyberinfrastructure in the sector.
(03/20/14) The draft Model EMS Clinical Guidelines are now posted at Model EMS Guidelines Project. The initial two-year effort is led by the NASEMSO Medical Directors Council and comprised of a team of physicians from the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP), National Association of EMS Physicians (NAEMSP), American College of Osteopathic Emergency Physicians (ACOEP), American Academy of Emergency Medicine (AAEM), American Academy of Pediatrics, Committee on Pediatric Emergency Medicine (AAP-COPEM), American College of Surgeons, Committee on Trauma (ACS-COT) and Air Medical Physician Association (AMPA).
While not yet a comprehensive set of EMS protocols, the Model Guidelines are intended to be a resource for EMS medical directors and EMS systems of care. They incorporate the latest evidence-based guidelines and will be updated over time. The Co-PIs, Drs. Carol Cunningham (Ohio State Medical Director) and Richard Kamin (Connecticut State Medical Director), are requesting input from the EMS community, as well as physician specialty organizations. Comments should be submitted to Mary Hedges, NASEMSO Program Manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org no later than Apr. 30, 2014. The team will meet to review all comments the first week of May.
Final Draft Model Interstate Compact for EMS Personnel Licensure for State Adoption Now Available
(02/27/14) Over the past several months, NASEMSO engaged a National Advisory Panel with representatives of 23 national organizations, industry stakeholders, and guidance from the Council of State Governments and Vedder Price to develop a model interstate compact for states’ legislative use to solve the problem associated with day-to-day emergency deployment of EMS personnel across state boundaries. The final draft has been delivered to the Department of Homeland Security and rollout has commenced throughout the EMS community. Learn more.
New Document Focuses on Local Health Departments Working with the NIOSH HHE Program
(02/27/14) Local health departments often are asked by the public, a local employer, or a local government official to look into a health problem in someone’s workplace. Some have the resources to do this, others do not. A new National Institute for Occupational Safety & Health (NIOSH) brochure for local health departments describes the NIOSH Health Hazard Evaluation Program and how local health departments can use its services to help meet their public health mission. The brochure can be downloaded here.
NASEMSO Congratulates Executive Director Dia Gainor for Receiving the 2013 Outstanding Wildfire EMS Distinguished Service Award
(03/04/14) NASEMSO Executive Director Dia Gainor received the 2013 Outstanding Wildfire EMS Distinguished Service Award at the NASEMSO Mid-Year Meeting on Mar. 4, 2014, in Orlando, Fla. Her service was recognized to enhance awareness on the national stage as a passionate advocate. The award was presented by Gene Madden on behalf of the National Wildfire Coordination Group.
(02/27/14) The James O. Page Charitable Foundation and JEMS, the Journal of Emergency Medical Services, named Dr. Robert Bass, as the 2014 recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award for Outstanding Service in Emergency Medical Services. The Lifetime Achievement Award honors an individual who has made an extraordinary contribution to the advancement of EMS over the course of a career.
Dr. Bass was honored for his tireless work as an advocate for the needs of EMS professionals and development of EMS and trauma systems excellence. An NASEMSO past president, as well as past president for the National Association of EMS Physicians (NAEMSP), and former chair of the American College of Emergency Physicians EMS Committee, Bass was the only non-federal member serving on the Federal Interagency Committee on EMS (FICEMS).
He recently retired as the executive director of the Maryland Institute for Emergency Medical Services Systems (MIEMSS) and has been involved in EMS issues on many levels for more than three decades. Dr. Bass received the Award on Feb. 6, 2014, at the EMS Today Conference in Washington, D.C. Congratulations, Bob!!
NASEMSO Offers Compilation of Blast Injury Training Resources
(02/27/14) The National Association of State EMS Officials (NASEMSO) Education and Professional Standards Council, Medical Directors Council, and Domestic Preparedness Committee has prepared a compilation of EMS training resources on bombings and blast injuries available free of charge through the Terrorism Injuries: Information, Dissemination and Exchange (TIIDE) partnership, the Firefighters Support Foundation, the International Association of Arson Investigators, and others. Several of these resources can be immediately used to support just in time blast injury and public health preparedness training efforts to prepare EMS responders at the state, regional, and local levels. NASEMSO will be utilizing this model to assist state EMS offices with future training needs. Learn more.
Carol Cunningham, MD, Represented NASEMSO at IED/Active Shooter Workshop, Feb. 6, 2014
Carol A. Cunningham, MD, FACEP, State EMS Medical Director, Ohio Dept. of Public Safety Division of EMS, represented NASEMSO at a panel discussion during the IED/Active Shooter Workshop held Feb. 6, 2014, in Washington, DC. Left to right are: Heather King, White House National Security Staff Office; Dr. Cunningham; Richard Serino, FEMA Deputy Administrator; and Dr. Richard Carmona, 17th Surgeon General of the United States (2002-2006). The workshop was organized by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Office of Health Affairs (OHA), in collaboration with the Departments of Transportation (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration), and Health and Human Services (Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response).
FAA Final Rule Addresses Helicopter Air Ambulance, Commercial Helicopter, and Part 91 Helicopter Operations
(02/20/14) An FAA final rule has been released that addresses helicopter air ambulance, commercial helicopter, and general aviation helicopter operations by revising requirements directed primarily toward helicopter air ambulance operations and all commercial helicopter operations conducted under part 135.
This rule also establishes new weather minimums for helicopters operating under part 91 in Class G airspace. For helicopter air ambulances, this rule requires operations with medical personnel on board to be conducted under part 135 operating rules and introduces new weather minimums and visibility requirements for part 135 operations. It mandates flight planning, preflight risk analyses, safety briefings for medical personnel, and the establishment of operations control centers (OCC) for certain operators to help with risk management and flight monitoring.
The rule also includes provisions to encourage instrument flight rules (IFR) operations. It requires helicopter air ambulances to be equipped with both helicopter terrain awareness and warning systems (HTAWS), and flight data monitoring systems. Under the rule, helicopter air ambulance pilots will be required to hold instrument ratings.
NAEMSE Is Accepting Nominations for its 2014 Hero Awards
(02/05/14) The National Association of EMS Educators (NAEMSE) is currently seeking nominations for awards presented at its Annual Symposium and Trade Show to be held in Reno, Nev., Sept. 16-21, 2014.
NAEMSE seeks to recognize EMS instructors who are dedicated to excellence in service to their students. Complete details and nomination packets may be found here. Nominations deadline is June 13, 2014.
ACEP Announces National EMS Week Will Take Place May 18-24, 2014
(01/29/14) The American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) has announced that the annual National EMS Week is set for May 18-24, 2014. This year's theme is "EMS: Dedicated. For Life." Order a planning guide for your office, or place a bulk order for distribution to local EMS agencies. ACEP asks for assistance with the shipping expense if possible, but taking on this cost is not required if you cannot.
NEMSAC Announces 2014 Public Meeting Dates
(01/14/14) The National EMS Advisory Council (NEMSAC) has announced dates for three 1.5-day public NEMSAC meetings in the Washington, DC metropolitan area, to be held Apr. 23-24, Sept. 9-10, and Dec. 3-4, 2014. You can review NEMSAC meeting materials, membership, and previous recommendations, and register to attend the meetings, at www.EMS.gov/NEMSAC.htm.
NEMSAC is currently working on four objectives:
- Recommending minimal updates to the EMS Education Agenda for the Future. NEMSAC has requested public comment on this effort by Feb. 1, 2014. Download the request for comments here.
- Recommendations on federal support to the implementation of the National EMS Culture of Safety Strategy.
- Recommendations on revising or updating the 1996 EMS Agenda for the Future.
- Recommendations on Federal
implemetnation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act for EMS.
WebWISER 4.5 Now Available from National Library of Medicine
(01/09/14) The new release of the Wireless Information System for Emergency Responders, WebWISER 4.5, integrates content from the Chemical Hazards Emergency Medical Management (CHEMM) tool. Also, it updates the Emergency Response Guidebook (ERG) content to ERG's 2012 version. WebWISER is a system designed to assist emergency responders in hazardous material incidents. It provides a wide range of information on hazardous substances, including substance identification support, physical characteristics, human health information, and containment and suppression advice. WebWISER 4.5 can be accessed from the "Latest News" section at wiser.nlm.nih.gov, where more information can be obtained.