The Role of EMS in Local COVID-19 Responses
Recorded On: 04/15/2020
As the world tries to manage the evolving COVID-19 pandemic, local emergency medical services (EMS) agencies are literally on the front lines. These are unprecedented times for EMS agencies as they manage (and learn as they go) the clinical, operational, and workforce aspects of the pandemic’s impact.
The Center for Public Safety Management (CPSM) has evaluated hundreds of EMS systems across the country, and the members of the Academy of International Mobile Healthcare Integration (AIMHI) represent some of the highest performing EMS systems in North America. CPSM and AIMHI are teaming up to bring you insights into how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting EMS delivery, and some of the top challenges facing local EMS agencies as they try to meet this crisis head-on.
Topics discussed will include:
· The critical role of the EMS system’s clinical and operational leadership
· The shortage of essential medical supplies and personal protective equipment (PPE)
· Integration and communication with governmental leaders, healthcare systems, public health officials, and other stakeholders
· Potential strategies for effectively managing the most significant challenges
ICMA Practice Areas:  Service Delivery
Director, Center for Public Safety Management
Thomas Wieczorek is an expert in fire and emergency medical services operations. He has served as a police officer, fire chief, director of public safety and city manager and is former Executive Director of the Center for Public Safety Excellence (formerly the Commission on Fire Accreditation International, Inc.). He has taught several programs at Grand Valley State University, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), and Grand Rapids Junior College. He has testified frequently for the Michigan Municipal League before the legislature and in several courts as an expert in police and fire department management. He is the past-president of the Michigan Local Government Manager’s Association; served as the vice-chairperson of the Commission on Fire Officer Designation; and served as vice chairperson of the Commission on Fire Accreditation International.
He most recently worked with the National League of Cities and the Department of Homeland Security to create and deliver a program on emergency management for local officials titled, “Crisis Leadership for Local Government Officials.” It has been presented in 43 states and has been assigned a course number by the DHS. He represents ICMA on the NFPA 1710 and 1730 Standards Committees and is a board member on the International Accreditation Service, a wholly owned subsidiary of the International Code Council.
He received the Mark E. Keane “Award for Excellence” in 2000 from the ICMA, the Association’s highest award and was honored as City Manager of the Year (1999) and Person of the Year (2003) by the Rural Water Association of Michigan, and distinguished service by the Michigan Municipal League in 2005.
Chief Strategic Integration Officer, MedStar Mobile Healthcare
Matt Zavadsky is the Chief Strategic Integration Officer at MedStar Mobile Healthcare, the regional governmental EMS authority for Fort Worth and 14 other member cities in North Texas, a service area of 436 square miles with more than 1 million residents without any public subsidy. Matt is a also a senior associate with the Center for Public Safety Management, working with CPSM to provide recommendations to ICMA members to enhance and improve EMS delivery in their communities.
CEO, Richmond Ambulance Authority; President, Academy of International Mobile Healthcare Integration
Chip Decker is CEO of the Richmond Ambulance Authority in Virginia, and the President of the Academy of International Mobile Healthcare Integration (AIMHI), an association of high performance/high value agencies serving a combined population of 7.6 million people, a geography of over 27,000 square miles and responding to over 1.17 million ambulance calls.
Interim Medical Director
Veer Vithalani, MD, FACEP, FAEMS is the Interim Medical Director for the Office of the Medical Director of the Metropolitan Area EMS Authority, which provides Medical Direction & Oversight to the MedStar Mobile Healthcare System. He is also an Attending Emergency Physician & the EMS Director for the JPS Health Network. He is Board Certified in both Emergency & EMS Medicine, and is a Fellow of the American College of Emergency Physicians and the National Association of EMS Physicians.