Along with the local public health departments, the healthcare and EMS organizations within the region work in partnership on emergency preparedness initiatives, including exercises, regional purchases, and plan development. While each discipline has a distinct role when responding to an emergency, many times the event will require collaboration between them.
Region 2 has a robust and diverse group of healthcare organizations within its geographical area, from community health centers to hospice services to acute care hospitals. On a monthly basis, Emergency Preparedness Coordinators from these organizations come together to learn from one another and discuss opportunities for joint trainings and workshops.
As defined by the National EMS Management Association, Emergency Medical Services (EMS) is the integrated system of medical response established and designed to respond, assess, treat, and facilitate the disposition of victims of acute injury or illness and those in need of medically safe transportation. The EMS System includes the full spectrum of response from recognition of the emergency to access of the healthcare system, dispatch of an appropriate response, pre-arrival instructions, direct patient care by trained personnel, and appropriate transport or disposition. A provider participating in any component of this response system is practicing EMS. EMS also includes medical response provided in hazardous environments, rescue situations, disasters and mass casualties, mass gathering events, as well as interfacility transfer of patients and participation in community health activities.
Massachusetts EMS providers follow Pre-Hospital Statewide Treatment Protocols which are update at least annually to reflect the current science and practice of pre-hospital medicine. https://www.mass.gov/doc/emergency-medical-services-out-of-hospital-treatment-protocols-version-20212-effective-june-15-2021/download.
Central Massachusetts Emergency Medical Systems Corporation (CMEMSC) was designated by the Department of Public Health as the Region II emergency medical services council in 1977 in compliance with 105 CMR 170.102 & 170.103. As a quasi-governmental agency and 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization, CMEMSC’s goal is to foster improvement to and assure the availability of competent EMS services throughout the region.
EMS provides on-scene triage and transport of patients. In the event of a Mass Casualty Incident (MCI), Region 2’s Central Medical Emergency Direction (CMED) coordinates EMS response and the transport of patients from the scene to the hospital. For more information about CMED, please visit http://cmemsc.org/index.php/cmed.
Community Health Centers
Community Health Centers provide critical healthcare services to a wide-variety of patients, including those populations that are otherwise difficult to reach. In the event of a large scale emergency, Community Health Centers may serve as Emergency Dispensing Sites (EDS) or assist with treating patients. The Community Health Centers within Region 2 have a close working relationship with the hospitals in the region, and regularly attend joint trainings, workshops, and meetings.
Within Region 2 is a large network of long-term care facilities, including skilled nursing facilities and assisted living facilities. Through participation in MassMAP, these facilities have developed processes and plans for responding to such emergencies as the evacuation of residents. Should assistance from additional disciplines (such as EMS or hospitals) be required, the long-term care facilities may work with the Region 2 Duty Officer to coordinate the response.