Emergency Medical Services Administrators' Association of California

Emergency Medical Services Administrators' Association of California

Valley Fire

The Valley Fire has now consumed over 75,000 acres and has destroyed over 1200 homes in mostly rural Lake and Napa counties. Region II's Disaster Medical Health Specialist Kelly Coleman has been busy sharing situation status reports and coordinating resource requests for shelter medical and mental health needs in the impacted area. Surrounding counties have responded generously with management, medical, mental health and other disaster support staff. A large shelter operation was initially opened at the Napa County Fairgrounds in Calistoga where a small "tent city" sprang up as fire evacuees began streaming in. Over last weekend, medical and health staff from Alameda, Contra Costa, Humboldt, Marin and San Francisco provided temporary relief for their exhausted Napa colleagues managing these operations.
Napa County is now demobilizing their shelter operations at the fairgrounds as Lake residents have begun to return home. New operations are standing up in Lake County for sheltering, medical services, and mental health support. Region II continues to provide mutual aid resources to support these new operations. Important lessons in interagency coordination, resource ordering, demobilization, and shared responsibilities are still being learned and will eventually be shared with public health and medical partners.
Legislation by state Sen. Jerry Hill, D-San Mateo and Santa Clara counties, to increase public and private access to automated external defibrillators (AEDs) in California, was signed on September 3rd by the Governor. AED’s are the most effective way to save heart attack victims. Senate Bill 658, which cleared the Senate last week on a 34-0 vote, streamlines state requirements that commercial building owners and public facilities need to follow to be immune from liability if they have AEDs on their property. The legislation takes effect Jan. 1, 2016.
Individuals, acting as good Samaritans, are already protected from liability if they cause harm while using the devices. But under current law, facilities like schools, office buildings, stadiums and shopping malls that have AEDs are only immune from liability if they meet onerous conditions, including costly training and medical oversight requirements. Current liability requirements are relics of the 1990s when AEDs did not have voice commands, pre-connected shock pads, long-lasting batteries, or voice-command CPR coaching.

New-generation AEDs are so user friendly that nearly anyone can successfully use them without training or practice. They even have a built-in computer that monitors the heart rhythm of the cardiac arrest victim to determine if a shock should be administered. SB 658 modernizes liability requirements with more basic safeguards such as battery checks, AED maintenance,  AED location notification for building tenants, posting of instructions next to the device, and an annual demonstration for building tenants.


At its meeting in San Diego on September 2, the State Commission on EMS approved regulations creating an appeal procedure for local EMS agencies whose EMS Plan has been disapproved or denied by the California EMS Authority. Under existing statute, the Commission may hear an appeal regarding negative action by EMSA on a local EMS Plan. These new regulations provide procedural steps for these appeals using the California Administrative Procedure Act. Several local EMS agencies have experienced recent denials of their EMS Plan by the Authority, and new procedure is expected to be utilized immediately.
Michael Petrie announced he has accepted a permanent role as EMS Director for Monterey County. He had been serving as Monterey's Interim EMS Director since late April. Previously, Mike also has served as EMS Director for Santa Clara County EMS and as EMS Administrator for San Francisco EMS so he is very experienced and knowledgeable. EMSAAC wishes our talented colleague the very best with his latest assignment.

HIEOn July 28, 2015, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, announced that California’s Emergency Medical Services Authority (EMSA) will receive a grant of $2.75 million over two years to advance health information exchange (HIE) statewide during a disaster and regionally in daily emergency medical services (EMS).

This project will establish connections between two community health information organizations (HIOs) or health systems via a secure web portal. When a disaster happens, the web portal will be activated so authorized healthcare professionals can access patient records from outside their own health systems through their existing electronic health record system or through a secure website. Eventually healthcare providers will be able to access electronic health records from all over the state whether they are treating patients in an unfamiliar hospital, an alternate care site or a mobile field hospital. For additional information, click on the article below:


Linda TripoliThe Hospital Association of Southern California has announced that Linda Tripoli will be retiring in September. Linda is a dear friend of EMSAAC and has been responsible for recruiting most of the outstanding exhibitors and sponsors each year who support our annual conference. In an official announcement, ReddiNet's Soraya Peters wrote, "For 17 years Linda has given her all to ReddiNet and to our customers by providing the support and training you have come to expect. For many of you Linda has been the face of ReddiNet. We will miss her hard work and dedication over the past years! Working with Linda has been an amazing experience and she will leave us all with a lot of great memories."

Norma Lopez will be taking over Linda's responsibilities for ReddiNet support and training. She will be working closely with Linda over the next two months to ensure a smooth transition. EMSAAC wishes Linda every happiness in her well-earned retirement!

Bystander with AEDTwo studies recently published suggest that survival rates for patients with out-of-hospital cardiac arrest were better for bystander CPR with an AED than for first responder EMS. One of the studies found that survival-to-discharge rates were best for patients who received bystander CPR and bystander defibrillation. This was followed by bystander CPR with first responder defibrillation. First responder CPR and defibrillation had the lowest survival rate in this study. A link to a summary article is shown below:


Alameda EMSAlameda County is re-designing it's EMS system. The ALS provider for much of the county, Paramedics Plus, has encountered serious challenges that have made the current system financially unsustainable. The County has hired Citygate Associates to help guide the system re-design and the development of an RFP based on the new model. A new provider will be selected following a competitive process and is expected to begin service delivery in November 2016.

Jackie LowtherJackie Lowther, MSN, MBA, has been named EMS Director for Santa Clara County EMS Agency. She joined Santa Clara Valley Medical Center in November 2010, and is currently the Director of Critical Care, Emergency Department and Perioperative Nursing. Her career spans 30 years and began in Texas, working as an Emergency Room technician, staff nurse, paramedic, paramedic trainer, and Intensive Care Unit nurse.

Prior to working at SCVMC, Ms. Lowther also served as an Emergency Department Director and Chief Nursing Officer. She has extensive leadership experience in operations management, emergency services, quality and performance improvement, staff development, and physician relations. She has worked for major academic medical centers and community hospitals, in both non-profit and for-profit healthcare systems. Ms. Lowther is also the current president of the Association of California Nurse Leaders, South Bay Chapter.

June IljanaThe California EMS Authority is pleased to announce that June Iljana has been selected to coordinate Health Information Exchange stakeholder engagement and outreach activities. June brings her extensive experience to this position with a strong knowledge of EMS stakeholders and an ability to communicate a shared vision about health information exchange for EMS.

June most recently served as the Executive Director of the California Ambulance Association, and previous to that as Deputy Director at EMSA. She has also worked at the California Health and Human Services Agency as Assistant Associate Secretary for External Affairs.

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