USFA – Your Partner in EMS
Posted on May 17, 2011 by Deputy U.S. Fire Administrator Glenn Gaines
The fire service is 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. With National EMS Week being May 15 thru May 21, I would like to share with you some of the USFA’s efforts to help ensure vibrant and effective EMS systems throughout the nation.
- In response to the U.S. Fire Administration Reauthorization Act of 2008, which authorized the NFA to provide advanced EMS training, two new courses were developed: EMS Quality Management and EMS Functions in the Incident Command System. There are six additional EMS courses under development or revision. A pilot for one of these courses, EMS Incident Operations, will be offered this June.
- USFA is a key partner on the Federal Interagency Committee on EMS (FICEMS). This committee seeks to ensure coordination among Federal agencies involved with State, Local, and Tribal EMS.
- In partnership with the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Health Affairs, USFA is working on several projects to enhance EMS responder safety and department operational effectiveness, including a handbook for EMS medical directors, EMS safety and infection control program guidance updates, documenting model polices and protocols for EMS mass care incident deployment, and a compilation of funding alternatives for EMS departments.
- USFA has collaborated with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) on their Evaluation of Emergency Services Vehicle Occupant Safety project. The project examined ambulance and EMS vehicle safety and included crash testing.
- The National Fire Incident Reporting System (NFIRS), managed by the USFA’s National Fire Data Center, is the world's largest, national, annual database of fire incident information. NFIRS includes an optional EMS Module. This module is not intended to replace or otherwise interfere with state or local EMS patient care reporting requirements. Instead, it is the intent that the data elements contained in the module be viewed as "core elements" and included in the design of EMS data collection systems.
USFA recognizes the critical importance of EMS provided by fire departments and other agencies and we are dedicated to meet your needs. I encourage all responders and departments performing EMS to learn more about USFA’s training, research, and data efforts by visiting the EMS section of our website.
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