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US Hits Record for Costly Weather Disasters: $306 billion

JEMS - News - Tue, 01/09/2018 - 10:33

WASHINGTON (AP) — With three strong hurricanes, wildfires, hail, flooding, tornadoes and drought, the United States tallied a record high bill last year for weather disasters: $306 billion.

The U.S. had 16 disasters last year with damage exceeding a billion dollars, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said Monday. That ties 2011 for the number of billion-dollar disasters, but the total cost blew past the previous record of $215 billion in 2005.

Costs are adjusted for inflation and NOAA keeps track of billion-dollar weather disasters going back to 1980.

Three of the five most expensive hurricanes in U.S. history hit last year.

Hurricane Harvey, which caused massive flooding in Texas, cost $125 billion, second only to 2005's Katrina, while Maria's damage in Puerto Rico cost $90 billion, ranking third, NOAA said. Irma was $50 billion, mainly in Florida, for the fifth most expensive hurricane.

Western wildfires fanned by heat racked up $18 billion in damage, triple the U.S. wildfire record, according to NOAA.

Besides Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico, California, Colorado, Minnesota, Nebraska, Missouri, Illinois, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee and North Carolina all had more than $1 billion in damage from the 16 weather disasters in 2017.

"While we have to be careful about knee-jerk cause-effect discussions, (many scientific studies) show that some of today's extremes have climate change fingerprints on them," said University of Georgia meteorology professor Marshall Shepherd, a past president of the American Meteorological Society.

NOAA announced its figures at the society's annual conference in Austin, Texas.

The U.S. averages six of the billion-dollar weather disasters each year, costing a bit more than $40 billion annually.

The increase in billion-dollar weather disasters is likely a combination of more flooding, heat and storm surge from climate change along with other non-climate changes, such as where buildings are put, where people move and how valuable their property is, said Deke Arndt, NOAA's climate monitoring chief.

Categories: EMS

California Residents Rescued from Burn Areas As Storms Bring Mud, Flooding

JEMS - News - Tue, 01/09/2018 - 10:06

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Crews rescued residents from inundated homes Tuesday as mud and debris from wildfire-scarred hillsides flowed through neighborhoods and onto a key Southern California highway during a powerful winter storm that dropped record rain across the state.

Helicopters were being used even during the downpours because roads were blocked, Santa Barbara County spokeswoman Amber Anderson said.

"The primary issue right now is access. We've got trees and power lines down," she said.

Rain water pools where a Fountaingrove neighborhood home once stood Monday, Jan. 8, 2018, in Santa Rosa, Calif. Storms brought rain to California on Monday and increased the risk of mudslides in fire-ravaged communities in devastated northern wine country and authorities to order evacuations farther south for towns below hillsides burned by the state's largest-ever wildfire. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

There were reports of injuries, but Anderson didn't immediately know how many or the extent. She said "multiple" residents had been rescued and more were calling for help in Montecito and Carpinteria. Thousands were without power.  Evacuation orders were issued Monday over fears of mudslides in those foothill neighborhoods where the state's largest-ever fire raged last month.

Water and debris in lanes brought coastal U.S. 101 to a standstill, and traffic accidents on rain-slicked roadways across the region slowed the morning commute to a crawl.

The first significant storm of the season soaked much of the state. Record-breaking rain fell on the San Francisco Bay region before the storm largely passed overnight, leaving diminishing showers there before dawn Tuesday. Stormy weather continued to the east in the Central Valley and Sierra Nevada.

Categories: EMS

High Water 2018 Floodwater Rescue Conference set for April 6-8

JEMS - News - Mon, 01/08/2018 - 23:00
OKLAHOMA CITY - High Water 2018, a three-day floodwater rescue conference for firefighters, EMS and other first responders will be April 6-8, 2018, at Oklahoma City’s RIVERSPORT Rapids whitewater center in downtown Oklahoma City.

During this three-day event, first responders will learn both new and proven water rescue skills, refresh basic skills, and have the opportunity to hear nationally recognized presenters. Classroom sessions will cover topics such as high-water vehicle use, search dog use in floodwater, GPS and floodwater searching, hydrology review and more. A variety of water-based courses will take place on RIVERSPORT Rapids whitewater channels.

RIVERSPORT Rapids is a $45 million man-made whitewater course featuring Class II-IV rapids. It is one of only two courses in the country, and it is the only one in an urban setting. Six pumps circulate 8 million gallons of water for recreational rafting and kayaking as well as swiftwater rescue training.

“Holding a course on an urban whitewater course like RIVERSPORT Rapids gives instructors and participants a level of control you can’t find anywhere else,” explained Mid America Rescue Company Owner and Swiftwater Rescue Instructor Brian Weatherford. “Offering training like this has the potential to save lives in communities across the country.”

“It’s vital that first responders are trained to safely respond to floodwater emergencies,” Weatherford said. “Our goal is to provide for the safety of the first responder as well as the victim. We hope communities around the country will send their first responders so they can learn how to keep themselves and their communities safer.”

In addition to classroom and hands-on training, attendees will have the opportunity to see new rescue equipment from leading industry vendors and view onsite demonstrations.

This conference is available to all rescuers regardless of prior training or current skill set, and discounts are available for groups of two or more.
Categories: EMS

Z-Medica Officially Launches QuikClot Control+

JEMS - News - Mon, 01/08/2018 - 20:51

Wallingford, CT, Lake Buena Vista, FL – Z-Medica, LLC, a leading developer and marketer of hemostatic devices, announces today that QuikClot Control+ is now commercially available. The announcement is being made in advance of the 2018 EAST Annual Scientific Assembly of the Eastern Association for the Surgery of Trauma (EAST), January 9-13 at the Disney Contemporary Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Florida, where Z-Medica will be exhibiting.

Cleared by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in June of 2017 under the de novo classification process, QuikClot Control+ is the first and only hemostatic dressing cleared for temporary control of internal organ space bleeding for patients displaying class III or class IV bleeding.

“Full commercial availability of QuikClot Control+ adds an additional life-saving tool to the arsenal of Z-Medica products that surgeons can use to help save lives and fill the unmet need of hospitals across the country,” says Z-Medica President and CEO Stephen J. Fanning. “Uncontrolled bleeding continues to be a major cause of preventable deaths. Devices like QuikClot Control+ can improve hemorrhage control, potentially savings lives and reducing healthcare costs.”

QuikClot Control+ is indicated for temporary control of internal organ space bleeding for patients displaying class III or class IV bleeding. It may also be used to control severely bleeding wounds such as surgical wounds and traumatic injuries.

What: Official launch of QuikClot Control+

When:  January 9-13, 2018

Where: 2018 EAST Annual Scientific Assembly of the Eastern Association for the Surgery of Trauma (EAST), January 9-13 at the Disney Contemporary Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. – Booth 101

About Z-Medica, LLC

Z-Medica, LLC is a privately-held medical device manufacturer based in Wallingford, CT that is focused on the development, sale, and marketing of innovative hemorrhage control products for healthcare providers, military personnel, the law enforcement community, first responders, and consumers around the globe. For over a decade, Z-Medica has helped save lives and improve medical outcomes with a growing portfolio of QuikClot® hemostatic products that includes the recently FDA-cleared QuikClot Control+®, 4x4 Hemostatic Dressing, Radial®, Interventional®, Combat Gauze®, Belt Trauma Kit®, and Bleeding Control Bag®. QuikClot products are manufactured in the United States. For more information, visit and  Follow us on Twitter @QuikClot and Facebook @QuikClotFans.

Categories: EMS

Center for Domestic Preparedness to Resume Live-Agent Training

JEMS - News - Fri, 01/05/2018 - 21:11

ANNISTON, Ala. – The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Center for Domestic Preparedness (CDP) announced today that the Center will resume using nerve agents and biologicals in some of its hazardous materials training courses on Jan. 11. 

In late 2016, the CDP suspended the use of the nerve agents GB and VX, and biologicals ricin and anthrax after it was discovered the Center’s Chemical, Ordnance, Biological, and Radiological training facility (COBRATF) had received, via third party vendor, and had been using a more toxic version of ricin in training than what CDP had ordered. 

Since then, the CDP has continued to conduct hazardous material training at its COBRA facility, but without those agents and biologicals.

To resume training with the materials, the CDP will purchase ricin A-chain from a different vendor in the CDC’s Select Agent Program.  CDP staff have visited and validated the reliability of the vendor’s processes. The vendor will also ship orders to a laboratory at DHS’s National Bioforensic Analysis Center for analysis before being shipped to the CDP for use in training.

That third-party validation process will add to a number of recent enhancements – both physical and administrative – at the COBRA facility aimed at making it even safer for those training with the four types of materials.

These improvements include:

  • National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)-approved respirator masks for students and COBRATF staff.
  • Updates to the facility’s ventilation system to allow more precise control of the air flow and pressure in the training bays where the agents and toxins are used.
  • Approval to hire additional staff, to include an additional safety and occupational health officer, an additional environmental management specialist, and an additional quality assurance analyst.

The enhancements also include the creation of a formal advisory board for the facility, which will include representatives from a number of national occupational safety and health and compliance assurance offices and agencies.

Categories: EMS

Committee on Accreditation of Educational Programs for the Emergency Medical Services (CoAEMSP) Will Celebrate its 40th Anniversary in 2018

JEMS - News - Thu, 01/04/2018 - 21:17

Rowlett, TX--The Committee on Accreditation of Educational Programs for the Emergency Medical Services (CoAEMSP), officially founded in 1978, will celebrate its 40th anniversary in 2018.

Nearly 700 Paramedic educational programs have currently been awarded accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) or hold the Letter of Review by CoAEMSP. This makes the CoAEMSP the largest committee on accreditation under its accrediting body, CAAHEP.

"As we begin the 40th year of the CoAEMSP, I want to say how impressed I am with the EMS leaders who began this organization in 1978,” stated Executive Director George W. Hatch Jr., EdD, LP, EMT-P. “The thoughtful, deliberate, and visionary leadership of those giants who preceded all of us today is clearly evident. They were clearly thinking about what it meant to formalize the educational process and legitimize the fledgling profession even in the evolution of EMS in our nation. The CoAEMSP has its roots in the very beginning of EMS. Those visionaries could only imagine what would be in place four decades later where every Paramedic educational program is working through a continuous plan of quality improvement designed to increase successful outcomes and is tied to national certification of the graduates of those programs. The CoAEMSP has certainly grown right alongside EMS. We are proud of our history and energized by what the future might bring 40 years from now.”

“The Standards we use today were born out of evaluation elements considered ‘Essentials’ by the American Medical Association when we started in 1978 as the Joint Review Committee on Education Programs for the EMT-Paramedic (JRCEMT-P),” recalled Chair Thomas B. Brazelton III, MD, MPH, FAAP (AAP). “Our Standards have adapted with the times and become more evidence-based as the field of EMS has advanced. With the sponsorship of six medical academies or colleges and every major association involved in EMS, we have achieved a national educational accreditation process and agenda equivalent to our colleagues in medicine and nursing.

Categories: EMS

ESO Solutions Predicts Key Hospital Trends to Watch in 2018

JEMS - News - Thu, 01/04/2018 - 20:43

Austin, Texas – ESO Solutions, the leading data and software company serving emergency medical services, fire departments, and hospitals, today shared the trends it predicts will have the biggest impact on hospitals in 2018: A greater emphasis on evidence-based approaches to acute conditions; healthcare financing changes affecting the way hospitals admit and readmit patients; reshuffling of hospital ownership; and a shift in how patient volume is managed.

“Few areas of healthcare have seen more significant change over the past several years than hospitals,” said Allen Johnson, Vice President of ESO HDE and Analytics. “That pattern will continue in 2018.”

“There’s a fair amount of change on the horizon,” added Johnson. “It’s essential for hospitals to track and understand evolving trends to stay ahead of challenges. Those that do will be the most successful.”

Key Hospital Predictions for 2018:

  • Evidence-based care for acute events will continue to be emphasized: From first medical contact to hospital admission through rehab, new evidence-based research will play a key role in the treatment and destination decisions for patients experiencing acute events (e.g., the DAWN study showing benefit of endovascular clot retrieval for up to 24 hours after a stroke). Near real-time (or contemporaneous) access to richer data will enhance physicians’ capabilities, provide decision support, and ultimately enhance patient safety by reducing the likelihood of avoidable error.
  • Healthcare finance changes will continue to have an impact on admissions and readmissions: Changes in healthcare finance regarding readmissions will influence how systems interact and manage patients across more diagnosis types. Value-based approaches to patient management will continue, with the possibility that out-of-hospital entities in some communities will be included in bundled payment models and/or care planning. In one such instance, facilities working with EMS can proactively manage patients in the most appropriate setting to maximize efficiency and reduce unnecessary readmissions.
  • Changes in hospital ownership will increase the need for interoperability: As hospitals look to control costs and consolidate market presence, ownership will change in some markets. The shuffling of ownership will create a greater need for interoperability and sharing of information across new partners to bridge data gaps between electronic medical record (EMR) systems.
  • Managing patient volume will increase in importance: As financial pressure on hospital systems continues, understanding and managing patient volume will be essential to ensure hospitals meet financial goals. This will include an ongoing shift in marketing strategies to appeal to high-value patients directly through various channels, including EMS. Sharing quality data and implementing alignment strategies with partners – physicians, EMS, etc. – will allow hospitals to create systems of care that deliver the right patients to the right facility at the right time, promoting volume for the facility and excellent outcomes for patients.


Categories: EMS

Severe Cold, Rare Snow Hit U.S. Southeast

JEMS - News - Thu, 01/04/2018 - 10:45

SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) — A brutal winter storm smacked the coastal Southeast with a rare blast of snow and ice Wednesday, hitting parts of Florida, Georgia and South Carolina with their heaviest snowfall in nearly three decades.

Forecasters warned that the same system could soon strengthen into a "bomb cyclone" as it rolls up the East Coast, bringing hurricane-force winds, coastal flooding and up to a foot of snow.

At least 17 deaths were blamed on dangerously cold temperatures that for days have gripped wide swaths of the U.S. from Texas to New England.

A winter storm warning extended from the Gulf Coast of Florida's "Big Bend" region all the way up the Atlantic coast. Forecasters said hurricane-force winds blowing offshore on Thursday could generate 24-foot (7-meter) seas.

Schools in the Southeast called off classes just months after being shut down because of hurricane threats, and police urged drivers to stay off the roads in a region little accustomed to the kind of winter woes common to the Northeast.

In Savannah, snow blanketed the city's lush downtown squares and collected on branches of burly oaks for the first time in nearly eight years. William Shaw, a Savannah native, used baby steps to shuffle along a frozen road from his home to the post office.

"It almost seems the town is deserted just like in the last hurricane," said Shaw, 65. "There's no one on the street. It's got a little eerie feeling."

Dump trucks spread sand on major streets in Savannah ahead of the storm and police closed several bridges, overpasses and a major causeway because of ice.

By the time the morning's dreary sleet and rain turned to fluffy snow, Savannah came out to play. Families with children flocked to Forsyth Park near the downtown historic district for snowball fights. The National Weather Service recorded 1.2 inches (3 centimeters) of snow — Savannah's first measurable snowfall since February 2010 and the first that exceeded an inch (2.5 centimeters) in 28 years.

Categories: EMS

12 Killed, More Than 260 Injured in South Africa Train Crash

JEMS - News - Thu, 01/04/2018 - 09:22

JOHANNESBURG (AP) — A passenger train carrying people home after the holidays slammed into a truck in rural South Africa on Thursday, killing at least 12 people and injuring more than 260 others, the government said.

Authorities blamed the truck driver for allegedly trying to cross the tracks just ahead of the oncoming train, part of which burst into flames after the collision and forced passengers to hurriedly drag their luggage from the smoking wreck to a nearby road.

"The truck driver was taking chances. He thought that he was going to pass through," Transport Minister Joe Maswanganyi told journalists. "Little did he know that the train was going to hit him. That has cost a lot of lives."

At least 12 people died and 268 were injured, four of them critically, said Maswanganyi. He indicated that the death toll could rise.

The train with 429 passengers aboard had been traveling from Port Elizabeth to the country's commercial hub, Johannesburg.

Video shows part of the Shosholoza Meyl train in flames after the collision that occurred between the communities of Hennenman and Kroonstad in Free State province. The crash derailed half a dozen carriages, and power lines were damaged. A large vehicle was upside down beside a train carriage that appeared to have partly crushed another, smaller vehicle.

The truck driver emerged unscathed from the accident and the train driver and his assistant suffered minor injuries, said Mthuthuzeli Swartz, acting CEO of South Africa's state-owned passenger rail agency.

Swartz told local media outlet eNCA that the truck towing two trailers was halfway across the track when it was hit by the train and dragged for 400 meters (1,300 feet).

"Human error" caused the accident, he said.

An investigation continued.

Categories: EMS

Yellow Ambulance Uses Binder Lift on 500lb Patient Wedged in Tub

JEMS - News - Wed, 01/03/2018 - 23:00
Daviess County, KY: The Situation: When Dinah Chapman of Yellow Ambulance responded to a call of a man stuck in a tub, she didn't realize just how stuck he was. When she and the rest of her crew arrived in the patient's bathroom, they found a 500-pound man wedged in the bottom of his Jacuzzi-style tub. "Not only was he naked, he was also wet," Chapman recalled. "We had plenty of hands on deck, but in that small bathroom, there wasn't enough room to get eight people around him." As the smallest responder on scene, Chapman was the one to balance on the side of the tub and maneuver around the patient. From her access point, and with the help of the responders on the other side of the tub, she was able to secure a Binder Lift around the patient." We put the Binder Lift on him and pulled him out of the tub," she said. "Once we got him onto the floor, we were able to get him up to his feet. It would have been problematic if we didn't have the Binder Lift".

The Binder Lift Difference: Dinah Chapman has been a first-responder for nearly 14 years. Before the Binder Lift, lift-assisting patients was a matter of well-placed sheets and good luck. “If somebody fell, you just put a sheet under them and pulled to the best of your ability.” Chapman said. “You grabbed whatever area you could get ahold of in whatever position you could get a grip and you just lifted.” With many easy-to-grab handles around the circumference, the Binder Lift replaces those old lifting techniques that are dangerous for both the responder and the patient with ergonomic lifting that is safe for the responder and comfortable for the patient. “The Binder Lift is a shoulder and back saver,” Chapman said. “It’s a godsend for EMS.”

About Company: The first Binder Lift was first created in 2012 by Dan Binder to prevent his wife’s back from getting injured while performing her duties as an EMT-I. Today, we still have the same core focus of providing a safer way to lift for all fire and EMS personnel. To learn more visit, or give us a call, we’d love to chat. 855-239-5438
Categories: EMS

Two-Time Olympian and Patient Champion Announces Collaboration with Air Medical Transport Provider Angel MedFlight

JEMS - News - Tue, 01/02/2018 - 23:00
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Six-time Olympic gold medalist, Amy Van Dyken-Rouen is announcing her 2018 collaboration with Angel MedFlight Worldwide Air Ambulance. As a patient advocate for spinal cord injuries (SCI), Van Dyken-Rouen is teaming up with the medical transport provider to share her positive message with healthcare providers, critical care patients, and their families. Since her spinal cord injury in 2014, Van Dyken-Rouen has emerged as a powerful champion for the patient community she calls "differently-abled".

Six-time Olympic gold medalist Amy Van Dyken-Rouen is collaborating with the Angel MedFlight team on patient advocacy initiatives. "I really believe my accident happened so that I can be an example of never giving up and always moving straight ahead," said Amy Van Dyken-Rouen. "I'm proud to help that message reach even further with Angel MedFlight because they are so special in what they do and how they do it. They didn't care that I was a six-time Olympic gold medalist, or that my husband had won two Super Bowl rings. Whoever you are, they're going to do whatever is right for you."

Angel MedFlight partners with hospitals and healthcare facilities to support critical care patients in reaching the life-changing care they need. The company transported Van Dyken-Rouen to Craig Hospital for her own rehabilitation in 2014, and is ready to support her ongoing efforts in patient advocacy.

"We understand the value of perseverance and patient advocacy, and we couldn't find a champion who embodies these qualities more than Amy Van Dyken-Rouen," said Andrew Bess, Angel MedFlight's Chief Operating Officer. "It's an honor for the Angel MedFlight team to collaborate with Amy to inspire healthcare professionals, patients, and their families and to share why every moment counts."

Angel MedFlight has made the two-time Olympian a centerpiece of their "Every Moment Counts" campaign. Videos released throughout the year will highlight some of Van Dyken-Rouen's most pivotal moments throughout her recovery and career.
Categories: EMS


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