Provider Health & Safety Resources

The Virginia Office of EMS thanks you for being on the front lines in helping to serve our communities. Your service as an EMS provider matters, and you truly are making a difference in helping to save lives. Below are some helpful resources about provider health and safety. We will be updating this page regularly as more resources become available.

Special EMS Safety Topics

Infectious Diseases Prevention and Control

  • Vaccination Recommendations: Check out the Virginia Department of Health's vaccination recommendations and requirements for healthcare workers.
  • EMS Infectious Disease Playbook: This document unifies multiple sources of information in a single planning document addressing the full spectrum of infectious agents to create a concise reference resource for EMS agencies developing their service policies.
  • Guide to Infection Prevention in EMS: This guide is intended to assist and guide EMS agencies in providing a safe workplace through effective infection prevention programs adapted to the needs of EMS system responders.
  • Covid-19 Resources: Check out the Office of EMS's COVID-19 page to find the latest health and safety information for EMS providers.
  • EMS Pandemic Influenza Guidelines for Statewide Adoption: This document provides broad-based Pandemic Influenza Guidelines for consideration by State and local emergency medical services agencies.
  • EMS Considerations for Monkeypox: Identify, Isolate, and Inform | NETEC: The CDC is conducting contact tracing of the monkeypox case and local public health departments have been notified, and it is unlikely that EMS clinicians will be exposed to the monkeypox virus is low. However, reviewing information about the disease may still be helpful.
  • CDC Information about Monkeypox: General information about Monkeypox.
  • NFORS Exposure Tracking App: With the new National Fire Operations Reporting System (NFORS) exposure tracking any fire fighter, paramedic or officer can access and use the exposure tracker which serves as a personal database providing a detailed history of work exposures and critical/traumatic incidents in a private, encrypted and secure online environment.

Ebola Resources

  • VDH Ebola – Information for Healthcare Professionals
  • VDH Ebola (Ebola virus disease) Fact Sheet
  • VDH Ebola Info Website
  • NIOSH Info about Ebola for Healthcare Workers
  • CDC General Info about Ebola: Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) is a rare and deadly disease in people and nonhuman primates. The viruses that cause EVD are located mainly in sub-Saharan Africa. People can get EVD through direct contact with an infected animal (bat or nonhuman primate) or a sick or dead person infected with Ebola virus. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the Ebola vaccine rVSV-ZEBOV (tradename “Ervebo”) for the prevention of EVD. The rVSV-ZEBOV vaccine has been found to be safe and protective against only the Zaire ebolavirus species of ebolavirus.
  • CDC Interim Guidance for Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Systems and 9-1-1 Emergency Communications Centers/Public Safety Answering Points (ECC/PSAPs) for Management of Patients Under Investigation (PUIs) for Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) in the United States: Employers and supervisors should use this information to understand and explain to staff how to respond and stay safe. Supervisors can use this information to prepare, educate, and train EMS personnel. Individuals can use this information to stay safe when responding to PUIs.
  • Transporting Suspected / Confirmed Ebola Patients: of Suspected or Confirmed Patients with Ebola Virus Disease in the United States: State EMS officials and regional and state EMS planners can use this information to develop regional transport networks, local transport plans, and standard operating procedures. Managers and medical directors can use this guidance to develop procedures and protocols for their services to conduct interfacility transport (including intrastate or interstate) of PUIs and patients with confirmed Ebola. They may also use the information to prepare, educate, and train EMS personnel. Individual providers may use this information to stay safe when responding to and transporting PUIs or patients confirmed to have Ebola.
  • Guidance on Air Medical Transport for Patients with Ebola Virus Disease (EVD): Use this guidance to ensure the safety of healthcare personnel and patients during AMT of patients with EVD. Explain to pilots, other aircraft personnel, and cleaning crews what special actions should occur before, during, and after transport, and how to stay safe.
  • Transporting of Pediatric Patients with Ebola: Keeping workers, children, and family members safe while handling inquiries and responding to calls related to pediatric patients (<18 years of age) under investigation (PUI) for Ebola. Managers should use this information to understand and explain to staff how to respond and stay safe. Individual providers can use this information to respond to patients suspected to have Ebola and to stay safe.

Hazardous Materials

  • Emergency Response Guidebook: U.S. Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration's Emergency Response Guidebook provides first responders with a go-to manual to help deal with hazmat transportation accidents during the critical first 30 minutes.
  • Nerve Agent Information for EMS: This document provides a quick refresher on standard protocols for recognizing, treating, and protecting yourself from nerve agent exposures.
  • PPE Requirments: OSHA's "Best Practices for Protecting EMS Responders during Treatment and Transport of Victims of Hazardous Substance Releases" details how to best protect providers transporting patients who have been exposed to hazardous substances.
  • Fentanyl Exposure Prevention: The Center for Domestic Preparedness created a short video focused on Fentanyl awareness and best practices for avoiding exposure to synthetic opioids when responding to incidents.

Assaults Against EMS Providers

Emergency Vehicle Operation & Roadway Safety

Reporting Faulty Vehicle of Equipment

  • NHTSA Reporting Faulty Emergency Vehicle and Equipment: Use this link for the reporting of possible vehicle and equipment problems to the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration.
  • FDA Medical Device Reporting System: healthcare professionals who find a problem related to a medical device are encouraged to report medical device adverse events or product problems to the FDA through MedWatch, the FDA Safety Information and Adverse Event Reporting Program.

Exercise and Nutrition

  • Task Performance and Health Improvement Recommendations for EMS Practitioners: In the area of physical fitness, NAEMT is working in collaboration with the American Council on Exercise (ACE) to develop suggested physical fitness guidelines for EMS practitioners. Intended to ultimately help reduce the number and severity of musculoskeletal injuries on the job, these guidelines are based on the physical fitness requirements needed to perform the variety of occupational tasks undertaken by EMTs and paramedics in the day-to-day performance of their jobs.
  • ChooseMyPlate: Provides recipes and resources to support building healthy and budget-friendly meals.
  • Move Your Way: Everyone needs physical activity to stay healthy. But it can be hard to find the time in your busy routine. The Move Your Way tools, videos, and fact sheets on this page have tips that make it easier to get a little more active. And small changes can add up to big health benefits!
  • Feeding America’s Bravest: Survival Mediterranean Style!: This site is created for and inspired by firefighters across the nation and developed specifically as a toolkit to aid firefighters to better health! The aim is to motivate firefighters and their families to incorporate Mediterranean Diet principles at work and home through education, participation and incentives.
  • Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans: provides information that helps Americans make healthy choices for themselves and their families, and discusses evidence-based, community-level interventions that can make being physically active the easy choice in all the places where people live, learn, work, and play.
  • Yoga For First Responders® Cyber Academy
  • YMCA 360: free online at home exercise video from the YMCA.
  • Fitness Blender: hundreds of free, full-length workout videos, workout programs, and meal plans.
  • Darbee: High-quality fitness resource - free access, forever, for everyone.

Hotlines & Warmlines

FREE and CONFIDENTIAL Help Available 24/7

  • Safe Call Now: (206) 459-3020 or 1-877-230-6060. Safe Call Now is a confidential and comprehensive, 24-hour crisis referral service for all public safety employees, all emergency services personnel and their family members nationwide.
  • Emergency Responder Crisis Text Line: Text “BADGE” to 741741. The Emergency Responder Crisis Text Line is a global not-for-profit organization providing free confidential crisis intervention via SMS message.
  • 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline: Call or text 988. The National 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline provides free and confidential emotional support to people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress across the United States. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline provides free and confidential emotional support to people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress across the United States. Click here for more information about 988 and how to raise awareness about its implementation.
  • SAMHSA’s National Helpline: 1-800-662-HELP (4357). The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) Helpline is a free, confidential, 24/7, 365-day-a-year treatment referral and information service (in English and Spanish) for individuals and families facing mental and/or substance use disorders. This service provides referrals to local treatment facilities, support groups, and community-based organizations. Callers can also order free publications and other information.
  • Community Service Boards (CSBs) are a great resource for finding local mental health supports and services and function as the single points of entry into publicly funded mental health, developmental, and substance use disorder services. CSBs also have can respond to mental health emergencies, 24 hours a day.

*Links to non-Virginia Commonwealth or non-federal websites on this page do not constitute as an endorsement by the Commonwealth of Virginia or the U.S. government, or any of its employees, of the information and/or products presented on those sites.*