USFA and the Office of Health Affairs Release Operational Templates and Guidance for EMS Mass Care Incident Deployment

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USFA Press Office: (301) 447-1853

EMMITSBURG, MD РThe Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) U.S. Fire Administration (USFA), supported by the DHS Office of Health Affairs (OHA) and the National Emergency Medical Services Management Association (NEMSMA), announces the release of a new guide for Emergency Medical Services (EMS) providers: Operational Templates and Guidance for EMS Mass Care Incident Deployment. The guide is intended to provide information to local-level EMS and fire departments on the development and enhancement of the organization and preparedness for mass care incidents, including natural and man-made disasters, large gathering and pandemic events, and other emergencies potentially resulting in large numbers of patients.

"This guide provides important information on preparing for events that can impact EMS preparedness and response in local departments," said U.S. Fire Administrator Ernest Mitchell. "The model policies and practices referenced in the guide will lead to a better prepared EMS deployment to mass care incidents."

"OHA is pleased to provide guidance on this important topic," said Dr. Alexander G. Garza, DHS Assistant Secretary for OHA and Chief Medical Officer. "This project supports EMS to better integrate their emergency preparedness and response activities into similar processes occurring at the federal, tribal, state, local, and regional levels."

The goal of this project was to develop a foundation for further development of EMS-specific policies and templates that improve readiness to manage the full spectrum of hazards that face communities. "NEMSMA was proud to work with USFA and OHA on this study," said Skip Kirkwood, NEMSMA President. "Effective planning and preparedness is key for events and incidents requiring EMS mass care."

For information on USFA's EMS research initiatives, visit www.usfa.fema.gov.