News, Operations

National EMS Safety Summit Begins in Denver

Highlights from Monday, August 21, 2017

The National EMS Safety Summit, presented by the Mile-High RETAC, began Monday August 21, 2017 at the Sheraton Denver Downtown Hotel in Denver, Colo. JEMS Editor-in-Chief A.J. Heightman, a speaker at the event along with a stellar EMS faculty, filed this Day One report.

The conference opened with a welcome and opening remarks by Jeanne-Marie Bakehouse, CDPHE, EMTS Chief; Charles Mains, MD, Chairman, Mile-High RETAC, Medical Director, Centura Health Trauma System; and David Ross, DO, Assistant Professor, Specialty Medicine, Rocky Vista University College of Osteopathic Medicine.

Presenters delivered sessions throughout the day, with a very important break so faculty, organizers and attendees could go outside to observe the solar eclipse.

Why Can’t We All Get Along?

A.J. Heightman’s fast-paced, frank presentation by A.J. addressed the myriad of EMS, police, fire and dispatch issues that exist in many systems. He pointed out the disconnects that frequently occur on scene between these combinations of providers and care as well as during each specialty’s (“vertical”) training was discussed along with solutions to improve relationships on the street and in the classroom, and, more importantly, ways to improve the delivery of care on scene to maximize resources and results.

Safe Sedation of Patients in the Era of Legalized Marijuana

Christopher B. Colwell, MD, Chief of the Department of Emergency Medicine at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital & Trauma Center and Professor & Vice-Chair, Department of Emergency Medicine, University of California at San Francisco School of Medicine, gave a great review of the effects of marijuana on patients and the need and best practices of sedation for patients.

Why Is It Important to Create a Culture of Safety?

This panel discussion was moderated by A.J. Heightman, and presented by:

  • Jon Krohmer, MD
  • Ron Thackery
  • Kristina Freas
  • Jeff Beckman, MD
  • Chris Colwell,MD
  • Jeff Schanhals, MD
  • Carl Craigle

Key topics discussed:

  • Ambulance redesign with safer seats, structure and seat belts/harnesses;
  • Advantages of mechanical /electric stretchers and lifting devices;
  • The need for more attention to sleep deprivation and crew stress/resiliency;
  • The reduction of red light and siren use;
  • The need for cleared rules or contracts with hospitals to ensure crews are not “forced” to transfer patients to distant facilities in inclement weather;
  • The need for increased police response on suspicious or potentially dangerous calls.

Building an EMS Safety Officer Credentials

Presented by Sean Caffrey, MBA, NRP, National EMS Management Association (NEMSMA) Board Member, this session reviewed the objective and requirements for pre-education and testing/credentialing for several EMS supervision levels.  There will be credentialing tests offered at EMS Today 2018 (Feb 20-23, 2018) in Charlotte.  Go to the NEMSMA and EMSToday websites for complete details.

NHTSA Federal and EMS Update

Jon Krohmer, MD, EMS Medical Director for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, presented a vast array of projects encouraged, funded or supported by NHTSA including advisory committees and epic work – soon to be released in JEMS.

Rick Hartley Scholarship  

The 2018 Rick Hartley Scholarship was presented by Josh Eveatt, BA, AS, NRP, executive director of the Southeastern Regional Emergency Medical and Trauma Advisory Council (RETAC).  The scholarship was awarded to Cherilyn England, EMS director for Southeast Colorado Hospital District for her work in mentoring others in EMS. Hartley, Cherilyn’s boss, was tragically killed in a line of duty vehicle collision.

Cherilyn England, EMS director for Southeast Colorado Hospital District, and recipient of the

2018 Rick Hartley Scholarship.

The Emergency Law Inventory (ELI): An Emergency Preparedness Tool for Volunteers

Elizabeth Van Nostrand, JD, presented an overview of the ELI for volunteers. The ELI is an open access repository of laws identified by emergency response volunteers as having potential impact on working at an emergency event. This tool is designed to assist volunteers in accessing an emergency law database.

She also discussed the Mid-Atlantic Regional Public Health Training Center (MAR-PHTC) Program, whose aim is to improve the nation’s public health system by strengthening the technical, scientific, managerial, and leadership competence of the current and future public health workforces. The PHLN is the nation’s most comprehensive system of public health educators, experts, and thought leaders with an aim to advance public health practice and improve population health in the United States.