This Week in EMS: Tucson Helicopter Crash...Highway Safety...FEMA Grant Tips

This Week in EMS: Tucson Helicopter Crash...Highway Safety...FEMA Grant Tips

News Jul 29, 2010

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Medevac Firm Temporarily Halts Service After Tucson Helicopter Crash

Colorado-based Air Methods Corp. has put its six LifeNet Arizona bases and seven helicopter crews on a safety stand-down, said Craig Yale, vice president of corporate development.

House Rejects Bill for 9/11 Workers

A bill that would have provided up to $7.4 billion in aid to people sickened by World Trade Center dust fell short in the House on Thursday, raising the possibility that the bulk of compensation for the bill will come from a legal settlement hammered out in the federal courts.

Indiana EMT Accused, Arrested in Patient Assault

An EMT accused of inappropriately touching a woman in an ambulance has been arrested after eluding police for nearly a week.

EMS Revisited

Continue Reading

EMS Magazine Mar/Apr 1979: Round Table

Thirty years ago, an EMT described the emotional impact of losing a 16-year-old patient in an essay for EMS Magazine: Today, on the last day I was to ride with the paramedic unit as an observing EMT, a call came in. Our patient had a possible cervical fracture, several fractured ribs, a severely contused lung, a handicapped airway, and lacerations on his hands and forehead. He was 16 and died of cardiac failure in the emergency department two hours after we brought him in. I'm supposed to be writing my report now. I can't seem to concentrate on such a foreign piece of work when I can still smell the scent of his blood on my clothes. It's not the bloodiness that is upsetting. It's knowing that this was a particularly tragic accident which seems so senseless.

EMS Training Center

Highway Safety: Personal Vehicle Response

As we've all learned in EMS 101, our first duty is to protect ourselves and our second is to act as an advocate for the patient and protect them from further injury. If you come upon a scene that is unsafe, the book says "Don't go in!" So while you wouldn't even think about disarming a man with a knife, an accident or medical victim on a highway or roadway is different: the scene is safe. Or is it?

EMS Operations

Top Tips for Securing FEMA Grant Monies

FEMA is fiscally responsible for about 17,000 open grants and is programmatically responsible for more than two-thirds of those. In 2009, FEMA awarded and provided oversight for more than $10.6 billion in grants through approximately 50 programs to state, territorial and local communities, and critical infrastructure systems. In this Q&A, Elizabeth Harman, assistant administrator, FEMA Grants Program Directorate, offers some practical advice for grant applicants.

EMS Life

Introducing the Fit Responder Video Series: Part 1--Postural Correction and Neutral Spine Technique

Public safety sets our bodies up for a series of postural distortions that inhibit normal movement and encourage injury. Over the course of a few years our mechanical system actually forgets how to protect us from injury and "gives in" to the poor postural positions of our job. Check out this short video to see how you can re-learn neutral spine position and allow your body to rediscover its normal and efficient posture.

Case Studies

Integrity Ambulance Service Triples Coverage, Saves $100K/Year and Meets FCC Mandate with MOTOTRBO

Integrity Ambulance Service was facing the inability to expand operations due to limited coverage provided by an aging analog radio system. At the same time, the company was looking for a solution that would comply with the FCC mandate for businesses using 25 kHz land mobile radio systems to migrate to narrowband 12.5 kHz technology. A digital MOTOTRBO radio system with IP Site Connect, and a unique relationship with a local Motorola channel partner, allowed them to expand coverage throughout 20 counties, save the cost of opening new dispatch centers, and meet the FCC mandate through a cost-effective, phased migration to 12.5 kHz.

The EMS Squadcast

The Resucitation Academy and Epinephrine Shortages

Join host Tim Perkins for the sophomore episode of the EMS Squadcast, a podcast series dedicated to discussions relevant to the world of EMS today, as he welcomes Dr. Mickey Eisenberg to talk about the Resuscitation Academy, a new program created by King County (WA) and Seattle's Medic One program to help EMS administrators improve cardiac resuscitation rates in their communities. Also, Matt Zavadsky and David Lamb from Medstar EMS in Forth Worth, TX, talk about how their agency is handling the current shortage of epinephrine.

Reading Room

Author Interviews and Writing Advice

Don't miss our interview with Joseph Cammarata, author of Face of Courage: Rise from the Rubble, in which he describes his eight-year journey struggling with depression after losing his firefighter brother in the 9/11 World Trade Center attacks. "Before he died, Michael wrote a letter to the family about what to do in case anything ever happened to him, and the third item on his list was "make my spirit live on." That was one of the driving mechanisms behind the book," says Cammarata.

Editorial Spotlight: EMS Innovations 2010

July is Innovations Month on and we are featuring exclusive coverage drawn from this year's EMS State of the Sciences Conference (also known as the Gathering of Eagles)--that examines ways in which EMS can provide better foundations and contribute to stronger structures. This week: Managing the Acutely Agitated Patient: The care of agitated patients in the field is challenging on many levels, and chemical restraint is sometimes necessary to safely manage them. While benzodiazepines are great in many cases, they are not the ideal agent for all situations. Antipsychotics such as droperidol should be an option in some cases, such as for patients experiencing agitation related to alcohol use or an acute psychiatric condition.

EMS on the Hill: June-Aug 2010

Surviving Regionalization: What's the blueprint for small, rural community systems?

Regionalization has been a hot concept in emergency care in recent years, but it's not always an idea that's appealing to everyone.

Featured EMS Magazine Article: July 2010

Beyond the Books: Itty Bitty Boxes

A complete, accurate PCR is an integral part of any prehospital care encounter, in no small part because it has three purposes. First and foremost, the PCR serves to document the assessment and care provided in the field setting. Second, the information on the PCR is also used for billing and reimbursement purposes. Last, should litigation occur, as it did in this case, your PCR is your best source of legal protection, provided it is accurately and completely filled out.

Continuing Education

Geriatric Abuse

In general, abuse of elders, like abuse of children or intimate partners, is a recurring "pattern of coercive tactics that abusers use to gain and maintain power and control over the elderly." The National Clearinghouse on Abuse in Later Life (NCALL) states that elder abuse is "various types of abuse against someone age 60 or 65 and older." The abuse may have begun well before the patient became elderly. Intimate partner violence can persist for decades. Relationships also change or worsen over time with life and health changes. Types of abuse can include physical, sexual and emotional.

This CE activity is approved by EMS Magazine, an organization accredited by the Continuing Education Coordinating Board for Emergency Medical Services (CECBEMS), for 1.5 CEUs. After reading the article, take the CE test that accompanies this lesson at

Additional CE Articles

CE Videocasts These presentations, sponsored by Philips, discuss a variety of prehospital clinical topics. After viewing these videos, take the CE tests that accompany these lessons at

This CE activity is approved by EMS Magazine, an organization accredited by the Continuing Education Coordinating Board for Emergency Medical Services (CECBEMS), for .5 CEUs.

Business News

Lincoln Fire Department Ranked First in National Patient Satisfaction Survey

Lincoln Fire Department, which provides EMS in addition to fire prevention and suppression to the Town of Lincoln, MA, recently ranked first for patient satisfaction in a survey of EMS providers across the U.S. Lincoln Fire was awarded high marks for service by their patients who responded to the survey in the first quarter, placing it at the top of the EMS agencies included in the study, according to EMS Survey Team, an independent provider of confidential customer satisfaction surveys based in Lansing, MI.

Website of the Week

London Ambulance Service

The London Ambulance Service (LAS) is the busiest emergency ambulance service in the UK. Approximately 5,000 staff work across a wide range of roles based in 70 ambulance stations and serving more than 7 million people who live and work in the London area.

Featured Job

Emergency Medical Technician/Medical Assistant, Concentra, Inc., Madison, WI

Attends emergency medical requests as they arise, and renders advanced paramedical assistance to seriously ill or injured patients as required. Performs initial assessment and management of illness or injury to emergency patients in accordance with specified protocol and procedure. Prepares or assists in the preparation of patients for transport, ensuring compliance with emergency medical transport regulations, protocol and procedure.

Click above for details and visit for additional listings.

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Reader Poll: Discrimination

This week we ask: A white employee is suing Detroit EMS, claiming reverse racial discrimination. Have you ever experienced discrimination within your EMS service? Click here to let us know your thoughts.

Last week, we asked: Which commonly used illegal drug represents the worst problem in your area?

  • Methamphetamine: 52%
  • Heroin: 24%
  • Marijuana: 9%
  • Cocaine: 8%
  • Other: 7%

Grant & Scholarship News & Resources

EMS Responder's Grant Resource Guide provides news, articles and resources relating to grant writing and fundraising for EMS and public safety agencies.

AAGP Endorses Thompson's Federal Grants Management Handbook

The American Association of Grant Professionals has announced that it is endorsing Thompson Publishing Group's Federal Grants Management Handbook as the most comprehensive and trusted resource for administering federal program funds. The honor arrives as the Federal Grants Management Handbook celebrates its 35th anniversary of publication.

Enter to Win a Scholarship to EMS EXPO 2010: Submission Deadline is AUGUST 2

Nominations for the Robert G. Nixon EMS EXPO Scholarship Program must be received by August 2. Don't miss this opportunity to receive a scholarship to attend EMS EXPO 2010, which will be held in Dallas, TX, September 27-October 1. The scholarship consists of a 3-day core program registration to EMS EXPO and $1,000 stipend to cover travel and expenses.


Reader's Choice Issue

Announcing the Second Annual Reader's Choice Issue: Don't miss this opportunity to customize EMS Magazine by selecting the content you would like us to feature in the October issue. Complete our short survey by August 13 to let us know which articles you would like to read.

EMSResponder Buyer's Guide

The all-new EMSResponder Buyer's Guide features an extensive resource of products, services, equipment, supplies and more.

EMS Forums

Do you have something you would like to get off your chest or a question you just can't find the answer to? Then stop by our EMS Forums to spend some time with other members of the EMS community.

Upcoming Events

Visit our Events Calendar to see what educational opportunities are in your area, plus post your own listings. Here are a selection of EMS upcoming training events:

Other top headlines this week on

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Source News
By Nancy Perry
Leaders want to provide first responders with guidelines to follow when handling calls relating to human trafficking.
The study will assess Florida's Division of Emergency Management's response to Hurricane Irma and determine the lessons learned.
The state funding will provide 120,000 doses for first responders, including Pittsburgh park rangers.
The budget cut allowed the department to cross-staff, using firefighters to staff ambulances due to medical calls outnumbering fire calls.
Starting next year, the insurer will reimburse treatment that doesn’t require the emergency department.
One of the two Northern California wildfires have been fully contained due to cooler temperatures and light rain.
Kenneth Scheppke challenged longstanding traditions in patient care that have not withstood current scrutiny.

EMTs and other first responders who treated the wounded on scene of the Vegas shooting could be at risk for post-traumatic stress.

All EMS, fire, and law enforcement agencies in the county will participate in the drill along with 100 volunteers portraying victims of the shooting.
As the state begins facing the effects of the opioid crisis, medical professionals, law enforcement and prosecutors join the national discussion on possible solutions to the epidemic.
Only one of three in the country, the "rapid extrication team" assists in rescuing injured firefighters while local crews battle the forest fires.
The paramedic-staffed chase car would respond to ALS calls in a timelier manner and help alleviate several local fire departments' calls.
Las Vegas and Orlando massacres set a solemn tone for the normally festive event.
In a project to raise grant funding that began a year ago, the Richmond Ambulance Authority and VCU Health teamed up to provide 35 of Richmond’s Public Schools with Bleeding Control (BCON) equipment. 
Mercy Health's new two-story, 29,000 square foot center features a Level 1 trauma center, an expanded surgical area, and more comfortable patient and visitor access.