Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information for EMS Agencies and Responders
NOTICE: THIS IS A RAPIDLY EVOLVING SITUATION
THIS GUIDANCE CURRENT AS OF 3/21/20 1400hrs
We encourage the following in conjunction with the policies and guidance below:
- Speak with your primary PSAP about caller screening, risk notification to EMS crews, and dispatching only appropriate units.
- NOTE: 60 Control is providing caller screening and will relay pertinent information to responding units.
- Ensure unit availability and staff units with the minimum number of crew members required to provide care and transport.
- Screen members for symptoms or fever prior to shift and before leaving.
- The normal day-to-day First Response matrix should be discouraged. Law Enforcement, Fire and additional EMS agency first response support should be dispatched only when deemed necessary by the PSAP or the on-scene EMS crew.
- Train members on the proper use PPE to protect the crews and reduce the burn rate of equipment due to limited supplies. Follow the CDC and NYS guidance below.
- It is recommended to avoid transporting passengers in the ambulance. Hospitals have implemented a no visitor policy including family. For pediatric patients, OB, end of life, and special needs patients, one parent or a caregiver may be permitted following thorough screening at the hospital. If a passenger must accompany a patient they should travel in the back of the ambulance, reducing the risk of contamination to the cab.
- Minimize airway and aerosol treatment. Only perform these treatments with the back doors open, or with the ventilation fan on if moving. Follow NYS guidance below regarding breath actuated nebulizers and metered dose inhalers.
Guidance from the State and Federal Government has been changing as this situation evolves, please stay current using the below resources:
New York State Department of Health Bureau of EMS Policies:
New York State Department of Health (DOH), 2019 Novel Coronavirus:
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 2019 Novel Coronavirus:
World Health Organization:
Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA):
Sample respiratory protection plan available starting on page #101
NOTE: This information should be considered for the development of response plans and is not intended to supersede any infectious disease response plan that has been developed and approved by local, State or Federal authorities legally charged to do so. This guidance does not constitute a response protocol but serves as a reference for general considerations and the protection of responders.