gen covid iconCOVID-19 Guidelines and Resources

The Southwest Virginia EMS Council has created this page to provide information related to the COVID-19 crisis to our regional EMS agencies and providers.  We have just released guidance for EMS agencies as you respond in your communities to possible and confirmed COVID-19 cases.  It is essential for EMS agencies and providers to be diligent in addressing patient care during this public health emergency.  Understanding proper techniques for limiting exposure and spread of disease is vital.  Resources linked below contain the latest available information.  Refer to these sites frequently.  Review guidelines for proper use of PPE, and pay attention to urgent communications being sent by various stakeholders.  To assist our agencies and providers, new protocols and guidelines have been approved by the regional Medical Direction Committee for immediate implementation.  Please discuss these with your operational medical direction.  These are available on our mobile app and attached here:



The following information relates to the transport of COVID-19 patients and the appropriate processes for intake at the ED’s. It is the goal that appropriate patients will be cared for at their local health departments, or at home.  Many measures have been put into place across the region to assist with this.

Please work with your respective dispatch centers to ensure the screening questions suggested by the CDC are being asked.

emt logoThe Southwest Virginia EMS Council will be offering an EMT course starting January 25, 2020.  The course will be held at the council office in Bristol, VA, and is open to anyone interested in taking the course.  Space is limited, so registration is required.  If you have any further questions please feel free to email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or contact our office 276-628-4151.  The course is scheduled to finish in May 2020.

The course schedule and application can be accessed by clicking the "Read More" link below.

cdc nCoVOn March 10, 2020, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) provided updated guidance for EMS agencies and Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs) for COVID-19 in the United States. Major changes are outlined below, but please refer to the complete guidance document to assist with COVID-19 planning activities.

ballad logoThe Southwest Virginia EMS Council has been made aware of upcoming changes to Trauma activation criteria that will likely impact our region's EMS agencies.  As such, we want to ensure that EMS agencies and providers are aware of these changes.

Effective August 1st, Ballad Health will implement a standardized set of trauma activation criteria for the three Ballad Health trauma centers (Johnson City Medical Center, Holston Valley Medical Center and Bristol Regional Medical Center). One set of standardized activation criteria will allow trauma centers and EMS partners to have common terminology and activation standards, for both the adult and pediatric patient population.

These standards were adapted from the American College of Surgeons, Committee on Trauma, Resources for Optimal Care of the Injured Patient trauma activation criteria document. In addition, these standards were approved by the Ballad Health Trauma Medical Directors, and further vetted through a pilot group of regional EMS Directors.

Please find attached the document containing our standardized activation criteria. As you review these criteria please note:

· We are providing these for your knowledge of our internal terminology, and standardization, for trauma activations, not for additional decision making by our pre-hospital partners, as your processes will not change.
· When our EMS partners radio report on their trauma patients they can request a “trauma alert” and our Communications Center will activate the appropriate internal activation.

Contact Anita Perry, Corporate Director of Trauma Services and EMS Liaison, by phone or email to schedule any needed training sessions with your agencies or for any questions you have concerning these criteria.

The Spring 2020 Rescue Squad Assistance Fund (RSAF) Grant Cycle is now open.  The grant cycle and will close on March 16, 2020, at 5:00 pm. The period of performance for RSAF is 12 months, beginning July 01, 2020.  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.

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