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Emergency Medical Services for Children (EMSC)


EMSCThe Emergency Medical Services for Children (EMSC) program is designed to reduce child and youth mortality and morbidity sustained as a result of severe illness and injury. It aims to ensure state of the art emergency medical care is available; to ensure that pediatric services are well integrated into an emergency medical services (EMS) system; and to ensure that the entire spectrum of emergency services, including primary prevention of illness and injury, acute care, and rehabilitation is provided to children and adolescents.

The Alaska EMSC Program

EMSThe Alaska EMSC program is housed in the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS), Division of Public Health, Section of Emergency Programs, EMS Unit, located in Juneau. The program is federally-funded though the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resource Services Administration, Maternal Child Health Bureau, EMSC Program.

Since 1989, Federal EMSC funds have supported State EMS efforts to assure that the unique healthcare needs of the pediatric population are always considered. The Alaska EMSC program goals include: to improve operational capacity in the Alaska EMS system to provide pediatric emergency care;

  • to improve pediatric emergency education for the certification of Basic Life Support (BLS) and Advanced Life Support (ALS) providers; and
  • to establish permanence of EMSC in the State EMS system.

The Federal EMSC Program has developed a set of Performance Measures to document activities and accomplishments of each state’s program in improving the delivery of emergency services to children. These measures provide an ongoing, systematic process for tracking the goals of the EMSC Program; allow for continuous monitoring of the effectiveness of key EMSC Program activities; identify potential areas of performance improvement; and more.

How Are EMSC Goals Accomplished?

The Alaska EMSC program is able to demonstrate progress towards the EMSC Performance Measures and achieve its goals through:

  • An active EMSC Advisory Committee, which is a task force with representation throughout the state and from many disciplines;
  • Working with the EMS agencies and hospitals;
  • Collecting data to identify gaps in children’s emergency care; and
  • Providing up-to-date information on children’s care.

Alaska EMSC Program Highlights

Alaska has had continuous funding since its first award in 1989 and has made significant accomplishments that include:

  • 2015-- First Recognized Comprehensive Pediatric  Facility Recognition accomplished at Alaska Native Medical Center October 6th.
  • 2014--EMT's required to complete 2 hours of pediatric education every 2 years for recertification.
  • 2012--Awarded the EMSC State Partnership Regionalization of Care (SPROC) Grant to help regionalize pediatric care in rural, frontier and wilderness Alaskan communities.
  • 2008--The Alaska EMSC Advisory Committee became a special subcommittee of the Governor’s Alaska Council on EMS.
  • 2008--Statutes and regulations were revised to require 6 hours of pediatric continuing medical education for paramedic recertification.
  • 2006--Developed and distributed the 2006 Alaska Medevac Manual (4th Ed.) to include pediatric chapters.
  • 2003--Contributed to the National Association of EMS Physicians (NAEMSP), “Model Pediatric Protocols: 2003 Revision.”
  • 2000--Awarded the EMSC National Heroes Award for State Achievement. Alaska developed its widely-respected “Gatekeeper” suicide prevention program, which was designed in collaboration with Hawaii’s EMSC Project to reduce the incidence of youth suicide among Alaskans, Native Americans, and Hawaiians. The Federal EMSC Program recognized Alaska’s success a result of its strong partnerships and collaborations with government, education, medical, and private partners.
  • 2000--Became the first state to present the new pediatric training course, Pediatric Education for Prehospital Professionals (PEPP), after the national rollout in March.

Alaska EMSC Advisory Committee

The EMSC Advisory Committee became a “Subcommittee” under the Alaska Council of Emergency Medical Services (ACEMS), during its 2008 fall meeting by passing a motion in Anchorage. The committee meets at least four times a year.
The committee membership currently includes:

  • Mark Johnson, MPA
    Chair/Family Advisory Network (FAN) Representative
  • BJ Coopes, MD, FAAP, FCCM, FWMS
    Pediatric Intensivist/Medical Director, Pediatric Critical Care, The Children’s Hospital at Providence Alaska Medical Center
  • Matthew Hirschfeld, MD PhD FAAP
    Director, Maternal Child Health, Alaska Native Medical Center
  • Sue Hecks
    Executive Director, Southern Region EMS Council, Inc.
  • Danita Koehler, MD
    Emergency Physician, ACEMS Representative
  • Greta Wade
    Alaska State Hospital & Nursing Home Association Representative
  • Patty Williams, RN
    Emergency Room Nurse, Emergency Nurses Association (ENA) Representative
  • Ken Zafren, MD, FAAEM, FACEP, FAWM
    Emergency Physician, State of Alaska Emergency Programs  Medical Director
  • Reneé Escamilla, BS
    State of Alaska EMSC Program Manager/Project Director
  • Glenn Stevens, MPA, MICP, FP-C, CMTE
    Flight Paramedic/Executive Director of Operations, LifeMed 

EMSC Downloadable Resources

The Alaska EMSC program shares the latest resources, education and training for all pediatric emergency care personnel and facilities across the State. Additionally, several pediatric online training and education courses have been identified towards providing certified EMT’s and licensed paramedics (MICP’s) continuing education hours in the State of Alaska.

EMSC Public Service Announcement

Check out the Emergency Medical Services for Children public service announcement (PSA).

Contact Alaska EMSC

Whether you would like to access to EMSC resources, participate in pediatric training, or even to become an advocate for EMSC, please contact:

Reneé Escamilla, BS
Program Manager EMS for Children
State of Alaska Department of Health and Social Services
Division of Public Health
Section of Emergency Programs: Preparedness, EMS and Trauma
EMS Unit
PO Box 110616
Juneau AK 99811-0616
Office (907) 465-5467