EMS Update - Emergency Medical Services - March 2007

Table of Contents

New National Emergency Medical Services Advisory Council

Federal Interagency
Committee on Emergency Medical Services Convenes

EMS: The 4th E for Highway Safety

Office of EMS Welcomes Gilbert Torres

PDF version

New national emergency medical services advisory council

Putting EMS Provider and Patient Input to Work

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) Office of Emergency Medical Services (EMS) has a long history of accomplishment through partnership and collaboration. Our “modus operandi” has always been to bring together representatives from the EMS community, and facilitate a consensus-based process for developing our programs. Since our programs and products are used by EMS providers, we have always held that they should be developed by EMS providers.

Making It Official

We are now formalizing and institutionalizing that process, by establishing a National EMS Advisory Council (NEMSAC). NEMSAC will serve as an ongoing forum to provide to NHTSA and the Department of Transportation (DOT) advice and recommendations from nongovernmen-tal organizations and people on a range of issues. In accordance with the requirements of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA), an agency of the Federal Government cannot establish or use a group of people for the purpose of obtaining consensus advice or recommendations on an ongoing basis unless that group is chartered as a Federal advisory committee. Secretary of Transportation Mary Peters has determined that the establishment of NEMSAC is necessary and in the public interest, and has approved its formation.

Issues to Be Considered

NEMSAC will be a nationally recognized council of EMS representatives and consumers who will provide advice and recommendations regarding EMS to NHTSA. Among the issues that NEMSAC will consider are:

  • National EMS needs assessment and strategic planning;

  • EMS standards, guidelines, benchmarks, and data collection development;

  • Methods for improving community-based EMS;

  • Strategies for strengthening EMS systems through enhanced workforce development, education, training, exercises, equipment, and medical oversight;

  • Improved coordination and support of EMS activities among Federal programs; and

  • Other issues or topics as determined by NHTSA and NEMSAC

Areas of Responsibility

NHTSA’s goal is to leverage input from this important body to advance the performance of EMS systems nationwide. NEMSAC will not exercise program management or regulatory development responsibilities, and will not make decisions directly affecting the programs on which it provides advice. NEMSAC will act as a forum for the development, consideration, and communication of information and advice from a knowledgeable and independent perspective.

Only by direct involvement of the EMS constituency, can programs and products address the needs of EMS — and accurately reflect current clinical and operational practice of providing emergency medical care. NEMSAC will be a formal, ongoing way for the EMS community to help NHTSA continue to support the ongoing improvement of EMS systems nationwide.

Membership Requirements

Advisory council members will include representatives of the diverse agencies, organizations, and people involved in EMS activities and programs in the United States. Its members will be appointed by the Secretary of Transportation, and include the perspectives of each component of the EMS system as well as the geographic and demographic diversity of EMS.

NHTSA solicited nominations for NEMSAC members via an announcement in the Federal Register. The submission period for applications and nominations closed February 16 and numerous applications have been received from highly qualified nominees. NEMSAC members will be appointed by Secretary Peters based on individual expertise and the candidates’ ability to reflect a balanced representation of interests from across the EMS community. While no member will represent a specific organization, to the extent practical, the council membership shall include participants from
the following:

  • Volunteer EMS
  • Fire-based (career) EMS
  • Private (career non-fire) EMS
  • Hospital-based EMS
  • Tribal EMS
  • Air medical EMS
  • Local EMS service director/administrators
  • EMS medical directors
  • Emergency physicians
  • Trauma surgeons
  • Pediatric emergency physicians
  • State EMS directors
  • State Highway Safety directors
  • EMS educators
  • Public safety call-taker/dispatcher (911)
  • EMS data managers
  • EMS researchers
  • Emergency nurses
  • Hospital administration
  • Public health
  • Emergency management
  • State Homeland Security directors
  • Consumers (not directly affiliated with an EMS or healthcare organization)
  • State or local legislative bodies (e.g., city/county councils; state legislatures)

Questions about NEMSAC can be directed to Gilbert Torres at 202-366-5030, or gilberto.torres@dot.gov.