EMS Vitals, December 2018, DHSS Newsletter

December 2018  

EMS Vitals Masthead Revised

Dear Alaska EMS Provider,

This month I would like to open by expressing gratitude to all of our state’s first responders who served the residents of our state selflessly in the hours and days after the earthquake on November 30th.  While fortunately there were no major injuries and no deaths as the result of this earthquake; there was a significant increase in demand for Fire and EMS services throughout the region as noted in this month’s data section below.  Your response and dedication to the people of Alaska while possibly not even knowing the status of your own home and family is recognized and deeply appreciated by the State EMS Office.

This month we have information on EMS Agenda 2050, a document that will guide the national EMS system for decades to come.  While Alaska will always have its own EMS system to serve the needs of our state, this document will provide a broad vision for continued improvement to EMS systems that better serve patients, communities and EMS professionals.   We also have information on the National Scope of Practice and NASEMSO model patient care guidelines, both of which were used as references to provide input to the Medical Directors Committee when working on Alaska’s Scope of Practice. 

The ACEMS Implementation Task Force has had its first two teleconferences.  Both teleconferences have been extremely productive. I look forward to working with such a motivated group of individuals who are passionate about the future of Alaska EMS, and moving forward together.

This month we again have a link to the Department of Health and Social Services Healthy Alaskans 2030 survey.  The Healthy Alaskans 2030 survey helps shape the next statewide health improvement plan by telling DHSS and ANTHC which health issues are most important to you.  Please take the time to take the survey and help shape our health improvement plan.

From everyone at the State EMS Office, have a happy and safe holiday season!


Todd McDowell, State EMS Office Manager

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EMS Agenda 2050

Twenty years ago the EMS Agenda for the Future was published.  In it leaders from across the EMS industry described the EMS system of the future as one of best practices that were data-driven and evidence-based.  Today as this vision becomes a reality a new EMS Agenda for the Future has been in the process of development over the past 2 years.  It was a collaborative effort among EMS stakeholders and the public to develop a new vision for EMS system advancement over the next 30 years. Once EMS Agenda 2050 is released it will mark the beginning of a new era in EMS, and a new vision to turn into reality.

2018 National EMS Scope of Practice Model

On December 18 at 10:00 AM (AST)/2:00PM (EST) the National Association of State EMS Officials (NASEMSO) will be offering a webinar on the new National Scope of Model.  This rollout will impact Alaska EMS through evidence-based best practices for improved patient care 

Click here for more information and to register for "The New National Scope of Practice and What it Means for You" webinar.

National Model EMS Clinical Guidelines

National Model EMS Clinical Guidelines

The National Model EMS Clinical Guidelines Project was first initiated by NASEMSO in 2012.  Two versions of the document have been produced the first in 2014 and the most recent version 2017. The guidelines were created as a resource to be used or adapted for use on a state, regional or local level to enhance prehospital patient care and are available to any entity who wishes to use them as a foundational document.  Please use the link below to find more information.

Calling all Pediatric Instructors!

The Alaska Office of EMS is developing a list of pediatric instructors to provide resources and support. If you are a pediatric instructor please email the Alaska EMS for Children Program.

Educational Opportunities, Save the Date!

Youth Mental Health First Aid

Multiple dates and location offerings.

Youth Mental Health First Aid USA is an 8 hour public education program which introduces participants to the unique risk factors and warning signs of mental health problems in adolescents. It builds understanding of the importance of early intervention and teaches individuals how to help an adolescent in crisis or experiencing a mental health challenge. Mental Health First Aid uses role-playing and simulations to demonstrate how to assess a mental health crisis; select interventions and provide initial help, and connect young people to professional, peer, social, and self-help care. Continuing Medical Education (CME) is offered for State of Alaska EMS/ Pre-hospital providers and Instructors who attend Mental Health First Aid education programs.

Please visit The Alaska Training Cooperative and search "ymhfa" for class dates and locations.


Interior Region EMS Symposium

March 27-30, 2019
Wedgewood Resort in Fairbanks, Alaska

Please visit the Interior Region EMS Council Symposium webpage for more information.


Southeast Region EMS Symposium

April 24-28, 2019
Sitka, Alaska

Please visit the Southeast Region EMS Council Symposium webpage for more information.


Interior Trauma Conference

May 17, 2019
8:00am- 5:00pm
Pikes Waterfront Lodge in Fairbanks, Alaska

One day trauma conference in the heart of Alaska. Whether you are an RN, PA, EMT, Paramedic, Health Aids or any other first responders, you will enjoy and benefit from this education opportunity.

For more information please visit the Alaska Interior Trauma Conference site here.

EMS for Children (EMSC) Program

Online Pediatric Medical Direction

The two Online Pediatric Medical Direction numbers listed below are additional resources provided to pre-hospital EMS providers who are concerned about their pediatric patient and would like to ask about treatments or destination options. Review your standing orders and consult your medical director before utilizing the on-call pediatric medical direction numbers and ask for a Pediatric Intensivist.

Alaska Native Medical Center

Providence Alaska Medical Center

Alaska Emergency Medical Services for Children Program Logo

For more information please contact Alaska EMSC at 907-465-5467 or email the Alaska EMSC Program.


15 Days!

Complete your renewal now

There is less than 15 days left to submit Ambulance Service, EMT 1, and ETT Instructor recertification applications. Please remember if you are needing more time to complete your renewal please file for extension by December 31st.  The fee for extension is $25. If you fail to apply for an extension and submit an application after December 31st a late fee of $50 will apply.


Please remember Ambulance Services must build their roster within the Certification Portal that includes all members and/or employees of the ambulance service.

  • ETTs, Nurses, Physicians, and/or other personnel will need to create an account and fill out the RN/ Paramedic/ Other application and be added to the service roster.
  • Administrative staff, Medical Director, and Pediatric Emergency Care Coordinators (PECC) will also be required to be indicated on the roster. Please contact EMS for Children for questions concerning PECC.


December 31- Ambulance Service and EMT 1 Recertification

March 31- EMT 2, EMT 3, and Instructor Recertification

Login to your account here to re-certify. 


Southcentral 7.0 Earthquake

On November 30th at 08:29, a magnitude 7.0 earthquake struck Southcentral Alaska, with the epicenter 8 miles north of Anchorage.   Fortunately there were no major building collapses, no major injuries and no deaths as the result of this earthquake; however, fire and EMS agencies throughout the region received numerous calls for assistance.   Below is a snapshot from the first 24 hours immediately after the quake provided by Anchorage Fire Department and Matanuska-Susitna Borough EMS.

Total Incident Responses

Anchorage Fire Department (AFD)- 414
Chugiak Volunteer Fire Department (VFD)- 19
Girdwood Fire Department (FD)- 3
Matanuska-Susitna Borough (MSB) EMS- 44

Incident Types and Numbers:
Anchorage Fire Department 

  • EMS - 94 
  • Structure Fires – 18
  • Structural Collapse – 2
  • Water Problems – 27 
  • Alarms (multiple types) – 44 
  • Gas Leaks/Gas Odors - 117 
  • Motor Vehicle Accidents - 6 
  • CO Alarms – 22

Chugiak Volunteer Fire Department

  • EMS – 6
  • Gas Leaks/Gas Odors – 6 
  • CO Alarms – 3 
  • Alarms (multiple types) – 3 
  • Smoke Odor – 1

Girdwood Fire Department

  • EMS – 2
  • Gas Leak/Gas Odor - 1

Patient Transport Destination Hospitals and Number of Patients:
Anchorage Fire Department

  • ANMC – 16
  • PAMC – 15
  • ARH – 8
  • 673d MG – 1
  • Total patient transports - 40

Top 5 Chief Complaints

  • Traumatic Injuries
  • Seizures
  • Chest Pain
  • Difficulty Breathing
  • Abdominal Pain

Matanuska-Susitna Borough EMS Report:
First 12 hours: 31 EMS calls

  • 16 patients transported to the hospital
    • 3 critically injured secondary to the event – 1 from a partial collapse, 1 with burns
    • 1 patient flown to Providence from Talkeetna (acute stroke)
  • 1 death, unrelated to the event (hospice patient)
  • 7 were treated / assessed, refused transport
  • 7 calls were cancelled prior to EMS arrival, or no patient was located at incident.

Second 12 hours: 13 EMS calls

  • 9 patients transported to the hospital
    • 1 critical (acute stroke)
  • 1 patient refused transport
  • 3 incidents had no patient

24 MSB EMS transports and 1 LifeMed medevac.  Five patients total were critical, only three related to the event.  No deaths were reported. MSB EMS as a system had a 50% increase in call volume for 24 hours, then returned to normal.


Alaska Uniform Response Online Reporting Access (AURORA) Elite

Alaska EMS Data Manager Contacts:

Brian Ritchie, State EMS Data Manager
Chaundell Piburn, Southeast Region EMS Council
Kimberlee Johnson, Interior Region EMS Council
Aaron Knowles, Southern Region EMS Council

Healthy Alaskans

The Alaska Department of Health and Social Services and the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium invite participation in a 10 minute survey on the state health improvement plan, Healthy Alaskans. The mission of Healthy Alaskans is to provide a framework and foster partnerships to optimize health for all Alaskans and their communities.  

"How can Alaskans improve their health?" Take the Healthy Alaskans survey here.

Please tell DHSS and ANTHC which health issues are most important to you by taking the Healthy Alaskans online survey. Your answers will help shape the next statewide health improvement plan, Healthy Alaskans 2030 (HA2030). HA2030 will contain the framework health partners across Alaska may follow over the next 10 years to improve the health of all Alaskans.

If you have any questions or comments please email healthyalaskans@alaska.gov.

Healthy Alaskans, Follow our progress toward healthy Alaskans in healthy communities.

Important Deadlines

Ambulance Service and EMT 1 Recertification

December 31


 EMT 2 and 3 and Instructor Recertification

March 31, 2019

Quick Facts

November 30th Earthquake
Total Incident Responses


EMS Earthquake Incident Response for AFD-414, CVFD-19, and GFD-3.

Upcoming Events

Alaska Council on EMS Meeting, Juneau

January 31- February 2, 2019


Interior Region EMS Council Symposium, Fairbanks

March 27-30, 2019


Southeast Region EMS Council Symposium, Sitka

April 24-28, 2019

Governor's EMS Awards, Nominate here.

For more information about the Governor's EMS Awards please visit Alaska EMS Awards.

Healthy Alaskans Survey

"How can Alaskans improve their health?" Take the Healthy Alaskans survey here.

How can Alaskans improve their health? Take the Healthy Alaskans survey today by clicking on the graphic above, or visiting HA2020.alaska.gov! Your answers will help Healthy Alaskans (DHSS and ANTHC) shape the next statewide health improvement plan, Healthy Alaskans 2030 (HA2030).

Online Pediatric Medical Direction

Pediatric Medical Direction Hotline Numbers for EMS Only

EMS Regions

Interior Region EMS

Maniilaq Association

North Slope Borough EMS

Norton Sound Health Corporation

Southeast Region EMS

Southern Region EMS Council

Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation

Contact Us

Office 465-3140

Certification 465-3029

Training 465-8508

Data 269-4990

EMS for Children 465-5467

Office Manager 465-8634