News & Announcements
For the first time ever, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has issued an EMS specific guideline for infection control practice. The guideline relates to dealing with suspected Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) patients. SARS is a respiratory illness that has recently been reported in Asia, North America, and Europe. The illness usually begins with a fever (>100.4 º F) and appears to be spread through droplet transmission; namely, when someone sick with SARS coughs or sneezes droplets into the air and someone else breathes them in. Cases of SARS continue to be reported primarily among people who have had direct close contact with an infected person and health care workers who did not use infection control procedures while caring for a SARS patient. There are specific steps EMS providers should take with all potentially infectious patients, especially with the appearance of SARS, even though in the United States, there is no indication of community transmission at this time. Specifics and up to the minute information is available on the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) SARS website at: http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/sars. Based on the CDC information, and in conjunction with other EMS groups, the NYS Dept. of Health Bureau of EMS issued an Important Advisory and Update (click here for the DOH Advisory) regarding SARS on April 18, 2003. All EMS providers should read this update. Saratoga County EMS and Public Health officials believe it is imperative that all EMS provider agencies implement two measures: (1) maintain a heightened alert for patients with fever and/or other signs of infectious disease (such as rash), immediately taking appropriate infection control precautions when encountering such patients. (2) equip all vehicles that respond to EMS calls with gloves, eye protection, isolation gowns (or suits), N-95 (or higher) respirator masks, and a means to immediately sanitize EMS provider’s hands in the field (such as a waterless hand sanitizer gel or wipes). A DOH recommendation on 911 caller screening for SARS has been carefully considered by Saratoga County EMS and Public Health officials in close consultation with colleagues in other Counties throughout New York as well as major 911 centers elsewhere in the US. At this time, Saratoga County has decided not to implement 911 caller screening for SARS.
Two updates for Saratoga County AHA CPR Instructors have been scheduled and one more will likely be announced shortly. All currently certified instructors should attend one of the following sessions:
- April 22 (Tues) – Stillwater Rescue Squad EMS Training Center 7-10 pm
- May 22 (Thurs) – Wilton EMS 7-10 pm
Attendees must pre-register by email to Kathy Barton at firstname.lastname@example.org. Purchase of a new Instructor Manual is also required prior to attending the update. Instructor Manuals are available for $25 (item # 70-2563) from any of the following vendors:
REMO will run an EMT-Intermediate course at Malta Ambulance Corps starting January 6, 2003 and concluding in April. The course will meet Monday and Wednesday evenings from 6 – 10 pm. Persons wishing to take this course must complete a 3 part entrance exam consisting of a written exam, oral exam, and complete practical skills exam. For further info, email Jim Bottillo at JimBottillo@hotmail.com or call REMO at 464-5097.
The EMS Council lowered the ambulance mutual aid “roll over” point from 12 minutes to 10 minutes, effective January 1, 2003.
The Saratoga County Mutual Aid Plan was updated in January 2003 (revising the September 1995 edition). Single copies were mailed to all EMS agencies by the Office of Emergency Services. Additional Copies may be downloaded by clicking on the Downloads button at the top of this page.