Virginia EMS Blog

National Preparedness Month 2020

September is National Preparedness Month (NPM), a time to remind ourselves that we need to make sure our households are prepared for natural or man-made disasters. NPM promotes family and community disaster planning throughout the year.

As we have seen, 2020 has been hectic and shown the world that preparedness and planning is vital for everyone. This year has definitely lived up to this NPM theme: Disasters Don’t Wait. Make Your Plan Today”.

As we prepare for future disasters and emergencies, it is important to also include COVID-19 considerations. The four key components to having a well prepared family and community are:

Step 1: Make A Plan
  • Make sure to update your plan as your life changes and recommendations based on anticipated events.
Step 2: Build A Kit
  • Gather supplies that will last for several days after a disaster for everyone living in your home. 
  • Don’t forget to consider the unique needs each person or pet may have in case you have to evacuate quickly.
  • Update your kits and supplies based on recommendations for anticipated events.
  • Limit the impacts that disasters have on you and your family through preparation.  Know the risk of disasters in your area.
  • Learn how to make your home stronger in the face of storms and other common hazards and act fast if you receive a local warning or alert.
  • Talk to your household about preparing for emergencies and what to do in case you are separated.
  • Provide information about how they can prepare and get involved. 

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.