By Laura French
SALT LAKE CITY — The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Office of EMS (NHTSA OEMS) and the National EMS Information System Technical Assistance Center (NEMSIS TAC) have launched an online reporting tool for EMS agencies to report their unmet needs during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The online form allows agencies to report needs related to personnel and PPE shortages, as well as other "stress" caused by the COVID-19 crisis and upcoming flu season, to state and federal EMS, public health and emergency management officials, according to NEMSIS.
State and federal officials will use the tool to assess the resource status of EMS agencies and contact agencies directly to determine if additional aid can be provided, a summary of the tool states.
The tool provides "a national voice" and "a guarantee that your local agency's resource status is understood by State and Federal EMS leadership and that your resource needs are being prioritized," according to NEMSIS.
Officials note that the reporting tool does not directly order supplies and does not replace normal supply ordering and reporting procedures. Data submitted will be provided in a weekly report to authorized partners including state EMS offices, the Department of Health and Human Services, FEMA regional managers and NHTSA's OEMS, but not released to the public, officials said.
An authorized representative from any local EMS agency, including career, volunteer, for-profit, fire-based and third party service agencies, can submit the reports, which will be submitted weekly to continually assess unmet needs.
Detailed information about how to use the tool can be found below: