Your help is needed! The Texas EMS Trauma & Acute Care Foundation (TETAF) sent out the following e-mail and we are now forwarding the information to you. See Below.
Tomorrow (April 5th), the Senate Transportation Committee will consider four pieces of legislation related to the Driver Responsibility Program (DRP). Most concerning is SB 90, by Sen. Bob Hall (R-Edgewood). As written, SB 90 would completely eliminate the Driver Responsibility Program, without a replacement source of funding.
Currently, almost 50% of the funds accumulated through the DRP are deposited to the Designated Trauma Facilities and Emergency Medical Services Account (5111), resulting in the largest source of state funding for the trauma system.
It is crucial that any discussion of DRP elimination also include a permanent replacement source of funding for the system. Click Here to contact your Senator to tell them you oppose eliminating the Driver Responsibility Program without replacement funding.
Also, if your Senator is on the Transportation Committee, please consider a phone call to their office today!
SENATE TRANSPORTATION COMMITTEE MEMBERS
In addition to SB 90, the committee will hear SB 266 by Sen. Kirk Watson (D-Austin). SB 266 reduces the amount of the DRP fines by 50%, but allocates 99% of the funds received to Account 5111. TETAF will register in support of this bill, as a constructive attempt to modify and improve the program without harming funding for the trauma system.
Sexual harassment should be an issue of concern to all fire service & EMS managers. It is extremely important for the emergency service organization to implement and disseminate a clear no tolerance policy for sexual harassment and inform all members of the available avenues of internal complaint. The organization must also prepare itself to promptly investigate all sexual harassment allegations and take appropriate remedial action to ensure harassment stops and discipline is administered.
Sexual harassment is discriminatory behavior prohibited under the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and many state and local laws. Fire service leaders, therefore, must incorporate a plan of action that includes comprehensive training to help personnel understand the importance and implications of sexual harassment. Inaction and "pseudo-reaction" (a halfhearted or insincere response) are not choices for dealing with this contemporary problem, which is not going to go away and which calls for immediately replacing some long-held myths with substantial and reliable information. An organization`s underlying philosophy should reflect a commitment to making the workplace a safe and non-disruptive environment free of any form of discrimination or harassment. Harassment attitudes and behaviors must be explored, and training and effective policies to control future occurrences must be implemented. Undoubtedly, insecurity may surface when a supervisor ignorant of prevailing social standards is forced to deal with issues relating to sexual harassment.
Sexual harassment & abuse is not solely dedicated to women either. It is important for agencies to protect employees, volunteers and others associated with the organization from wrongdoing. Prevention of sexual abuse or misconduct is especially important where organizations are engaged in activities with minors. Organizations that supervise or work with minors are under a legal and moral obligation to protect against sexual abuse and misconduct.
To help your organization aid in the prevention of proper handling of sexual harassment & abuse, please utilize the following resources:
1) SAMPLE Sexual Abuse and Misconduct Prevention Policy
2) Sexual Harassment-Employee Practice Exposure Risk Communique
3) "Sexual Abuse & Misconduct: Protection of Minors/Youth" Risk Communique
Today, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced it is extending the temporary moratoria on the enrollment of new ground ambulance suppliers in the Philadelphia and Houston regions. Both enrollment suspensions are being extended for another six (6) months, effective January 29, 2015.
The enrollment moratorium in Houston has been in place for a year and a half, and the ban in Philadelphia has been in place for a year. Both enrollment freezes will now extend into the summer of 2015, unless CMS decides to lift them. They apply to newly enrolling ground ambulance suppliers in these regions. The enrollment freezes do not affect enrollment-related changes that current suppliers need to make regarding practice locations, addresses and ownership, and they do not affect revalidations.
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) gave CMS the authority to impose a temporary moratorium on the enrollment of new Medicare, Medicaid or CHIP providers and suppliers if CMS determines a moratorium is necessary to combat fraud, waste or abuse. Each time CMS has exercised this authority, it has targeted ground ambulance suppliers.
The Department of State Health Services Office of EMS/Trauma Systems Coordination (OEMS/TS) is updating the list of potentially eligible emergency medical service providers for the FY 15 EMS Allotment/Allocation. This funding consists of EMS and Trauma Care System Account (911 fund), the Emergency Medical Services, Trauma Facilities, and Trauma Care System Fund (1131 fund) and the Designated Trauma Facility and Emergency Medical Services Fund (3588 fund). Funds are distributed through your regional advisory council office.
Check the Excel sheet at the following link for your organization’s name and contract status. http://www.dshs.state.tx.us/emstraumasystems/PotentialProvAllotment.shtm.
The title of SFFMA State Firefighter of the Year and SFFMA State EMS Responder of the Year are given to only an elite few. To be nominated for these awards and to be selected from so many is quite an honor.
Each individual nominated for these awards is recognized for their strong values, leadership, vision, heroism and dedication. Congratulations to all of the nominees and to David Wade, 2014 SFFMA State Firefighter of the Year and to James Carr, 2014 SFFMA State EMS Responder of the Year!
The nominees and winners were recognized this past weekend at the SFFMA Conference in Lubbock. Also recognized were all the recipients of the 2014 Firefighter Safety & Training Grant. VFIS of Texas and Texas Mutual Insurance Company recently awarded grants of up to $2,500 to 39 volunteer fire departments across Texas. Funds awarded through the Firefighter Safety & Training Grant Program will enable these departments to participate in a certification program and training to support critical workplace safety training.
Fifty-eight volunteer fire departments applied for the grant and the 39 grantees were selected based on their financial needs and the impact the funds would have in their safety and training efforts. VFIS of Texas and Texas Mutual Insurance Company partnered with the State Firemen’s & Fire Marshals’ Association of Texas (SFFMA) to manage the application process and select the grant recipients.
The following volunteer fire departments were awarded grants: Bowman Community VFD, Boyd Fire Rescue, China Spring VFD, City of San Diego FD, Clint FD, Cookville VFD, Cottonwood Shores VFD, Crafton VFD, Cresson VFD, Daingerfield FD, Indian Creek VFD, Jamaica Beach VFD, Kaufman VFD, LaRue-New York VFD, Levita FD, Lone Star VFD, Mico VFD, Nevada VFD, Paducah VFD, Pleasant Grove VFD, Possum Kingdom West Side VFD, Rising Star VFD, Rocksprings/Edwards County VFD, Sand Hills VFD, Santa Rosa VFD, Santo Fire and EMS, Six Mile Community VFD, Somervell County Fire, South Ector County VFD, Sunset VFD, Terrell VFD, Tolar VFD, Trout Creek VFD, Turnersville VFD, Village of Pleak VFD, Wayland VFD, Westminster VFD, Whitney VFD and Windthorst VFD.
CONTEST TIME: In honor of 2014 National EMS Week, VFIS of Texas is giving away a Deluxe Response Pack (including Pro Pack, Penlight, Folding Knife, Window Punch, Shears, Mask, & more!) to ONE Lucky Winner! You can enter by clicking here: https://www.facebook.com/VFISofTX/app_192229990808929 or clicking the "#EMSWeek Giveaway" TAB on our Facebook Page.
2014 National EMS Week Giveaway/Contest Winner announced Friday, 5/23/14. Good Luck!
CREATED: MAY 1, 2014
While sending trained EMS personnel into a patient’s home to do basic preventative care may seem like a perfect fit, there are still many challenges that agencies need to overcome.
In the past few weeks, Ohio and Virginia have come out with statements about the issue, and other organizations are weighing in as well, Dr. Lori Moore-Merrell told a group attending a session during the Congressional Fire Service Institute's meetings . “Ohio law allows EMS providers to perform only emergency medical services. EMS providers should be aware that immunity from civil liability applies only if they are administering ‘emergency’ medical services,” she said. And in Virginia, EMS agencies interested in providing community paramedicine may be required to obtained licenses by the state’s health office.
Meanwhile, a nurses’ association said it feels they may need to supervise the medics, questioning their abilities, she said, adding that some agencies are getting very territorial. While the Affordable Care Act doesn’t mention EMS, Moore-Merrell added: “It sets up opportunities for EMS though.” The IAFF will vote on a resolution at its annual convention in July whether or not it’s something they want to do, she added. But, fire departments and EMS folks aren’t the only ones jumping to get in on the action, she said.
Some private EMS companies are dropping emergency responses so they can concentrate on community medicine. Also, at least two major drug stores have started to promote full healthcare. Under the ACA provision, hospitals and medical facilities understand they will face penalties if a patient is re-admitted to their facility for the same condition within 30 days of discharge. Also, there is still a question on whether the company that transported the patient will get reimbursed if they are seen again within the month.
And, the NFPA hasn’t been sitting idly by. Members have been busy studying the issue and hearing from stakeholders. The proposed community medicine standards document currently rests with a technical committee, according to NFPA Public Fire Protection Division Manager Ken Willette. Ken Knipper, who chairs the NFPA committee, said the issue impacts all providers – volunteers and career personnel. He said the group understands that not all communities have paramedics, and the document will address that. Knipper added that building and cultivating relationships more important now than ever before.
What about your department? What are your future plans in regards to this issue? Please let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
Video Game Puts the ‘Edge’ in First Responder Training -
EDGE allows emergency responders (including police officers, firefighters, paramedics, and EMS personnel) to engage in simulated environments to build communication and coordination. Take a look. What do you think?
As promised here is a copy of The Power of Social Media PowerPoint we presented during the 2013 State Benefits Summit @ TEEX in College Station. This was designed as a crash course in social media, so it covers the basics as well as best practices for many different social networks. Please feel free to SHARE it with anyone in need, however we ask that you please credit us if doing so. Enjoy! If you have any questions, please e-mail Kash Sarkaria at firstname.lastname@example.org.
DO YOU KNOW how much your volunteer fire department or volunteer emergency medical service is saving your community?
The National Volunteer Fire Council has Fire and EMS Cost Savings Calculators to help figure this out and to provide resources for presenting data to the communities that fund your department. Use these calculators to make the case for increased community and governmental support! Click Here: http://www.nvfc.org/hot-topics/cost-savings-calculators
VFIS of Texas NEWS
Here you will find helpful information regarding firefighters, ems responders, and updates in insurance policies.