Please see the document “Guidance for Emergency Medical Services Personnel to Receive COVID-19 Vaccination”.
We wanted to make sure this document got out as quickly as possible and recognize it will generate additional questions.
A Statewide EMS Leadership call will be scheduled the near future to further discuss the document and answer questions.
Thank you to all the NYS EMS agencies and your providers for truly going above and beyond in 2020!
We look forward to the EMS Providers becoming vaccinated against COVID-19 as part of Phase 1A of the Vaccination Distribution plan!
Ryan P. Greenberg
Bureau of Emergency Medical Services & Trauma Systems
New York State Department of Health
875 Central Avenue, Albany, New York 12206
Within the last 24 hours, despite national recommendations and previous planning considerations, NYS is NO LONGER including EMS personnel in Tier 1a (First Distribution) availability for COVID Vaccine. Given our unique work environment – operating in a confined space for extended periods of time with COVID patients – there are no words for my frustration.
Specifically “Following the vaccination of 'high risk' health care workers, the priority will shift to all long-term and congregate care residents and staff, EMS and other health care workers.” How EMS is not considered “High Risk” is beyond my comprehension. https://www.governor.ny.gov/news/governor-cuomo-updates-new-yorkers-states-vaccination-distribution-plan
Please consider communicating to elected officials, specifically the Governor and Commissioner of Health, as well as any other elected leaders at the state, County, and even federal level, that EMS must be included alongside our high risk hospital care providers else our already crumbling system will collapse.
Attached is a toolkit from the AAA and a draft letter that you may edit and communicate to elected officials. Email, call, smoke signal. Get the word out.
The need is now, this is moving fast, do not wait. Vaccine will be here in days and I fear we may have already missed the window to advocate for our own lives. Communicate to elected media, leverage media connections and use social media. The need is now although I fear too late as this rug was pulled out from under us.
Jeremy T. Cushman, MD, MS, EMT-P, FACEP, FAEMS
Associate Professor and Chief, Division of Prehospital Medicine
Departments of Emergency Medicine and Public Health Sciences, University of Rochester
Monroe County, City of Rochester, and Monroe-Livingston Regional EMS Medical Director
With the recent increase in COVID-19 cases in the county and region we have updated our PPE recommendations for EMS providers. We want to assure providers that this is not being done due to any exposure or incident with our providers. Our guidelines from the beginning have held up, kept our providers from getting infected, and are still inline with CDC recommendations.
That being said, out of an abundance of caution we are increasing some of our PPE recommendations due to the high community transmission rate we are seeing to further protect our providers. In recent discussions with many of you, it appears many agencies are already utilizing an approach similar to these changes. These are also similar to what our hospitals are employing.
Attached is the updated guidance. There are a few changes I would like to highlight.
Dr. Faulk & Dr. Walters
Brian M. Walters, D.O., FACEP, FAAEM
Chautauqua County Department of Health & Human Services
Chautauqua County Office of Emergency Services
Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Office