June 11, 2020
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- Workforce protection is even more critical in rural/tribal agencies, as there is little to no redundancies in staffing with limited mutual aid options.
- Public health messaging in rural and tribal areas is challenging not only due to geographic expanse but often a lack of electricity, much less Wi-Fi or technology.
- Rural and tribal EMS providers are a valuable avenue for public health messaging, as they are known and trusted by the patients and also speak their language, know their customs, and engender their confidence.
- Cultural norms of multi-generational housing among tribal nations necessitated development of isolation facilities when family members became ill.
- Isolation facilities may be staffed with medical personnel furloughed from other institutions.
- Rural EMS must move to a system where services are rendered to those who need it as opposed only to whoever is paying for it.
NAEMSP President David K. Tan, MD, EMT-T, FAAEM, FAEMS
- Jenna White, MD, EMS physician; associate professor of Emergency Medicine, University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, NM.
- Julie Houle, MD, MHA, emergency physician in northern Minnesota.
- Joy Crook, MD, associate professor and vice chair, clinical affairs, Department of Emergency Medicine, University of New Mexico; New Mexico State EMS Medical Director; Medical Director for AMR in Central New Mexico; member of the Secretary of Health’s Medical Advisory Team during the Covid pandemic.
- Allen Lewis, MPA, CEMSO, Paramedic: Fire Chief, Virginia Fire Department, Virginia, Minnesota; adjunct professor, College of Safety and Emergency Services, Columbia Southern University