NEMSAC Chair Aarron Reinert
Photo credit: Susie Nicol/EMSWorld.com
WASHINGTON, D.C. – For the past several years, 25 people from all facets of EMS have come together to address myriad issues.
Appointed by the Secretary of Transportation, the National EMS Advisory Council (NEMSAC) is charged with providing advice and recommendations to NHTSA, as well as Federal Interagency Committee on EMS (FICEMS).
While they don’t represent specific organizations, the members range from field providers, firefighters, nurses, doctors, medevac and hospital officials, and others with extensive EMS backgrounds. They come from around the country.
NEMSAC is about to see a change. They will soon become a statutory committee.
NHTSA’s EMS Director Drew Dawson said his office has been in awe of the council’s work.
During a recent NEMSAC meeting, Dawson told them: “Thank you for your ongoing commitment to EMS. Day in and day out, we call on your wisdom and experience.”
Dawson encouraged them to keep their recommendations as realistic as possible in this time of fiscal uncertainty.
Work or interim reports of the various NEMSAC committees are posted on NHTSA’s website, and Dawson spoke of how important it is for those documents to be made available. This gives the public the opportunity to review them, and make comments.
Regardless of the topics addressed over the years, Dawson said he’s impressed that everyone always considers: “Is it right and good for the patients we are taking care of.”
Dawson also lauded the council for its 100% attendance at the most recent meeting.
In keeping with the council’s code of conduct, members don’t answer their phones or send text messages during the meetings.
NEMSAC Chair Aaron Reinhart said it’s very important that all voices are heard, and believes the council not only strives to keep the public informed but encourages input. “We have hard but important work ahead of us,” he told the group.
In a recent written statement Reinhart said: “Do we always agree on everything? No. Absolutely not. But having this national conversation, passionately discussing the things that matter most, making sure that all voices are heard, these are the things that lead to unity and move us forward.”
He added that he is pleased that NEMSAC is recognized as a vital link in the EMS chain on the national level.
Reinhart’s philosophy is that no matter what type of EMS you provide, whether it’s volunteer, career, combination on the ground or in the air, all “deserve a quality education, a safe working environment, and the resources and support to get the job done.”
The 25 NEMSAC members include:
* Thomas Judge – Air Medical – Judge is the Executive Director of LifeFlight of Maine, a position he has held since 1999, and has over 30 years of experience in the emergency medical services field.
* Arthur Cooper, MD, FACS, FAAP – At Large – Cooper is a Professor of Surgery and Director of Trauma & Pediatric Surgical Services at Columbia University Medical Center Affiliation at Harlem Hospital. A pediatric trauma surgeon who has worked at an urban Level I Trauma Center for more than 25 years, his academic career has been focused on emergency medical services for children.
* Patricia Dukes, AS, MICT – At Large – Dukes is the Chief of EMS for the City and County of Honolulu, Hawaii, where she began her career as an EMT in 1983. She has previously served on the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Preparedness Task Force and the State of Hawaii's EMS Advisory Committee.
* Manuel Chavez, EMT-P – At Large – Manuel Chavez is a Firefighter Paramedic and EMS Supervisor for the City of Houston Fire Department, where he has been a fire/EMS responder since 1986. Mr. Chavez is active in his local chapter of the IAFF. He is a member of the IAFF standing committee on EMS and is an EMT instructor.
* Nick Nudell, BA, NRP – Data Managers – Nudell is a System Implementation Manager for FirstWatch Solutions and uses data to measure and improve public safety systems. He was previously a fulltime paramedic and EMS educator and currently serves on an Intelligent Transportation Systems technical committee on vehicle to vehicle and vehicle to infrastructure communication.
* David Lucas – Dispatcher/9-1-1 – Lucas is the Director of Enhanced 9-1-1 for Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government in Kentucky. He implemented Lexington's E911 system in 1996 and drafted Kentucky's original wireless 9-1-1 legislation in 1998. He currently chairs the Kentucky Commercial Mobile Radio Emergency Services Board.
* Raphael Barishansky, MPH – Emergency Managers – Barishansky is Chief of Public Health Emergency Preparedness and Response for Prince George's County, Maryland and leads the Health Department's emergency management responsibilities. He previously was the Executive Director of a regional EMS system in Hudson Valley, New York and a Senior Fellow at the George Washington University's Homeland Security Policy Institute.
* Michael A. Hastings, MS, RN, CEN – Emergency Nurses – Hastings is the Research Quality Outcomes Coordinator at the University of Kansas Hospital and is the chief liaison for the primary ambulance destination of the Kansas City Fire Department. He began his career as an EMT and 9-1-1 dispatcher and served as the Emergency Nurses Association's representative on the CDC Field Trauma Triage Guidelines project.
* Kenneth Miller, MD, PhD – Emergency Physicians – Miller, an emergency physician, serves as the Medical Director of the Orange County Fire Authority and Assistant Medical Director of the Orange County Healthcare Agency/EMS. He also serves as the Co-Director of the EMS & Disaster Medical Sciences Fellowship at UC-Irvine School of Medicine.
* Leaugeay Barnes, BS, NRP, CCEMT-P – EMS Educators – Barnes has served as the Program Director of Emergency Medical Sciences at Oklahoma City Community College in Oklahoma City, OK, since 2003. She served as an Expert Writer on the National EMS Education Standards and is an active member of the National Association of EMS Educators.
* Carol Cunningham, MD, FACEP, FAAEM – EMS Medical Directors – Cunningham is the State EMS Medical Director for Ohio and an emergency physician at Akron General Medical Center. She is an associate professor at the Northeast Ohio Medical University and the Medical Director for several local EMS agencies. She also chairs the Medical Directors Council at the National Association of State EMS Officials.
* Roger A. Band, MD – EMS Researchers – Band is an Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine at The University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. He has authored numerous papers on emergency care and EMS and has led several research projects on out-of-hospital cardiac arrest. Dr. Band was an EMT and Paramedic for over ten years.
* John Sinclair – Fire-based EMS – Sinclair is the fire chief and Emergency Manager for the Kittitas Valley Fire Rescue Department in Ellensburg, Washington. The department utilizes career and volunteer personnel to provide fire and EMS coverage. He is active in the International Association of Fire Chiefs and serves on its Board of Directors.
* Joseph Wright, MD, MPH – Pediatric Emergency Medical Services – Wright is a Pediatric Emergency Physician and has practiced since 1993 at the Children's National Medical Center in the District of Columbia. He is a Professor of Pediatrics, Emergency Medicine, Health Policy and Prevention & Community Health at the George Washington University Schools of Medicine and Public Health.
* Scott Somers, PhD - State & Local Legislative Bodies – Somers is a Vice-Mayor for the city of Mesa, Arizona, and has extensive experience with establishing public policy for emergency medical services and public health. He was previously a paramedic with the Phoenix Fire Department, has conducted emergency medical services research and has lectured on EMS and disaster management topics.
* James McPartlon - Private EMS –McPartlon is the General Manager of Mohawk Ambulance Service in Schenectady, New York, and has leadership experience at the local, state and national levels. He is the Past President of the American Ambulance Association.
* Kyle R. Gorman, MBA, EMT-P – Local EMS Service Directors/Administrators – Mr. Gorman is the Executive Officer of the Clackamas County (Oregon) Fire District #1. He has served in a variety of capacities throughout his career including public EMS, private ambulance services, hospital-based ambulance services, and EMS management and oversight.
* Marc Goldstone, JD – Hospital Administration – Goldstone, who served 14 years as a paramedic, is currently Vice President and Associate General Counsel for Community Health Systems Professional Services Corporation, in Franklin, Tennessee. He was the founding chair of the Emergency Medical Services/Medical Transportation Attorneys Group of the American Health Lawyers Association and served for three years as Chair of the AHLA's Hospitals and Health Systems Practice Group.
* Gary L. Wingrove - Hospital-Based EMS – Wingrove directs Government Relations and Strategic Affairs at Mayo Clinic Medical Transportation. He has a significant breadth of EMS experience, including public and private, hospital and non-hospital, and urban and rural. Mr. Wingrove has served as the Minnesota State EMS Director and on a variety of other State, national and international EMS projects.
* Daniel Patterson, PhD, MPH - Public Health – Patterson is an assistant Professor at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Department of Emergency Medicine in Pittsburgh, PA. He also serves as Director of Research for the Center for Emergency Medicine of Western Pennsylvania, Inc. Dr. Patterson has conducted extensive research on the EMS workforce and EMS safety issues.
* Terry Mullins, MBA – State EMS Directors – Mr. Mullins is the Chief for the Bureau of Emergency Medical Services at the Arizona Department of Health Services. He previously served as the Trauma-EMS Technical Assistance Center Manager at Children's National Medical Center and has assisted NHTSA with several State EMS System Assessments.
* John Kuo – State Highway Safety Directors – Kuo is the Administrator of the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration and the Governor's Representative for Highway Safety. He is responsible for the coordination of all highway safety initiatives and improvements throughout the state and works closely with NHTSA and FHWA on safety programming. He has worked for the Maryland Department of Transportation since 1995 and is active in several state and national motor vehicle committees.
* Thomas Esposito, MD, MPH, FACS – Trauma Surgeons – Esposito is Professor of Surgery and Chief of the Division of Trauma, Surgical Critical Care and Burns at Loyola University Chicago. He has served on several national, State and local emergency care committees and led numerous research projects on trauma, injury prevention, and EMS.
* Katrina Altenhofen, MPH, Paramedic – Volunteer EMS – Altenhofen is a founding member of the West Chester First Responders in Washington, Iowa and has been a volunteer paramedic since 1989. She is the State Emergency Medical Services for Children Program Director and has worked with the Iowa Bureau of EMS since 1995. She has also initiated several statewide occupant protection and bicycle safety programs.