EMS Week 2022

Virginians rely on Emergency Medical Services (EMS) personnel to respond to the call for help and to provide quality prehospital care during their greatest time of need. National EMS Week is May 15 – 21, 2022. EMS for Children Day, May 18, focuses on the pediatric patient and the specialized care required when providing treatment to them.

EMS Week recognizes the dedication of 37,758 EMS providers and 564 agencies in Virginia. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Virginia’s Emergency Medical Services (EMS) providers have been challenged beyond measure and continue to provide emergency care with the utmost expertise and professionalism. Last year, EMS providers responded to more than 1.59 million calls for help in Virginia, which represents approximately 4,360 incidents per day.

Learn more: https://www.vdh.virginia.gov/emergency-medical-services/ems-week-2022/

National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week, April 10-16, 2022

April 11, 2022

Dear Public Safety Telecommunicator,

National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week is April 10-16, and it recognizes the public safety telecommunicators who serve their communities with dedication and professionalism. Emergency Communications Officers provide a vital element of public safety by answering 911 calls, dispatching the appropriate first responders and assisting the caller until help arrives. Their impressive skills, knowledge, patience and experience provide a lifeline to the public and to our EMS, Fire and Law Enforcement responders.

The events of the last few years have clearly shown how vital telecommunicators are in protecting and serving the public. Citizens in the past who may not have been aware, have come to realize that telecommunicators are in fact “The First, First Responders!”

On behalf of the Virginia Office of Emergency Medical Services, I would like to take this opportunity to recognize and express sincere gratitude to this special group of public safety telecommunicators who answer the call for help 24/7 throughout the Commonwealth.


Gary Brown, Director
Virginia Office of EMS

Defibrillator Pad Incompatibility

The National Association of State EMS Officials (NASEMSO) Pediatric Emergency Care (PEC) Council recently learned of several issues regarding automatic external defibrillator (AED) pad incompatibility, with multi-function defibrillator and AED pads not being used in accordance with manufacturer’s recommendations, particularly in pediatric applications.

To review NASEMSO’s memo in full, visit: https://nasemso.org/wp-content/uploads/Defibrillator-Pad-Incompatibility-Memo-2022-0125.pdf

Virginia to Outfit all Advanced Life Support level EMS Agencies in the Commonwealth with Nationally Renowned Handtevy System

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – January 5, 2022 (revised Jan. 25, 2021)
REVISED CONTENT: This press release has been revised to reflect updates to references regarding Virginia EMS agencies that will receive the Handtevy suite of lifesaving tools. Handtevy will be available to all Advanced Life Support (ALS) EMS agencies in Virginia.

Virginia to Outfit all Advanced Life Support Level EMS Agencies in the Commonwealth with Nationally Renowned Handtevy System
Handtevy is a leader in pediatric emergency technology and offers a suite of groundbreaking resuscitation tools and systems.

(Richmond, Va.) – After an extensive evaluation process, the Virginia Department of Health, Office of Emergency Medical Services (EMS) has chosen to offer the Handtevy suite of lifesaving tools to Advanced Life Support (ALS) level EMS agencies in the state. Handtevy is a national leader in pediatric emergency technology, and their partnership with the Virginia Office of EMS will provide the groundbreaking Handtevy resuscitation system to all EMS agencies in the Commonwealth.

“The Virginia Office of EMS is very excited to enter into this collaboration with Virginia’s Regional EMS Councils and Handtevy to bring this technology to the EMS system,” said Gary Brown, director, Virginia Office of EMS. “Giving pediatric patients the highest level of treatment and transport has always been a priority for our office, and this collaboration will serve to enhance that level of treatment now, and in the future.”

The Handtevy resuscitation system will empower Virginia ALS level EMS agencies to consistently deliver the highest quality emergency care to approximately 8.6 million residents. In order to get the most out of the system and the latest in lifesaving techniques, the rollout will be paired with Handtevy’s signature educational offerings, which include the highly acclaimed nationally accredited Handtevy Course that has received great feedback from municipal agencies that have already launched the system with positive results.

The company’s core technology solution, known as Handtevy Mobile, will also be deployed on cellular devices, including tablets and cellphones, putting crucial, lifesaving technology at the EMS team’s fingertips.

The combination of high impact education with an application that can be used in real-time and that integrates with the prehospital medical record is the breakthrough pioneered by the Handtevy team. EMS personnel and other frontline healthcare professionals in all 50 States use Handtevy Mobile to obtain accurate medication dosing for pediatric emergencies in seconds. These doses are customized around each department’s unique formulary and seamlessly crossover to the electronic health record to ensure timely and precise documentation.

Included with Handtevy Mobile is “CPR Assist,” an app feature that leads high-performance EMS teams through the highly regimented Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) bundle. By using the auditory and visual cues provided by the app, clinicians accurately maintain compression and ventilation rates, defibrillate as needed, and administer accurate medications and equipment, all while documenting the event in real time. It’s a unique feature that brings calm to the chaos of an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest for both children and adults.

In pediatric emergency situations, seconds count and leading EMS departments count on Handtevy to help them save lives. Virginia’s decision to utilize Handtevy across the Commonwealth as their go-to, frontline, lifesaving tool will undoubtedly lead to many additional lives saved each year.

Handtevy was founded by Dr. Peter Antevy, a nationally recognized expert in the field of pre-hospital pediatrics. His passion for solving this complex issue stemmed from a medication error he made early in his career that led him to drastically impact currently accepted practice. He is a Pediatric Emergency Medicine Physician at Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital and also serves as the EMS Medical Director for Davie Fire-Rescue, Coral Springs Fire Department, Southwest Ranches Fire Rescue and American Ambulance. Dr. Antevy is also the Associate Medical Director for Palm Beach County Fire Rescue and serves as the President of the Greater Broward EMS Medical Directors’ Association, an organization whose providers serve the 1.5 million residents of Broward County, Florida. For his efforts, Dr. Antevy was awarded the prestigious Raymond H. Alexander EMS Medical Director of the Year Award in 2014 and in 2018 he was named the National EMS Medical Director of the Year by the NAEMT. He also was honored as one of the 2015 Top Ten Innovators in EMS by JEMS. For more information on the Handtevy System visit www.handtevy.com.

Virginia EMS Symposium Safety Guidelines

October 4, 2021

Virginia EMS Symposium attendee,

We are so excited to be hosting our annual Virginia EMS Symposium this year after taking a year hiatus due to the pandemic. As we continue to prepare for this event, we would like to share a few safety guidelines that will be in place for all attendees to follow. Our goal is to host this event in the safest way possible by following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and state guidelines. Your adherence to the guidelines listed below is critical for the safety and success of this event.

  • Proof of vaccination status OR a negative COVID-19 test result is required to attend this event. Please be prepared to submit your COVID-19 vaccination card OR proof of a negative COVID-19 test that has been taken no more than ten (10) days before the start of this event date (Nov. 3, 2021.) This will be required for all registrants and vendors to attend. Anyone who is unable to provide this information will have their symposium registration cancelled. More information about how to submit this documentation will be forthcoming.

  • Masks are required to be worn by all event participants for the duration of this event. This includes all indoor spaces, classrooms, vendor hall, during special events and in any common areas, unless it is a designated eating area.

    Masks shall be worn properly, to completely cover the nose and mouth.If you do not have a mask, one will be provided to you at symposium registration check in on the third floor of the Marriott hotel. Hand sanitizer will also be provided at check in for your use.

    If you refuse to wear your mask you will be asked to leave and your symposium registration will be revoked.

  • All event attendees must maintain social distance when in the classroom, vendor hall, during special events and in common areas of the symposium event space, which includes all three hotels that are hosting this event (the Marriott, Hilton and Sheraton.)Gathering in groups is strictly prohibited. There will be designated areas that are set for social distancing where attendees can eat breakfast and snack items; but eating, gathering and socializing in undesignated areas will be strictly prohibited for the safety of our attendees.

    In designated eating areas, tables will be spaced out and seating will be limited. We will be working closely with the hotel facilities to ensure these safety measures are in place.

  • Classroom seating will be set up to accommodate social distancing and the exact number of attendees registered. Please do not attend any classes you have not signed up for.

    If you need assistance with your schedule, please visit the third floor registration desk in the Marriott hotel.

    Please do not move or add any chairs in the classrooms as they have been spaced to provide social distancing. Everyone must be seated in a chair and standing will be prohibited.

Any attendee who disregards these safety guidelines will be asked to leave and their symposium registration will be revoked.

Together, we can make this a safe and enjoyable educational experience for everyone. We thank you for your understanding and adherence to these guidelines.

For additional questions about these guidelines and the Virginia EMS Symposium, please email the Virginia Office of EMS at emstechasst@vdh.virginia.gov.


Gary Brown, Director
Virginia Office of EMS