Archive for May, 2009

EMS Licensure: It's been a long time coming

Gov. Mike Beebe (seated) signs into law Act 689 to provide for the licensure of EMS personnel as Sen. Shane Broadway (left) and AEMTA President Ben Blankenship (second from left) look on.

Gov. Mike Beebe (seated) signs into law Act 689 to provide for the licensure of EMS personnel as Sen. Shane Broadway (left) and AEMTA President Ben Blankenship (second from left) look on.

At the last conference in Hot Springs, president Ben Blankenship asked me if I would work on legislation for licensing EMS providers.  Considering the fact that I have had many wonderful discussions, arguments, altercations and knock down, drag out fights over the past six years on this very subject, I of course said “Of course sir. (OMG yes! Let me at it!)  I’d be honored”.  And so began our next phase in the journey of the profession we call EMS.

The first thing was to understand exactly what we wanted.  Over the years, many possibilities have been proposed and sides could understandably be seen as polarized.

President Blankenship explained that the direction the AEMTA felt we should proceed was the direction laid out in the EMS Agenda for the Future: (HRSA & NHTSA).


NAEMT publishes annual report

The National Association of  Emergency Medical Technicians (NAEMT) recently published its 2008 annual report. Click here to download the NAEMT Annual Report 2008.

NAEMT supports extending public safety officer benefits to all EMS practitioners

Clinton, Miss. — In a new position statement, the National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians (NAEMT) declares support for extending the federal Public Safety Officer Benefit program to all police, fire and EMS personnel who lose their lives providing emergency medical services as a public service. Currently, the program covers only those EMS practitioners employed by a government entity.

Congress established the Public Safety Officer Benefit program to provide assistance to the survivors of police, fire and ambulance staff employed only by federal, state and local entities in the event of their deaths in the line of duty. The program provides a onetime financial benefit to the eligible survivors of governmental public safety officers whose deaths are the direct result of a traumatic injury sustained in the line of duty. In addition, disability benefits are provided to public safety officers who have been completely disabled in the line of duty by a catastrophic injury, if that injury prevents them from performing gainful work. The program does NOT cover non-governmental ambulance personnel.


Member Advisory: Swine Flu Reference Links

A special Thank You to the Vermont Ambulance Association and Vermont Emergency Management for creating this list.

Pandemic Flu/Swine Flu Situation Reports/Info:

FEMA Web site for Assistance to Firefighters Grant program

The Department of Homeland Security has posted the FY2009 Assistance to Firefighters Grants (AFG) Program Guidance on the AFG Website. The application period began on Wednesday, April 15, 2009, at 8:00 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time (EDT). Applications for these grants must be received by Wednesday, May 20, 2009, at 5:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time (EDT).

Nationally, the AFG awards, which will be distributed in phases, will ultimately provide approximately $510 million to fire departments and nonaffiliated emergency medical service organizations throughout the country. AFG awards aim to enhance response capabilities and to more effectively protect the health and safety of the public with respect to fire and other hazards. The grants enable local fire departments and emergency medical services organizations to purchase or receive training, conduct first responder health and safety programs, and buy equipment and response vehicles.

An applicant tutorial is available through the website. The tutorial provides you with valuable grant information and will walk you through the preparation and submittal of competitive applications. In addition, the applicant tutorial will provide an overview of the funding priorities and evaluation criteria. Applicants who have questions regarding the Assistance to Firefighters Grants opportunity should contact the help desk at 1-866-274-0960 or at During the application period, the help desk will operate Monday to Friday, from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. (EDT), but is prepared to revise hours of operation based on volume and demand.

Follow the link below to view the frequently asked questions (FAQ) on the Firefighters Grant website.

On EMS United: New Paramedic TV Show to Debut in the Fall

“Trauma” will replicate the high energy and blood-and-guts of “ER” in a story about paramedics in San Francisco.

Check out the full story here:–Nurse-Dramas/1$9470

Watch the trailer here:

Visit EMS United at:

Effective EMS crucial to rural cities

The following was originally published by the Chadron Record, in Chadron, Neb.

What kind of health care system makes one of its most important rural components dependent upon bake sales and calendars for operating resources? Unfortunately, that is the situation in many rural places for their first-line and often life-saving emergency medical services (EMS). Many rural EMS providers are underfunded and face workforce and volunteer shortages. EMS agencies have placed growing demands and health care responsibilities on their often volunteer workforces.

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, many EMS providers have inadequate communications infrastructure and are often isolated from the rest of the health care delivery system. A major example is the lack of access EMS providers have to medical records and medical history, something health information technology could potentially resolve if EMS providers were able to obtain the
resources to connect with other rural providers.

Click here to read more.

May is Stroke Awareness Month

The following was originally published by NAEMT.

May is Stroke Awareness Month. Stroke is the third leading cause of death and a leading cause of disability in our country. Knowing the signs and symptoms is essential to rapid diagnosis and treatment.

Jack suffered a stroke while on a family fishing trip. Because his brother-in-law recognized the symptoms and immediately called 911, Jack got to the hospital promptly, where he was diagnosed and treated with Activase (alteplase). He noticed an improvement within 2 months, and little by little, was able to return to most of his usual routine. Jack has since married Tessie, the love of his life!

Hospital gets new ambulances, technology

The following was originally published in the Paragould Daily Press in Paragould, Ark.

Arkansas Methodist Medical Center has two new ambulances equipped with the latest lifesaving technology. AMMC director of ambulance services Donald Reed said the new ambulances have technology comparable to that being used in major metropolitan areas.

“Sometimes we exceed the metropolitan areas,” he said. “San Francisco does not use any (of the technologies we have). If it’s available for Arkansas EMS, we’re using it.”

Click here to read the rest of the story…

EMS Expo Photo Contest

The EMS Expo and Conference had so much fun with their first photo contest in 2008 that they decided to do it again this year!

The grand prize winner receives TWO (2) 3-day conference program packages, 3 night hotel stay and one $500 travel voucher to attend EMS EXPO, Oct. 28-30, 2009 in Atlanta, Ga. Five finalists will each receive $50 VISA gift cards!

The deadline for entry is Sept. 18, 2009. Click here to visit the conference Web site for details.