- A modified response plan, embraced by all public safety agencies and private transportation providers;
- Modified use of PSAPs and centralized communication centers;
- Cooperation between hospitals, home care and extended care facilities to reduce patient loads on the emergency system;
- Plans for transportation to the closest ED, regardless of patient type;
- Increased need for supplies to protect patients from the cold and weather;
- Cold stresses and an increased chance of injury for first responders;
- Likely changes in patient load, including more patients with carbon monoxide exposure, cold injuries and burns.
James J. Augustine, MD, FACEP, is medical advisor for Washington Township Fire Department in the Dayton, OH, area. He is director of clinical operations at EMP Management in Canton, OH, a clinical associate professor in the Department of Emergency Medicine at Wright State University in Dayton, and a member of EMS World’s editorial advisory board. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.