New Appointees to NEMSAC Prepare to Continue Council's Work

Register to attend the next NEMSAC meeting

New and returning members of the National EMS Advisory Council will meet in Washington, DC on July 30 and 31. Sign up to attend the meeting here.

At the meeting, NEMSAC members will hear updates from federal agencies on the latest EMS initiatives and will discuss the most pressing issues facing the EMS community today by setting their agenda for the next two years.

In May, Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx appointed 25 EMS experts to the National EMS Advisory Council (NEMSAC), a group authorized by Congress to advise the Department of Transportation, including NHTSA's Office of EMS, and other offices in the federal government on EMS issues.

The new NEMSAC members will be joined by several returning members, which will help the group seamlessly continue the work of the previous Council when it meets for the first time this summer. To see the announcement of the appointments and a full list of the members of NEMSAC, click here.

Since its first meeting in 2007, NEMSAC has been invaluable to both the DOT and FICEMS. The Council’s recommendations have helped shape the FICEMS strategic plan and led to the implementation of several major initiatives. “We have been extremely fortunate with the caliber of NEMSAC members over the years and these appointees are no exception,” said Drew Dawson, Director of the Office of EMS at NHTSA.

One example of this is the 2013 NEMSAC recommendation that the Federal agencies engaged in EMS support efforts for state and local agencies to better utilize data to measure performance and guide quality improvement efforts. Those recommendations, together with the FICEMS strategic plan, influenced the creation of EMS Compass, a NHTSA-funded initiative, managed by the National Association of State EMS Officials, to develop a system of performance measurement for EMS.

NEMSAC members also learn more about current efforts related to EMS at the federal level. At the Council’s last meeting, NHTSA Administrator Mark Rosekind addressed the group regarding its recent recommendation on improving emergency vehicle operator training and addressing provider fatigue.

At the same meeting, Mary Lou Leary of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy briefed Council members on federal efforts to expand the use of naloxone in order to stem the increase in opioid abuse deaths nationwide.

Leary discussed the deployment of naloxone to law enforcement agencies but also emphasized that EMS is a “critically important component in addressing opioid abuse.” Specifically, she noted that EMS providers often encounter opioid abusers as they transition from the emergency department to outpatient treatment. NEMSAC members discussed the possibility of updating the National EMS Scope of Practice Model to include naloxone administration at the BLS level but also raised concerns regarding its administration by non-medical providers. The NEMSAC is expected to deliberate the issue and make recommendations to the government this year.