Advancing the EMS profession

EMS Preparedness

EMS systems and providers are an integral component of each state’s emergency response system and are also a critical element of our nation’s disaster and mass casualty response infrastructure. The vital role played by EMS in the Boston Marathon bombings, Texas fertilizer plant explosion, Hurricane Sandy, and the Aurora and Tucson shootings, illustrates the significance of EMS in saving lives in the worst of circumstances.

Below are resources to help prepare EMS agencies and practitioners to respond to disasters and mass casualty incidents.

Public HealthNational Incident Management System Incident Complexity GuideSupports the National Incident Management System (NIMS) doctrine by establishing guidance to support the incident management and emergency management community.
WebsiteFBI’s Death Notification Protocol: We Regret to Inform YouTraining website for law enforcement agencies and other first responders responsible for notifying the family members of those who have died suddenly as a result of a crime, an accident, a suicide, or other type of incident
Mass Casualty IncidentNational Mass Violence Victimization Resource CenterCharged with developing a national victim-centric framework that addresses best practices for preparing for and responding to incidents of mass violence and domestic terrorism.
Mass Casualty IncidentOVC Training and Technical Assistance CenterOVC TTAC offers FREE Customized Technical Assistance to meet your organization's needs. Contact OVC TTAC at or 1–866–682–8822.
Mass Casualty IncidentVicarious Trauma ToolkitThis OVC toolkit contains nearly 500 resources to help organizations strengthen their ability to address work-related exposure to trauma.
Mass Casualty IncidentOVC Helping Victims of Mass Violence and Terrorism ToolkitProvides resources to help organization's develop a victim assistance plan to respond to victims of mass violence and terrorism in a timely, effective, and compassionate manner.
Public HealthASPR TRACIE Mass Casualty Triage Paradigms and Pitfalls White PaperFocus is to alert EMS medical directors and EMS systems planners and hospital emergency planners to key differences between “conventional” MCIs and mass violence events.
Mass Casualty IncidentCommunications Toolkit for Stakeholders - FGA ResourcesResources to help emergency responders prepare for and respond to a fourth generation nerve agent incident (Novichoks or A-series nerve agents).
Public HealthChecklist for first responders to ensure language access and effective communications during emergenciesHHS checklist to help first responders provide services to individuals with limited English proficiency and individuals with disabilities during emergency response and recovery efforts.
Natural DisasterASPR Hospital Preparedness ProgramHPP prepares our nation’s healthcare system to save lives during emergencies and disasters
Natural DisasterASPR Hospital Preparedness Program - EMS ParticipationImportance of EMS being fully engaged in preparedness activities at local and regional levels.
Stop the BleedACS COT Stop The Bleed - Instructor RequirementsThe ACS COT Stop The Bleed instructor program aims to facilitate the wide dissemination of this program while maintaining a consistently high standard of training.
Public HealthCDC’s Public Health Preparedness and Response 2018 National SnapshotReview and analysis of public health threats by addressing challenges, strategies, and how to move the dial.
Public HealthEmergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (EMTALA) and disastersFact sheet on EMTALA and disasters with links to resources for more information.
Mass Casualty IncidentStandard for an Active Shooter/Hostile Event Response (ASHER) ProgramNFPA 3000™ (PS) helps communities establish unified active shooter/hostile event planning, response and recovery programs.
Mass Casualty IncidentTranscending Tragic Trajectories: A Post - Disaster Resilience Check ListPresentation by Stefan Poloczek, EMS Medical Director from Berlin, Germany.
Mass Casualty IncidentASPR’s Vision of Enhancing Medical Surge CapacityA New Approach to Health Care Emergency Preparedness and Response.
Natural DisasterLessons Learned from Hurricane Sandy & Recommendations for Improved Healthcare & Public Health Response & Recovery for Future Catastrophic EventsA research project developed to evaluate how the healthcare system was negatively affected in preparation for, during, and after Hurricane Sandy.
Mass Casualty IncidentDeadliest American Disasters and Large-Loss-of-Life EventsDeadliest American/U.S. disasters and other large-loss-of-life events (10 or more lives lost)
Public Health35 U.S. Hospitals Designated as Ebola Treatment CentersCDC listing of current Ebola treatment centers
Public HealthCDC information on Ebola for healthcare workersInformation for health care workers; algorithm under the section “Medical Transport.”
Public HealthAlgorithm for management of patients with possible EbolaAlgorithm for EMS systems and 9-1-1 Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs) for management of patients with possible Ebola in the United States.
Public HealthThe Ebola Improvement PlanThe Ebola Improvement Plan focuses on the main areas of concern, including global health security, incident management, public health, medical countermeasures and response funding. 2016
Public HealthHow Ebola spreadsInfographic on the spread of the deadly virus, and how officials have responded.
Mass Casualty IncidentDept. of Homeland Security Project Responder 5Report to identify, validate and prioritize capability needs for emergency response to critical incidents, including complex, multi-jurisdictional, large-scale, high-risk, high-probability or high-consequence incidents, or incidents that have important social or economic impacts.