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DOT Seeks Members for EMS Advisory Council

     Want to give federal EMS officials an earful on the big issues of the day? Here's your chance.

     The Department of Transportation announced in December that it is assembling the National Emergency Medical Services Advisory Council (NEMSAC), a panel of experts that will provide professional advice and recommendations to officials at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, whose Office of EMS oversees EMS issues at the federal level. Nominations for the council will be accepted through February 16.

     DOT is seeking professional and geographic diversity on the council, which will be capped at 25 members. Specifically, it wants participants representing a range of provider models and EMS-related professional specialties. These include representatives of volunteer, private, fire-based and hospital-based EMS, as well as tribal and air-medical EMS; a local service director/administrator; a medical director, trauma surgeon, emergency physician, pediatric emergency physician and emergency nurse; a hospital administrator; state EMS and highway safety directors; an EMS educator, researcher and data manager; a call-taker/dispatcher; a representative of public health; an emergency manager; a state homeland security representative; a state/local legislator; and an EMS consumer. Members will be selected for their individual expertise, but also to reflect a “balanced representation of interests” from across the EMS community. Interested parties who are not part of the council will still be able to attend meetings and offer comments on its work.

     Issues that EMSAC may consider, according to the DOT, include EMS needs assessment and strategic planning; development of standards, guidelines, benchmarks and data collection; development of methods for improving community-based EMS; strengthening EMS systems through enhanced workforce development, education, training, exercises, equipment and medical oversight; and improved coordination and support among federal programs. It will not manage programs or create regulations.

     Applications or nominations for membership must include a brief resume or letter (a page or less) detailing the candidate's relevant experience and interest and identifying which industry component they represent. For more information, contact NHTSA EMS Director Drew Dawson, 202/366-9966, drew.dawson@dot.gov, or Allison Rusnak, Office of the Chief Counsel, 202/366-1834, allison.rusnak@dot.gov.

     Comments on issues that should be addressed or strategies that might be employed by the council are also invited; these can be submitted at http://dms.dot.gov/submit. They are also due by February 16, though late comments may be considered.

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