Graduation Date

Spring 5-9-2020

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Emergency Preparedness

First Advisor

Dr. Sharon Medcalf

Second Advisor

Dr. John Lowe

Third Advisor

Dr. Ted Cieslak


Emergency Medical Services (EMS) personnel are the first line of treatment and are the first exposed health care workers to infectious diseases (IDs). Consequently, the EMS setting is a relatively vulnerable environment for disease transmission and cross-contamination. Also, serious and emerging IDs, such as highly pathogenic viral hemorrhagic fevers and novel Coronaviruses, in a time of increased globalization, require comprehensive EMS training and preparedness. This project had the objective of identifying best practices for the EMS transport of patients with IDs. The methods for this project were done in two phases. In the first stage, we conducted a literature review to outline current practices. In the second, we convened an EMS-ID Workgroup Meeting (held in Baltimore, MD, January 2020). The purpose of this meeting was to gather national and international experts to provide input to the University of Nebraska Medical Center to facilitate the development of an EMS-ID training curriculum. A total of 25 national and international EMS-ID organizations, along with CDC and ASPR officials, gathered to discuss best practices and work on answering common EMS-ID problematic areas. Topics were grouped into seven categories: equipment preparation, vehicle preparation, patient management, PPE selection, team configuration, decontamination, and post-mission surveillance. We report here the results of those discussions, highlighting the EMS Workgroup perspectives and noting areas where agreement could not be reached.

Available for download on Friday, April 16, 2021