Virginia EMS Blog

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:

State EMS Advisory Board meeting postponed – OEMS Legislative Grid and Report

State EMS Advisory Board and Committee meetings scheduled for February 3-4, 2022 are Postponed

The State EMS Advisory Board meeting and Committee meetings scheduled for Thursday, February 3 and Friday, February 4, 2022 have been postponed.  All meetings will be rescheduled within 30 to 60 days of the original scheduled dates of February 3-4, 2022.

Due to the continued surge in COVID cases and high positivity rates from the Omicron variant we have determined that Board members and attendees should not be pulled away from their employment or jurisdiction; and we should avoid large group meetings at this time.  The most important factor in canceling this meeting is the health and safety of all our Advisory Board and Committee members; whom are EMS providers; physicians; nurses; EMS and Fire Chiefs, Supervisors, Directors; and leaders in jurisdictions, stakeholder groups and health care systems that are all experiencing continued workload demands in your primary jobs.  The Governor’s Executive Order 84 issued last week was issued specifically to provide relief to hospitals’ ability to expand bed space and increase providers within these facilities to meet the Omicron variant demand over the next 30 days.  We believe we should be in a better position to offer a meeting of the full 28-member Board in March or April.

OEMS Legislative Grid and Report

Starting today, and then each Friday or Saturday during the 2022 Virginia General Assembly session, OEMS will provide the State EMS Advisory Board members, Regional EMS Councils and other EMS stakeholders an OEMS Legislative Grid and Report on all legislation we are tracking at this point.

If you would like to have a full copy of any bill, please contact OEMS or log in at:  and you can view and download any bill of interest.  Please let us know if there are any bills you would like for us to add to our profile list.  We encourage you to forward this information to your constituents and group lists to keep them updated.

Many times OEMS is questioned as to why some of the bills are included on our tracking grid/report.  Every bill that is on the list (thus far) has been identified because of its direct impact or potential impact on components of the EMS system, ranging from telemedicine services, Line-of-Duty Act, and public health emergencies to free standing emergency departments, emergency custody and temporary detention transportation, traffic incident management vehicles and penalties for tampering with EMS equipment and vehicles.

National Human Trafficking Awareness Day

National Human Trafficking Awareness Day is Tuesday, January 11, 2022! Join the Office of EMS in wearing blue to help bring awareness to Human Trafficking! Share you photos to social media with #WearBlueDay #VirginiaEMS. 

Indicators of Human Trafficking:

Recognizing key indicators of human trafficking is the first step in identifying victims and can help save a life. Here are some common indicators to help recognize human trafficking.

  • Does the person appear disconnected from family, friends, community organizations, or houses of worship?
  • Has a child stopped attending school?
  • Has the person had a sudden or dramatic change in behavior?
  • Is a juvenile engaged in commercial sex acts?
  • Is the person disoriented or confused, or showing signs of mental or physical abuse?
  • Does the person have bruises in various stages of healing?
  • Is the person fearful, timid, or submissive?
  • Does the person show signs of having been denied food, water, sleep, or medical care?
  • Is the person often in the company of someone to whom he or she defers? Or someone who seems to be in control of the situation, e.g., where they go or who they talk to?
  • Does the person appear to be coached on what to say?
  • Is the person living in unsuitable conditions?
  • Does the person lack personal possessions and appear not to have a stable living situation?
  • Does the person have freedom of movement? Can the person freely leave where they live? Are there unreasonable security measures?

For additional information on human trafficking, signs of human trafficking and reporting and helping a victim, please visit: First Responders Against Human Trafficking

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