General News

Swine Flu Outbreak PSAP & EMS / Fire Guidelines Updated

PA Department of Health has adopted the interim CDC guidelines for PSAP centers and EMS/Fire providers.

Click Here for More Information

Smile & Sign Here

Photo Id's & Signatures can now be imprinted onto PA Department of Health Id Cards. Beginning September 15, 2008, EMS personnel can come to the EMMCO West Office between 8 - 4:30 PM Mon - Friday to have their photo id and signatures imprinted onto a new certification card. No appointment is necessary. EMMCO West will have the photo id and signature processing at different regional events. Personnel will need a copy of their EMS certification, current CPR, and a form of other photo id (drivers license, passport, school id, work id).

All EMS Organizations & Personnel

FROM: Bureau of Emergency Medical Services, PA Department of Health

The Bureau of Emergency Medical Services is pleased to announce that the Department has centralized registration for the Pennsylvania Department of Health’s Learning Management System (LMS) effective immediately.

If someone needs to register for the LMS, please guide them to the following web link and follow the instructions for registration by clicking on the link for Emergency Medical Services (EMS).

The LMS is an Internet-based system for educational programs and information sharing. The purpose is to allow persons to complete education and share information in the convenience of their home or workplace. Authorized individuals have unlimited access to the LMS and the content supplied on the LMS from any location that has Internet access by providing their assigned UserID and Password.

Once registered, the user will receive a user name and password by email and they may log onto the site at to begin taking education courses.

Please contact the Bureau of EMS at (717) 787-8740 with any questions or concerns.

Posted: 12/15/2006

Patient Care Reports and Medical Command

TO: ALS, BLS and QRS services
RE: Patient Care Reports and Medical Command
FROM: Christopher J. Heile
DATE: November 7, 2006

Effective January 1, 2007, EMMCO West will be implementing some QI initiatives to help:

  1. Ensure that Medical Command Physicians are filling out medical command forms for all case where medical command is sought
  2. Monitor the flow of trauma patients for consistency with the trauma destination protocol

It is essential that several portions of the PCR be completed appropriately. If they are, that should cover most of the service’s part of the QI process.

We need to make sure that the medical command section of the PCR is filled out consistently. This is the only mechanism we have to verify that Medical Command Forms are being completed by physicians. EMMCO West is going to verify that the number of medical command forms completed by the hospitals match the number of times medical command is marked on the PCRs.

Here are some general guidelines for filling out the form, followed by some examples: General guidelines

  • If you perform skills within the ALS scope of practice, and do not specifically speak with medical command, mark Protocol
  • If you contact medical command for any reason, whether ALS or BLS, mark Cell, Radio or Phone.
  • BLS calls and BLS crews will almost always mark None Required.
  • If the ALS crew gets on board a BLS ambulance, the ALS crew should mark the medical command section and the BLS crew should leave their medical command section blank unless they specifically called medical command prior to ALS arrival.

Here are the different scenarios we have in the field:

  • An ALS ambulance responds, the paramedic does an assessment and transports the patient BLS. None required
  • A BLS ambulance is dispatched for a low acuity call and transports the patient BLS. None Required
  • A BLS ambulance responds to an emergency and calls medical command for a refusal or after patient assisted medication. Cell, Radio, or Phone Mark Protocol if you are unable to reach medical command for any reason following the procedure or medication.
  • An ALS ambulance responds, the ALS crew does an assessment and starts an IV, monitors the cardiac rhythm, give one round of medication x, and do not have to contact medical command because the patient is stable and/or the ambulance arrives at the hospital. Protocol
  • An ALS ambulance responds, the ALS crew does an assessment and starts an IV, monitors the cardiac rhythm. The ALS crew reaches the medical command line in the flow sheet and call medical command to give medication x. Cell, Radio, or Phone
  • An ALS ambulance responds, the ALS crew does an assessment and starts an IV, monitors the cardiac rhythm. The ALS crew reaches the medical command line in the protocol, cannot reach command via radio or cell because of location and give an appropriate medication that is listed in the flowsheet but is under the medical command line. Protocol
  • An ALS ambulance responds, does an assessment, starts an IV, and monitors the cardiac rhythm. The ALS provider reaches the medical command line in the protocol and says “I can’t believe I have to call command for this. I’m going to give this medication without contacting medical command.” . None (and a violation of the Act and Regulations)
  • A BLS ambulance is on scene. The ALS crew arrives and the paramedic calls medical command and releases care to the BLS crew. The BLS Crew marks None Required the ALS crew marks Cell, radio, or phone

Notes: If you are a BLS service in a county that has separate "ALS and BLS patches", and you are requesting medical command, request an ALS patch. The Command Facility ID should only be marked if you are marking Cell, Radio, or Phone. When functioning under protocol, leave the section blank because we have medical command authorization from a physician, not a facility.

Communications difficulty is a field in some software programs that is not captured by the state dataset. You may continue to use this field as long as some other field is filled out in accordance with the above guidelines.

The second project involves the designation of trauma patients. EMMCO West is going to use the research code to classify the trauma patients. Please mark the research code as follows:

0001 – Category 1 trauma patient
0002 – Category 2 trauma patient
0003 – Category 3 trauma patient
0004 – Patient that is extremely and critically ill or injured and requires transport to the closest receiving facility due to TRAUMA
0005 – Patient who is DOA due to TRAUMA

I have contacted the software vendors and this should not be a difficult transition:

QuickTrip for the Internet users will find the field available in the application shortly. QuickTrip users can replace a file called research.txt with an updated file. I can e-mail the file to services. It needs copied into the folder where QuickTrip is installed (generally quickt99). The values will then be available in the program. RAM Software users may enter the value into the software (0002 for example)Med-Media will be making this available for their users. EMS Charts may have this available before you receive this letter.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact me. QuickTrip users can e-mail me at to get the replacement research.txt file.

Posted: 11/9/2006

BLS Protocol Implementation

To: EMMCO West EMS Agencies & EMMCO West Medical Command Facilities
From: William D. McClincy, Executive Director
Date: October 31, 2006

Tomorrow, November 1, 2006 is the statewide implementation date for the revised statewide BLS Protocols. Over the last month, EMS personnel have received numerous correspondences from EMMCO West regarding the implementation of these protocols. Five BLS rollout sessions have been conducted throughout the region.

EMMCO West has received notification from the PA Department of Health regarding the implementation of the AED portion of the protocol. There has been a delay in reprogramming AEDs across the state. So the implementation of ONLY the AED portion of the Cardiac Arrest protocol has been delayed until February 1, 2007. AED services should continue to use their existing AEDs until they receive upgraded software. Once an AED service has received its upgraded software, they are to begin following the entirety of the Cardiac Arrest protocol. Begin to follow the revised CPR standards in the protocol immediately. If your AED is already at the current standard, implement the protocol in its entirety.


A reminder to ambulance services located within the 45 minute ground transport time area from an accredited trauma center. Beginning November 1, 2006, EMS services are to transport Category 1 and some Category 2* trauma patients directly to Hamot Trauma Center, Erie or St. Elizabeth’s Trauma Center, Youngstown, OH. Severely critical patients (no airway, uncontrolled bleeding) or Category 3 trauma patients (minor trauma) should be taken to the closest hospital regardless if they are an accredited trauma center.

*Medical Command is required with the transport decision for all Category 2 trauma patient, especially if the transport decision bypasses other hospitals. Medical command can also be consulted as whether or not to use air ambulance transport.

Contact EMMCO West if your EMS service needs additional information or assistance with the implementation of these BLS protocols.

Posted: 10/31/2006

National EMS Scope of Practice (version #2)

Several months ago, many of you reviewed and provided comments regarding the National EMS Scope of Practice document. Please go to the link provided and review version #2. Again, your input is vital to this effort. Future training curricula and the manner in which we treat prehospital situations will be based from this document. Take the time to review this initiative. Contact our office if you have questions about this "National" initiative.

We also will appreciate being copied on any response you may have, so we can know what your thoughts are on this initiative.

William D. McClincy, MS HSA, EMT-P
Executive Director
EMMCO West, Inc.

Posted: 10/2/2006

Page 19 of 19