Governor’s EMS Awards presented during EMS Week

Read the latest update from the Virginia Office of EMS regarding the presentation of the 2023 Governor’s EMS Awards during EMS Week at the Governor’s Mansion.

On Monday, May 20, Governor Glenn Youngkin recognized the Governor’s Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Award recipients from 2023 during a special EMS Week ceremony at the Governor’s Mansion. The Governor’s EMS Awards honor the outstanding contributions of individuals, agencies, community organizations and businesses that provide or help support emergency medical care in Virginia. These awards are the highest honor an EMS provider or organization can receive at the state level, and they are administered by the Virginia Department of Health’s (VDH) Office of Emergency Medical Services 

EMS Week 2024

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 19-25, 2024. EMS for Children Day, May 22, focuses on the pediatric patient and the specialized care required when providing treatment to them.

EMS Week recognizes the dedication of 38,721 EMS providers and 552 agencies in Virginia. Last year, EMS providers responded to more than 1.72 million calls for help in Virginia, which represents approximately 4,712 incidents per day.

Learn more about EMS Week in Virginia, at: EMS Week 2024 – Emergency Medical Services (

Drug Kit Regulations Reminder

April 19, 2024

The Virginia Department of Health’s Office of EMS (OEMS) is continuing to keep Agencies, Councils and EMS providers informed on the current conversation regarding the future of the hospital-based Drug Kit Exchange program in Virginia.

As we have shared in a previous memo on April 2, 2024, federal regulatory changes will require the existing Virginia EMS agency drug hospital kit exchange program to change as early as November 27, 2024. OEMS has been actively working to advocate for Virginia’s EMS providers and agencies throughout the current discussion on the state’s drug kit exchange program. Please see a new update from the Virginia Hospital & Healthcare Association (VHHA) and Virginia Society of Health-System Pharmacist (VSHP) on the EMS Drug Kit Transition Plan.

OEMS would like to remind all E­MS stakeholders that the draft amendments to the EMS-related drug kit exchange regulations is quickly approaching. A Virginia Board of Pharmacy (BoP) meeting is scheduled for May 2, 2024 when the Board will review the proposed draft emergency drug kit exchange regulations. As such, it is important that any comments to the draft emergency BoP regulations are submitted no later than close of business on April 29, 2024. Additionally, if your agency has any questions, please email the BoP at no later than April 29, 2024.

OEMS understands that the enforcement of the updated Federal regulation presents challenges for EMS agencies in the Commonwealth. OEMS strongly encourages EMS agencies to work with each other, their Regional EMS Councils, and healthcare coalitions, as well as reach out to OEMS for technical assistance. We will continue to work closely with the Regional EMS Councils to make sure everyone has the latest information and updates.

As more information becomes available, OEMS will post regular updates regarding the Virginia Drug Kit Exchange program, at:

EMD Accreditation

Emergency Medical Dispatch (EMD) Accreditation

Picture of OEMS PSAP Specialist Amber Moore presenting Emergency Communications Manager Crystal Barton and Emergency Communications Supervisor Ethan Whaley with their OEMS EMD Accreditation certificate for Farmville
Featured in photo from left to right: OEMS PSAP Specialist Amber Moore presents Emergency Communications Manager Crystal Barton and Emergency Communications Supervisor Ethan Whaley with their OEMS EMD Accreditation certificate for Farmville Emergency Communications Center.

The road to Emergency Medical Dispatch (EMD) implementation is an adventure. The Virginia Office of Emergency Medical Services (OEMS) has taken EMD implementation one step further with the EMD Accreditation program. This voluntary program was created to provide Public Safety Answering Points (PSAP), also known as 9-1-1 centers, the opportunity to exhibit to their community and stakeholders that they meet and exceed training and performance standards. Before a PSAP can apply for accreditation, they must meet the minimum guidelines. These guidelines include minimum staffing, training and Quality Assurance scores. Additionally, the PSAP must have EMS Physician oversight and commit to submitting an annual report to OEMS.

To begin the accreditation process, the PSAP must complete an application and provide the required Standard Operating Procedures/Guidelines and other reports and obtain a letter of endorsement from their EMS Physician. As of April 2024, there are 28 PSAPs that are OEMS EMD Accredited in the Commonwealth.

On January 10, 2024, Amber Moore and Kari Magner, staff members of the Division of Emergency Operations, traveled to Farmville, Virginia for a Town Council meeting. Farmville Emergency Communications Center (ECC) recently became accredited in November 2023. This meeting provided Amber the opportunity to share directly with council members information on EMD, training, implementation and the accreditation process.

Providing EMD services in the PSAP allows for trained call-takers to obtain pertinent information, prioritize resources and their response level, and give pre-arrival instructions when appropriate. These key abilities are critical when callers face life threatening illness or injury. The Farmville Town Council members were elated to hear that their PSAP had taken the necessary steps to maintain their EMD program and qualified for OEMS EMD Accreditation.

Emergency Communications Manager Crystal Barton and Emergency Communications Supervisor Ethan Whaley were presented with the OEMS EMD Accreditation certificate for their agency. OEMS was happy to share in the recognition of their dedication and commitment to serving their community.

For more information about the OEMS EMD Accreditation program, click here or reach out to Amber Moore, PSAP specialist at: or 804-888-9126.

2024 Tidewater Healthcare Expo, May 14 – 19, 2024

2024 Tidewater Healthcare Expo
May 14th – 19th 2024
Chesapeake, VA

The 2024 Tidewater Healthcare Expo serves the ever-expanding mobile healthcare professional community by providing an unparalleled conference experience comprised of education, networking, and interactive engagement. 

  • Earn Continuing Education Credits
  • Network and Meet 200+ Healthcare Professionals
  • National Attendance Speakers and Visitors From All Over
  • Group Discount for Hotel Rooms
  • Awards and Evening Social 

Whether you are looking for hands-on training, the inspiration to elevate your job to the next level, CE credits, or networking opportunities, this educational event has it all! The Tidewater Healthcare Expo is an established training conference where professionals from all sectors gather together to support and learn from each other. It will be jam-packed with exhibitors, educators and authentic practical experiences.