The REMS Council releases a weekly dispatch to update BOD members, OEMS and VDH stakeholders, and all interested parties in the news and happenings in the Council. To be added to our mailing list for DISPATCH, fill out this easy form.




New and Noteworthy:

High school students from ten teams across the state, including those from Stafford, Spotsylvania, and Prince William County, participated in the inaugural REMS Anatomage Tournament held on February 7th. The Nervous Ninjas, a team from Colonial Forge High School, emerged as the champions in this regional qualifier. Throughout the fall semester, REMS has been providing instructional table time during and after school to support local teams. The impressive results of the students' hard work were evident, earning the Nervous Ninjas an invitation to compete in the National Anatomage tournament in Las Vegas in June.  The Ninjas are very interested in attending the Nevada finals, but it comes with a logistic and financial burden.  Please contact the REMS Council if you are interested in helping to support this opportunity.

Local coverage of the tournament is here


Stafford 'Ninjas' earn top prize in first local Anatomage tournament

Past two weeks at the Council:

REMS Performance Improvement Specialist developed and held the TTT session for the Stafford County Airway Program.  Over the next six weeks, all of the county’s ALS providers will filter through twelve training sessions at REMS for airway competency training.

The REMS Council has been approved to host two Graduate-level interns from Norfolk State University who are studying healthcare informatics.  The interns will be at REMS in May and June working on various data projects and we're excited to have them join us!

ALS Release WG met on Feb 8 to discuss multiple revisions to the ALS Release Handbook.  Edits are now in progress, then will be forwarded to Guidelines and Training Committee for review before progressing to the BOD.

An ACLS review course was held at the Council for four regional providers, all of whom received scholarship funds to attend the class without agency or provider charge.  

REMS staff, in collaboration with UMW, provided training to 47 graduating teachers covering essential skills such as first aid, CPR, AED, and Stop the Bleed. Additionally Stroke Education for implementation in schools was presented, including the distribution of stroke education curriculum and materials tailored for students across elementary, middle, and high school levels.

REMS continues to meet with various workgroups and stakeholders to iron out the details of the upcoming enforcement of the FDA regarding the DSCSA, which will likely reduce, if not eliminate, the hospital pharmacy ability to provide medications to the EMS system and support the regional medication exchange box program as of November 27, 2024.  The regional REMS pharmacy WG has been working on this topic for the last year and staff at REMS remain available to provide technical support to any agency in need. 

COPE recently attended two events: the Internship Expo organized by the Fredericksburg Chamber of Commerce and The Table. At the Internship Expo, COPE engaged with students eager to learn about opportunities to make a difference in their communities, sharing information about its current initiative, You Are The Help Until Help Arrives. Meanwhile, at The Table, COPE focused on promoting oral hygiene and distributing vital information about dental care alongside toothpaste and brushes. The organization was joined by its Community Partners, Lloyd Moss Clinic, and NAMI.

Youth Emergency Preparedness students underwent an ACES training led by our partners at RACSB. They delved into the 1990 ACES study, acquired practical resilience-building tips, participated in the Brain Game, and explored ways to incorporate this knowledge into their upcoming community outreach programs. In their regular Wednesday meeting, students applied the cognitive and hands on skills learned from the earlier REVIVE! training by RACSB in a training scenario. Additionally, the group examined FEMA’s 2023 National Household Survey on Disaster Preparedness, discussing strategies to leverage the survey data for their planned outreach efforts.

Additional youth training was provided in collaboration with Spotsylvania Emergency Management in Emergency Preparedness to middle school students at St. Patrick School.

REMS visited Boulder Crest site in Bluemont, Virginia, as part of the goal to identify mental health resources for first responders. Orange County and Caroline County representatives attended for regional collaboration. Boulder Crest offers nationwide peer support services for first responders and veterans.

  • Warrior PATHH is a 90-day, non-pharmacological peer-delivered training for veterans, starting with a 7-day initiation in Bluemont.
  • Struggle Well Experience and Struggle Well programs for first responders are provided locally for 1, 2, or 5-day sessions, followed by 3 months of dedicated support and training.
  • Veterans can request a stay at Bluemont cabins with their families during challenging times for reconnection.

A new working partnership was established with Morgan Moore, a graduate Master of Social Work Student interning at Sunstone Counseling. Moore is involved in the Duty Fit platform program, part of an initiative from George Mason University and funded by the National Science Foundation’s Research Traineeship Program (NRT)|Team FIRE | Duty Fit LLC. The Duty Fit platform employs technology solutions to identify resources for first responders in Virginia, enhancing their access to tools for improved health and wellness outcomes.

REMS met with a Priority Dispatch representative to learn more about the required training that ECC and PSAPs are using to better address mental health-related calls.

Staff meet with HEAL Program representatives to explore collaboration opportunities addressing language and literacy barriers faced by pre-hospital providers serving community members with English as a second language or limited medical comprehension.

REMS staff attended weekly VDH forums, Overtime Trap webinar (resources for financial health for first responders), Regional Medication Kit Transition WG meeting, VSSTF EMS Destination WG meeting, and the two-day NEMSAC meeting, and the Germanna Community College Health Science and EMS advisory board meetings on February 8. REMS Staff also attended various state committee meetings in early February, as well as the EMS Advisory Board meeting.  Here is a link to the OEMS Quarterly Report which provides extensive updates and information.

Outside the Council News:

The US Department of Health and Human Services has released a new document describing goals to enhance cybersecurity in the healthcare sector.

OEMS has updated the Virginia EMS Portal.  Here is a link in case you encounter any issues or need to report a problem. Additional changes from Richmond include new written updates on various projects and events at the central office.  Here is their first update, released February 14.

OEMS has received calls indicating there is confusion about how to report the required data when there were no calls during the reporting period.  Guidance document is available here.

The Central Office of EMS in Richmond has advised that they will be returning to work full time from the office on Tuesday February 20.  VDH is also working to upgrade infrastructure and improve internet access at OEMS.

It is General Assembly time and there is plenty of activity.  Please review information on current bills and actions that may be of interest.

Upcoming Events:


The REMS Council Board of Directors consists of representation from volunteer and career agencies in our planning districts and localities, as well as at large membership.  More information on the makeup and backgrounds of REMS Council Staff and BOD may be found here.

The REMS Council Regional Training and Simulation schedule is filling up for 2024.  If you would like to use the training center or some equipment, please submit the request through our website sooner rather than later.