news in brief
The schedule for the regional EMS Agenda 2050 meetings is as follows: Silver Spring, Maryland, September 25, 2017; Minneapolis, Minnesota, November 7, 2017; Los Angeles, California, January 17, 2018; and Dallas, Texas, March 1, 2018. Preregistration, which is required, is at http://emsagenda2050.org/regional-public-meetings. Each meeting will be fully dedicated to collaborative visioning exercises and opportunities for attendees’ input relative to the future of EMS. Questions may be directed to .
HFSC’s FEMA grant to promote home sprinklers
The nonprofit Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition (HFSC) has been awarded a fiscal year 2016 Fire Prevention and Safety Grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for a multifaceted national education program promoting the installation of fire sprinkler systems in new homes. The HFSC will post updates and resources about the grant activities at homefiresprinkler.org; on Facebook at facebook.com/hfscorg; and on Twitter at .
NIH: Follow-up effective in suicide prevention
Interventions hospital emergency departments (ED) have been using to follow up on patients identified as suicide risks save lives and are also cost effective relative to usual care, according to a study led by researchers at the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), part of the National Institutes of Health.
The interventions, designed to prevent postemergency suicide attempts, include the following:
- Postcards, which are mailed to the at-risk patients by hospital staff each month for four months and then every other month, for a total of eight cards.
- Telephone calls made by hospital staff one to three months after discharge to offer support and encourage engagement in follow-up treatment.
- Connecting patients with a suicide-focused cognitive behavioral therapy program.
According to the NIMH release, none of these approaches are widely in use at the time.
Noting “a gradually rising suicide rate,” NIMH Director Joshua Gordon, M.D., Ph.D., explained: “These findings of cost-effectiveness add to the impetus for implementing these life-saving approaches. Importantly, they also make a strong case for expanding screening, which would allow us to reach many more of those at risk with life-saving interventions.” According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States, and EDs treat more than 500,000 people for self-harm injuries each year.
Each intervention was tested through randomized controlled trials and found to reduce patients’ suicide risk on the order of 30 to 50 percent. The full release is at
Free hazmat training available through ALERT grant
The International Association of Fire Chiefs, in partnership with six fire service organizations including the National Volunteer Fire Council, is providing free hazmat training for volunteer and remote emergency responders for incidents involving the transportation of crude oil, ethanol, and other flammable liquids by rail. Funding is through the Assistance for Local Emergency Response Training (ALERT) grant, awarded by the U.S. Department of Transportation and the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration.
Information on the training and resources available through the ALERT grant is at www.hazmatfc.org/ALERT. Registration is free; for information, visit
NFPA issues report on female firefighter injuries
Pattern of Fireground Injuries for Female Firefighters, recently released by the National Fire Protection Association, analyzes the injury patterns for female firefighters, establishing an information base that will provide guidance in decreasing risks and improving safety. Download the report at .