CHEMM offers nerve agent resources
First responders and health care workers can access resources that can help protect them from Novichoks or A-series fourth-generation nerve agents. These documents can be downloaded from the Chemical Hazards Emergency Medical Management (CHEMM) Web site ( They include the following: Safety Awareness for First On-Scene Responders Bulletin, which summarizes the symptoms of exposure, protective actions, and decontamination procedures; a Reference Guide with detailed information for hazmat response teams; and Medical Management Guidelines, which contains information that prepares fire, emergency medical services (EMS), and hospital staff for these incidents and for the medical management of patients.
A federal interagency working group of experts in medicine, science, public health, law enforcement, fire, EMS, hazmat, and occupational safety and health from the Department of Defense, Department of Health and Human Services (Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health), Department of Transportation (Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Office of EMS), Department of Homeland Security, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and Environmental Protection Agency developed these resources in response to incidents in the United Kingdom in 2018 that involved a fourth-generation agent. The resources will be updated as new information becomes available.
EMS Agenda 2050 released
The Office of EMS (emergency medical services) at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and its federal partners recently released EMS Agenda 2050: A People-Centered Vision for the Future of Emergency Medical Services), which proposes a vision that integrates evidence-based, data-driven EMS with the overall nation’s health care system.(
The guiding principles for the future EMS system are the following: It should be inherently safe and effective, integrated and seamless, socially equitable, reliable and prepared, sustainable and efficient, and adaptable and innovative.
“Our first responders, paramedics and other EMS clinicians are key to the nation’s health and safety, whether responding to everyday medical problems, vehicle crashes, or major incidents and natural disasters,” says NHTSA Deputy Administrator Heidi King. “As a former EMT and 911 telecommunicator, I look forward to seeing the EMS community work together to achieve the bold and visionary agenda it identified for the future.”
Sen. Tom Carper chair, Rep. Mike Bost co-chair of CFSC
Bill Webb, executive director of the Congressional Fire Services Institute, has announced that Sen. Tom Carper of Delaware will serve as the chair of the Congressional Fire Services Caucus for the 116th Congress and Rep. Mike Bost of Illinois will be the co-chair.
Carper was elected to the Senate in 2001; he previously served five terms in the House of Representatives and two terms as governor. Carper has been a tireless advocate for the nation’s fire and emergency services, notes Webb.
Bost, serving his third term in the House of Representatives, was a firefighter for the Murphysboro (IL) Fire Department. He graduated from the University of Illinois’ Certified Firefighter II Academy in 1993 and served there during his six terms as state representative. Bost was a member of the United States Marine Corps from 1979 to 1982.
The other members of the Caucus are Congressmen Steny Hoyer (MD-5), Peter King (NY-3), and Bill Pascrell Jr. (NJ-9) and Senators Susan Collins (ME), Jon Tester (MT), and Lisa Murkowski (AK). A list of current members of the Caucus is at /.
House law focuses on fuel container safety
On January 28, Congressmen Mike Thompson (CA-5) and David Joyce (OH-14) introduced , which directs the Consumer Product Safety Commission to adopt a standard that requires flame-mitigation devices be added to consumer-grade portable fuel containers, according to a release from the Congressional Fire Services Institute. The legislation was referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce.
Cardiac arrest survival, AEDs, advocacy
In the February 13, 2019, edition of the Occupational Health & Safety e-news, Richard A. Lazar noted that sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) is the third leading cause of death in the United States and that fewer than six percent of SCA victims survive even though 30 years of effort have been expended to combat this fact. Even though it is widely known that cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and the use of an automatic external defibrillator (AED) soon after SCA occurs are the keys to saving more lives, “only one in four people who experience SCA get bystander CPR, and fewer than four in 100 benefit from bystander use of an AED,” Lazar writes.
He attributes this lack of progress to the “scarcity of these life-saving devices (AEDs) in public places throughout the country.” He explains: “Because of an AED shortage in the United States, most SCA victims experience their life-or-death emergency where no AED can be found.”
The solution, he says, is to “have a clearer understanding of the magnitude of the problem and then concerted public policy action by policymakers, thought leaders, national advocacy organizations, SCA survivors, victims’ families, and others who care to effect positive change.”
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