Violence is Never Okay

Violence is never okay. This month’s Health and Safety Bulletin focuses on preventing and responding to workplace violence. The National Institute for Occupational Health and Safety defines workplace violence as any violent act (including physical assaults and threats of assaults) directed toward persons on duty. Unfortunately, workplace violence is very common among EMS providers. A recent national survey of EMS providers conducted by the National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians found that 2 in 3 providers (67%) reported being physically assaulted and almost all (91%) providers reported being verbally assaulted at some point while practicing EMS. Violence should never be accepted as “part of the job.” Virginia Law dictates that any person who commits an assault or an assault and battery against an EMS provider may be charged with a Class 6 Felony.

Click here to check out this month’s Health and Safety Bulletin.

Click here to learn more how to report workplace violence.

Be The One To Save A Life

#BeThe1To save a life. In honor of September being National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, this month’s health and safety bulletin focuses on suicide prevention among first responders. Sadly, research shows that first responders are more likely to die by suicide than in the line of duty. Click here to check out this month’s health and safety bulletin to learn how you can be the one to save a first responder’s life.

Visit for additional first responder specific mental health resources.

You are not alone. If you are struggling, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. The Lifeline provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress, prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones, and best practices for professionals.

#BeThe1To is the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline’s message for National Suicide Prevention Month and beyond, spreading the word about actions we can all take to prevent suicide. Visit to learn more.

Response to Emergency Events in Virginia

With the current Atlantic Hurricane outlook and the potential that areas of the United States may be significantly impacted, the Virginia Office of EMS would like to post some reminders about disaster assistance.  As EMS providers, we understand that you want to help and that you may feel compelled to travel to areas impacted by a major disaster.  We request that you please do not respond to any impacted area that needs assistance, unless you have received a formal request.  Requests for assistance from impacted areas will be routed through the Virginia Emergency Operations Center.  Those requests pertaining to EMS will be assigned to the Office of EMS, Division of Emergency Operations where they will be filled as applicable and appropriate. Please visit, Response to Emergency Events in Virginia for additional information.

Remembering Bruce W. Edwards

It is with great sadness that we share the passing of Virginia EMS legend and trailblazer Bruce W. Edwards. Bruce was a leader and visionary in Virginia’s EMS System. He was the first person to serve in the EMS Representative position on the Virginia State Board of Health and also served as Chair of the State Board of Health. Additionally, he served two appointed terms on the Virginia State EMS Advisory Board, and also served on the state Medevac Committee, along with countless committees and boards at the local, state and national level. He worked as a coordinator for the Virginia Office of EMS under the Executive Department of the City of Virginia Beach. In 2017, Bruce was awarded the highest honor at the state level, the Governor’s EMS Award for Excellence in EMS for his immeasurable and remarkable accomplishments to Virginia’s EMS System.

We send our deepest condolences to his family and friends during this difficult time. He will be greatly missed, but forever remembered for his life-long dedication, support and contribution to Virginia’s EMS System.

UPDATE – Memorial Service Details

The family will receive friends on Friday, August 28, 2020 from 5:00 PM – 7:00 PM at H.D. Oliver Funeral Apts., Laskin Road Chapel. Class A uniforms are encouraged as Chief Edwards will be in his dress uniform.

A Mass of Christian Burial for Bruce and his daughter Patricia will be celebrated at Church of the Holy Family Saturday, August 29 at 11:00 AM. The service is private with a limited number of seats for EMS, however, the service will be live streamed at

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