medical examinerThe Office of the Medical Examiner has released a new report entitled Overdose Poisoning Deaths to Children in Virginia, 2009-2013. This report focuses on the 41 children aged 0 to 17 who lost their lives in Virginia between 2009 and 2013 due to ingesting a poisonous substance. A comprehensive review of the circumstances of these deaths was conducted to identify preventive strategies to protect the health and safety of Virginia’s children.

The Team concluded that the majority of these children’s deaths were preventable and offered recommendations for change in the following areas: legislation, education, primary prevention, parent and caretaker response, and child death investigation. The full report, along with the recommendations can be found on pages 6-10 of this report which is available at the Teams' Website.

oems vdhThe Virginia Office of EMS (OEMS) recently updated its policy regarding Patient Care Reports (PCR) and data submission requirements. The revised agency policy regarding the completion of a PCR for Virginia EMS agencies is effective July 1, 2017, and remains in effect until acted on by the OEMS. This policy applies to all categories of Virginia EMS agencies (911, non-emergency, ground, air, etc.)

Please review this updated policy at:">Patient Care Report Documentation and Data Submission. 

For more information or questions about this revised policy, please contact Regulation and Compliance Manager Michael Berg at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 804-888-9131.

townhallAs you are aware, the issue of hospital diversion has been an ongoing topic of discussion especially over the last few months.  Diversion presents unique challenges to EMS agencies and healthcare facilities, and this can cause both confusion and frustration by all parties.

The Southwest Virginia EMS Council has scheduled a Town Hall meeting on this issue on Monday, May 1, 2017.  The meeting will be held at the Washington County Government Building Board of Supervisors Meeting Room beginning at 7:00pm. We appreciate Washington County for hosting the meeting. The facility is located at 1 Government Center Place, Abingdon, VA, 24210.

The format of this meeting will include both an informational session and a discussion segment.  The format will allow all members of the EMS system to discuss the unique challenges that hospital diversion create and will hopefully lead to the identification of possible solutions. 

We are inviting EMS agency and hospital leaders, local government officials, operational medical directors and other physicians, and other response agencies (including the Medical Reserve Corp, the Far Southwest Hospital Preparedness Group, and the Virginia Department of Health).  Please mark your calendar to attend this worthwhile meeting.  We do plan to schedule other meetings in the other areas of our region.

The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) has created a website to provide the most up-to-date information related to the Zika Virus. The VDH, along with the Centers of Disease Control (CDC) are the best resources for information on this virus. The Southwest Virginia EMS Council is providing this information to assist EMS providers, agencies, and members of the public in staying educated about this disease.

Due to a shortage of the medication Promethazine (Phenergan), local hospital pharmacies have begun substituting Prochlorperazine (Compazine) for Phenergan in some areas. Our regional Medical-Nausea/Vomiting protocol has been revised by our regional medical directors to include the use of Prochlorperazine (Compazine) for the treatment of nausea/vomiting. That protocol is effective immediately. You may download the revised protocol pdf by clicking this link (260 KB)

The Fall 2017 Rescue Squad Assistance Fund (RSAF) Grant Cycle opened August 1, 2017 and will close on September 15, 2017 at 5:00pm. The RSAF Grant Program is a multi-million dollar grant program for Virginia non-profit EMS agencies and organizations which can be used to purchase EMS equipment and vehicles, computers, EMS management programs, courses/classes and projects benefiting the recruitment and retention of EMS providers.

To schedule an appointment for assistance with completing an RSAF application, please contact the council office at (276) 628-4151. Council staff members are available throughout the grant period to assist EMS and agencies with grant completion. Council staff members are also happy to review your grant application and make recommendations prior to submission to OEMS.

For more information on the Rescue Squad Assistance Fund (RSAF) and to access your E-Gift Portal, please see the following page on the Office of EMS website.  OEMS RSAF Grant Program. 

You may also contact:

Amanda Davis – Grant Manager
1041 Technology Park Drive
Glen Allen, VA 23059-4500

1-800-523-6019 (VA only)
804-888-9106 (phone)
804-371-3108 (fax)

The deadline for submitting your grant application, affirmation page and quote(s) to the Office of EMS is September 15, 2017 at 5 P.M.


New plan updates have been approved by the Southwest Virginia EMS Council Board of Directors. EMS Performance Improvment plans and documents were approved at the September 28, 2017, meeting of the Board of Directors. Regional EMS plans (including the MCI, Strategic EMS, Stroke Triage, and Trauma Triage plans) are reviewed and revised as needed annually. The most recent versions of these plans, along with our most recent annual report, are posted to our website and available for download.  To review or download plans, please click on this link.

The Offi pdf ce of Emergency Medical Services has issued clarification regarding the impact of New Ambulance Safety Standards on remounted ambulances. The guidance confirms that the new ambulance standard s also apply to remounted ambulances. The full article memorandum from Michael Berg, Manager of Regulation and Compliance, can be accessed here: pdf  Memo Remounts Final.

EMS 5K TurnoutThe Southwest Virginia EMS Council is proud to sponsor our annual EMS STRONG 5K Walk and Run.

The EMS Strong 5K is intended to raise awareness of emergency medical services and to honor the brave men and women who serve our communities. While the event is named after the EMS community, we recognize all of the heroes who serve our communities.  We invite participants and spectators to join us in honoring the entire public safety community by wearing red, white, and blue flashing lights. If you do not have flashing lights, don’t worry. We will have a variety of lights glow sticks available for purchase at the event starting at $2.00 each.

The EMS Stronk 5K raises money to support the region's EMS provider health and safety program which seeks to encourage our region's heroes to live a healthy lifestyle through proper nutrition and exercise. Each year the Southwest Virginia EMS Council awards a $500 grant and trophy to the EMS agency that has made the most progress in encouraging the health and wellness of their members.

The Second Annual EMS Strong 5K Walk and Run will take place on April 28th at 7:30 pm on the Virginia Creeper Trail in Abingdon, VA.

Participants must register by April 18th to be guaranteed a tee-shirt! The pre-registration fee is $25 (with a $5 discount for EMS providers). You can also register to compete in our team category (up to 4 members per team).

The event professionally timed and managed by We Run Events. Even if you are not able to run, please come out to support your local EMS providers. If you have any questions please contact Maggie King 276.628.4151 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


You can register online at or by mail (form attached). Same day registration will be available at the regular registration fee of $30 (with a $5 discount for EMS providers).

The event will support our regional EMS provider health and wellness program designed to keep our region's heroes safe and healthy so they can continue to serve our communities. The EMS STRONG 5K will be held Friday,April 28, beginning at 7:30 pm on the Virginia Creeper Trail in Abingdon, VA.