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Recognizing EMS Week

Posted by Ernest Mitchell, U.S. Fire Administrator, FEMA

The fire service is a major provider of Emergency Medical Services (EMS) in America. The U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) is committed to supporting EMS through the many training programs of the National Fire Academy (NFA) and the research and data collection activities of the National Fire Data Center. The 2012 National EMS Week – EMS: More Than A Job. A Calling – is May 20 thru May 26.
EMS week 2012 banner.

I would like to share with you some of USFA’s initiatives that will help ensure vibrant and effective EMS systems throughout the nation:
  • In partnership with the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Health Affairs (OHA), USFA recently completed several project initiatives to support the EMS community including:
    Funding Alternatives for Emergency Medical and Fire Services (PDF, 3.7 Mb). This revised manual provides the most up to date information regarding funding for local level EMS and fire departments. The document includes sources of federal funding as well as other new and innovative funding sources not discussed in previous editions.
    Handbook for EMS Medical Directors. Produced with the assistance of the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) EMS Section, this handbook provides an overview of key roles and responsibilities to assist current and prospective medical directors in performing their important missions.
  • Also with DHS OHA, USFA is working on an EMS Responder Safety Study in partnership with the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF), as well as a soon to be completed project documenting model polices and protocols for EMS mass care incident deployment with the National EMS Management Association (NEMSMA).
  • In response to USFA’s Reauthorization Act of 2008, which authorized the NFA to provide advanced EMS training, four new courses have been developed: EMS Quality Management, EMS Functions in the Incident Command System, EMS Incident Operations, and Hot Topics Research for EMS. EMS examples, references, and activities are also included in all other appropriate NFA courses. In addition, NFA’s new Leadership Strategies in Community Risk Reduction course is a combined effort for fire prevention and illness/injury prevention through all-risk, all-discipline community risk reduction. 
  • USFA is a key partner on the Federal Interagency Committee on EMS (FICEMS). This committee seeks to ensure coordination across all Federal agencies with EMS mission responsibilities. FICEMS also coordinates the liaison efforts of Federal agencies with the Nation’s input to the National EMS Advisory Council. 
  • With the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ)/National Institute of Justice (NIJ), USFA has begun a study of emergent topics in emergency vehicle and roadway operations safety to assist in the development and demonstration of best practices for the emergency services, including EMS.
USFA recognizes the critical importance of EMS provided by fire departments and other agencies and is dedicated to meeting your needs. For additional information regarding USFA’s training and research efforts which support EMS, visit the EMS section of our website.
Published by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Washington, D.C.
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