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Fatigue in EMS Expert Panel

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Fatigue in EMS: Expert Panel


The main task of the Fatigue in EMS project is to develop evidence-based guidelines (EBGs) for fatigue risk management in the EMS setting. Experts in the fields of EMS, emergency medicine, public safety, sleep medicine, and fatigue science play a key role in developing EBGs. For the purposes of this project, panelists have received training in use of the Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development, and Evaluation (GRADE) framework and have defined research questions that guide systematic reviews of the literature. Panelists will review findings from systematic reviews (the evidence) and develop recommendations for managing fatigue in the EMS setting. Where applicable and feasible, panelists will reach consensus on performance measures that may be used to evaluate the impact of adopting one or more recommendation for EMS fatigue risk management.


Members of the Fatigue in EMS Expert Panel are listed alphabetically by last name.

David S. Becker | Daniel Buysse | Bradley Dean | Dennis Eisnach | Frank Guyette

J. Stephen Higgins | Douglas Kupas | George Lindbeck | P. Daniel Patterson
Joseph H. Penner
| Ron Thackery | Hans Van Dongen | John M. Violanti


David S. Becker, LNHA, MA, EMT-P, EFO
(Fire-based EMS)
David S. Becker currently serves as a full-time Faculty Member for Columbia Southern University’s two Bachelor’s degree programs in Emergency Medical Services Management and Emergency Medical Services Administration. He is the former EMS Program Director at Sanford-Brown College in St Louis, Missouri. Mr. Becker has held a current paramedic license since 1977 and is licensed in both Missouri and Florida. Chief Becker worked for 22 years in the fire service including fifteen years as a Chief Officer. For the past nineteen years, Chief Becker has served on the executive committee of the EMS Section for the International Association of Fire Chiefs. He currently serves as the Chair of the Section. He currently serves on three other national committees including: CoAEMSP, CAAHEP and EMS Management Degree Curriculum Development for FESHE at the National Fire Academy. In 2006 he was appointed to work on the Educational Standards Project as the Core Content Leader for Operations through a project for NHSTA. His education includes a Master’s degree in Health Services Management and he is a licensed Nursing Home Administrator in Missouri.

Daniel Buysse, MD
(Neuroscientist, Clinical Fatigue Expert)
Daniel Buysse, MD, is UPMC Professor of Sleep Medicine and Professor of Psychiatry and Clinical and Translational Science at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. Dr. Buysse received his medical degree from the University of Michigan, and completed his residency and fellowship training at the University of Pittsburgh. His research focuses on the diagnosis, assessment, pathophysiology, and treatment of insomnia. Dr. Buysse has received research funding from the National Institute of Mental Health, the National Institute on Aging, the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, and the National Center on Research Resources. He has served on several initial review groups and advisory committees at the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Buysse has published over 290 articles in peer-reviewed journals and 100 book chapters or review articles. Dr. Buysse is Past President of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, and is Associate Editor of the journals SLEEP, Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, and Behavioral Sleep Medicine.


Bradley Dean, MA
(Paramedic Field Provider)
Bradley Dean is currently the Battalion Chief over the Training Division for Rowan County Emergency Services in Salisbury, NC. He also serves as the Paramedic Program Director for Rowan-Cabarrus Community College. Bradley works with a team of educators to produce the continuing education for the Rowan and Cabarrus area Medical Responder Agencies that support the local EMS with first response capabilities. He also serves as a site reviewer for CoAEMSP, is the co-chair for the Triad Regional Advisory Committee Trauma Performance Improvement Committee, and serves on many local and state committees within the emergency services community.

Bradley began his career as a volunteer with the Thomasville Rescue Squad in Thomasville, NC, and attended Davidson County Community College for his EMT and Randolph Community College for Paramedic. In 1996 he went to work for Davidson County Emergency Services, and was promoted to Captain in 2003. In 2007, Bradley went to work for Wake Forest Baptist Health, serving as the Assistant Emergency Response and Recovery Coordinator for the Triad Region of North Carolina under a grant through the NC Office of EMS from the Assistant Secretary of Preparedness and Response. His educational background includes an Associate Degree in EMS, he attended Winston-Salem State University for Biology and Chemistry, and attended Catawba College in Salisbury for his Bachelor of Business Administration. He holds an MA from Wake Forest University. Currently, he works with some colleagues as a co-host on the emerging popular "Tuesday EMS Tidbits" Podcast.


Dennis Eisnach
(Consumer Representative)
Dennis Eisnach was born and raised at Estelline, South Dakota. He attended the South Dakota School of Mines and served in the United States Marine Corps. Dennis was a member of the Rapid City Police Department and South Dakota Highway Patrol for 20 years. He served as Superintendent of the Highway Patrol for six years. He was elected to the Public Utilities Commission for a six-year term, serving as chairman for two years. Dennis was a Government Relations Representative, MDU Resources for nine years, working in Wyoming and South Dakota. He was elected Mayor of Pierre in 2002, unopposed in 2005, and is a 45-year resident of Pierre.


His past service and affiliations include: Past Chairman Region Chair International Association Chiefs of Police; Past Chairman National Vehicle Equipment Safety Commission; Past Chairman and member Governing Board St. Mary's Healthcare Center; Past Chairman and member Avera St Mary’s Healthcare Center Foundation; Member State Executive Council for AARP; President AARP South Dakota; Member AARP National Policy Council; Past President and member Oahe Red Cross Board; Past Chairman and member of South Dakota Real Estate Commission; Past Board of Directors of Capital University Center (CUC); Past Board member SD Association of Healthcare Organization, Political Action Committee and Council on Governance; Past member Pierre Economic Development Board; Past Chairman Pierre Chamber of Commerce; Past Board of Directors SD Visitor Industry Alliance, (past treasurer); Past Member of National Emergency Medical Services Advisory Council; Member of Rotary, SD Highway Patrol Retirees' Association, Marine Corps League, Oahe Presbyterian Church and RSVP.


Frank Guyette, MD, MPH
(Emergency Physician, EMS Medical Director)

Frank Guyette, MD, MPH, is a physician scientist who has devoted his academic career to EMS research and management. His areas of expertise are in prehospital resuscitation and EMS safety. As the Medical Director for the nation's largest non-profit critical care transport group, the advancement of evidenced-based patient care and protection of our workforce is one of his core missions. In conjunction with Dr. Patterson and others, Dr. Guyette has investigated methods of mitigating fatigue in EMS, the effects of shift length on cognitive performance of prehospital providers, the effects of heat stress on cognitive function, and the identification of adverse events in EMS services. He has examined these issues with funding from the National Association of EMS Physicians, the Department of Defense, the Resuscitation Outcomes Consortium (ROC), and the Foundation for Air Medical Research and Education (now the Medevac Foundation). He has served both regionally and nationally on committees addressing the needs of EMS providers and their patients. Dr. Guyette is currently the chairperson of the following committees: the NAEMSP Air Medical Committee, the Pennsylvania Emergency Health Systems Council Critical Care Committee, and the Pennsylvania ACEP EMS committee. He serves as a member of the ACEP EMS committee and has previously served as chairperson of the ACEP Air Medical Section and as a member of the EMS for Children performance measures writing committee. In addition, Frank has more than 25 years of experience as a prehospital provider and is personally invested in the health of his employees and colleagues.


J. Stephen Higgins, Ph.D.
(NHTSA Project Manager)
J. Stephen Higgins, Ph.D., is a Research Psychologist in the Office of Behavioral Safety Research at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, a mode of the U.S. Department of Transportation. Dr. Higgins performs research and develops programs related to drowsy and distracted driving as well as Emergency Medical Services. Dr. Higgins received his B.A. with distinction in Psychology and Neuroscience at Temple University and his Ph.D. in Cognitive Psychology from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. He was previously a Human Factors Engineer with Applied Research Associates, working at the Federal Aviation Administration’s William J. Hughes Technical Center, a graduate researcher at the Beckman Institute of the University of Illinois, and a researcher at the University of Pennsylvania’s Center for Cognitive Neuroscience. He has previously been adjunct faculty at Rutgers University and George Washington University. Dr. Higgins has published in the areas of safety, cognitive and behavioral neuroscience, human factors, and visual cognition and human performance.


Douglas Kupas, MD
(Emergency Physician, State EMS Medical Director)

Douglas Kupas, MD, serves as the Associate Chief Academic Officer for Medical Student and Resident Affairs for the Geisinger Health System; Assistant Dean for Medical Student Affairs, Temple University School of Medicine at the Geisinger Clinical Campus; and Associate, Department of Emergency Medicine for Geisinger Medical Center. Dr. Kupas also serves as the Commonwealth EMS Medical Director for the Pennsylvania Department of Health, Bureau of Emergency Medical Services. Dr. Kupas completed his Emergency Medicine Residency Program at Geisinger Medical Center, Danville, PA. His graduate degree was completed at Jefferson Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University and his undergraduate degree at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Kupas is a member of numerous local, state and national organizations. He is Board-certified in Emergency Medicine and EMS and has numerous honors, awards and publications to his credit while remaining active in EMS and clinical research.

George Lindbeck, MD
(Emergency Physician, State EMS Medical Director)
Dr. George Lindbeck is a practicing emergency medicine and EMS physician in central Virginia. He currently practices in the emergency department at Sentara Martha Jefferson Hospital in Charlottesville, Virginia, and serves as medical director for several fire and EMS agencies throughout central Virginia. He is currently the Virginia State EMS and Trauma Systems Medical Director and has worked on a variety of projects at the state, regional and national level. Dr Lindbeck has over 25 years of experience in EM and EMS, and is Board Certified in Internal Medicine, Emergency Medicine, and Emergency Medical Services.

P. Daniel Patterson, Ph.D., NRP
(NRP Principal Investigator)

Dr. P. Daniel Patterson studies safety in emergency care settings with special emphasis on safety culture, fatigue, shift work, sleep health, teamwork, medical errors and adverse events, and clinician injury in the prehospital EMS setting. Collaborations have led to creation of reliable and valid safety measurement tools and establishing base rate data for key indicators of EMS safety. Dr. Patterson has led multi-disciplinary teams in evidence reviews and experimental studies testing novel interventions to improve safety. His research is informed by immersion in the EMS setting as a paramedic clinician.

Josef H. Penner, MBA
(EMS Agency Director)
Joe Penner is the Executive Director for the Mecklenburg Emergency Medical Services Agency, the paramedic service for Charlotte and Mecklenburg County, North Carolina. He is a Fellow and Board Certified in Healthcare Management by the American College of Healthcare Executives. He also serves as the 2016 Chairman for the Housing Advisory Board of Charlotte – Mecklenburg, a Board Member of the Commission on Accreditation of Ambulance Services, and a Board Member for the American Ambulance Association.

Joe began his career in EMS as a volunteer EMT in rural California, and graduated from the UCLA/Daniel Freeman Hospital School for Paramedics. He holds an MBA from Marquette University, and has completed training as an Improvement Advisor with the Institute for Healthcare Improvement. Following business school, he worked for American Medical Response – at the time the world’s largest publicly traded ambulance service - in M&A, and other operating and corporate roles. He was recruited to move to Charlotte in 1997 to lead the formation of the new Mecklenburg EMS Agency.

Ron Thackery, JD
(EMS Risk Manager)
Ron Thackery is the Senior Vice President of Professional Services and Integration for American Medical Response (“AMR”) in Greenwood Village, Colorado, where he has served for the past 20 years. AMR is the nation’s largest private ambulance company. One of Ron’s responsibilities includes the placement of auto, workers compensation, general and professional liability, property, fiduciary, D&O. In addition, Ron oversees the work of the third party administrator, Sedgwick CMS.

Ron has responsibility for risk management, safety, real estate, as well as integrating these functions for new organizations into the company. Ron was a member of the Board of Directors of the National Safety Council and is the Co-Chair of the Professional Standards and Research Committee for the American Ambulance Association. At the end of 2015, he received the J. Walter Shaefer Award for Excellence from the American Ambulance Association. He is a prior recipient of the National Safety Council’s Distinguished Service to Safety Award.


Hans Van Dongen, Ph.D.
(Sleep Scientist, Transportation Safety)
Hans Van Dongen is Director of the Sleep and Performance Research Center at Washington State University Spokane, and Research Professor in the Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine. Dr. Van Dongen is known for his research on sleep, sleep deprivation, and cognitive performance. His research includes laboratory, field and simulator studies, as well as mathematical modeling of sleep and performance. He has published more than 100 peer-reviewed papers.


He has been awarded funding by the NIH, NASA, US Navy, US Army, US Air Force, Federal Aviation Administration, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, Regional Airline Association, and various industry partners. More than 100 undergraduate and graduate students and postdocs have been trained in his laboratory.


John M. Violanti, Ph.D.
(Sleep Scientist, Epidemiologist)
John M. Violanti, Ph.D., is a Full Research Professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Environmental Health, School of Public Health and Health Professions, State University at Buffalo, NY. He is a police veteran, having served with the New York State Police for 23 years as a trooper, criminal investigator, and later as a coordinator of the Psychological Assistance Program (EAP) for the State Police.


He has lectured nationally and internationally at academic institutions and police agencies on matters of suicide, stress and trauma at work. His research has focused on the assessment of psychological and biological indicators of chronic stress; cardiovascular and metabolic disease; fatigue, shift work, injury, and the epidemiology of suicide.