News & Events

Lifeguard currently has openings for Advanced EMTs and Paramedics. Click here for Advanced EMTs. Click here for Paramedics. 

BREMSS Staff changes

After January 20th, 2017, John Reed will be returning to nursing from his current position as Education Manager at BREMSS. John has worked at BREMSS over the last 16 years. During this time, he also worked part-time as a staff nurse at the UAB-TBICU. He will return to nursing as a staff nurse in the TBICU at UAB.

John worked hard to develop the AHA/ECC programs at BREMSS. He was also active in a leadership role in the Alabama-Florida AHA/ECC committees. A passion for spreading ECC activities into the schools educating high school seniors as CPR instructors. He also built out many of the AED programs in schools and developed AED drills and equipment checks.

John attended a public safety leadership year-long mentoring program at the Alabama Fire College as well as achieving a Master’s in Public Health (MPH) while at BREMSS, and will remain the Fire Chief of Nectar, Alabama.

He most recently saw his daughter complete an EMT class in Oneonta in 2016 and become a NREMT.

John organized and operated the NREMT/ADPH OEMS CEU approval process for BREMSS, which oversaw the delivery of quality CEUs by EMS organizations to their staff and volunteers.

BREMSS, as well as all parts of the EMSS, will miss John Reed, who was a great source of information as well as education program delivery.

His last day with BREMSS will be Friday, January 20th, 2017 – please drop in and wish him well in his future endeavors.

If you have questions concerning National Registry or Con-Ed, please contact Joe Acker or Michael Minor.
Questions concerning ATLS should be addressed to Joe Acker.
Questions concerning ECC should be addressed to Brian Gober.

BREMSS lost an integral part of the ECC program on December 3, 2016 when Tonya Owens moved into a position in the Department of Surgery at UAB.

She was the staff support person responsible for the ECC program – producing cards as well as support to ECC Instructors. Tonya worked diligently and, many times, thanklessly to be sure an Instructor’s cards were ready even though the Instructor had forgotten to turn in the correct paperwork in a timely fashion. She provided a calm in the face of lost cards, incorrect rosters, lost paperwork, and frustrated EMS personnel and teachers.

Tonya Owens, along with John Reed, most recently introduced electronic ECC cards. A new service offering of the AHA/ECC program. In addition, she assisted the movement of accepting credit cards for CPR cards at BREMSS.

BREMSS staff, as well as many ECC instructors, will miss Tonya’s smile and willingness to drop what she was doing to help an Instructor meet a deadline.

Good luck, Tonya, in your new position!

In the event of diversion of all EDs in the BREMSS Region, please refer to the Destination Decision Tree (DDT). We have laminated copies of the DDT in our office if you would like to come by and pick some up. 

Trauma System celebrates 20th anniversary

 The Birmingham Regional Emergency Medical Services System (BREMSS) Trauma System had its twenty (20) year anniversary on October 2, 2016. The trauma system enrolled its first trauma patient at 9:25 am on October 2, 1996 by Homewood Fire Department.
Since that date, 44,746 trauma patients have been placed in the BREMSS trauma system by paramedics and hospitals in the BREMSS region. Based upon early studies that demonstrated a twelve percent (12%) reduction in trauma deaths by the system, it could be estimated that over 5,369 individuals have had their lives saved by the BREMSS trauma system since 1996.
The system was a BREMSS initiative supported by the hospitals across the BREMSS six-county region. The original planning group was co-chaired by Dr. Robert Carraway (Carraway Methodist Medical Center) and Dr. Richard Treat (UAB Hospital), ably assisted by Dr. William Hardin (Children’s of Alabama). The system uses a concept which was originally used in Portland, Multnomah County, Oregon; conceived by Dr. William Long of Emanuel Hospital and designed/implemented/operated by Multnomah County EMS.
The University of Alabama at Birmingham provided the startup funding of $500,000 for this voluntary trauma system. A trauma system implementation operations committee was formed and guided the “early years”. This group representing all BREMSS hospitals was co-chaired by Dr. Loring Rue (UAB Hospital) and Dr. Robert Carraway (Carraway Methodist Medical Center).
The Trauma Communications Center (TCC) has been in operation 24/7/365 for the twenty (20) years. The TCC links all trauma hospitals together, receives information from paramedics “on scene”, and routes all trauma patients to the “real time”, currently available trauma hospitals. Staffing was originally one (1) Paramedic and is now three (3) Paramedics at all times.
Many doctors, nurses, paramedics, and hospital personnel planned, supported, and caused the system to be the success it is today. A few of the additional, notable individuals involved in the BREMSS Trauma System:
Frazer Rolen – Alabama Hospital Association/Birmingham Regional Hospital Council
Dr. Sherry Melton – UAB Hospital Trauma Services
Geni Smith, RN – Children’s of Alabama Trauma Services
Holly Waller, RN – UAB Hospital Trauma Services
Dr. Peter Glaeser – Children’s of Alabama
Dr. Jorge Alonzo – UAB Hospital
Celia Dover, RN – Carraway Methodist Medical Center
Herm Brehmer – Medical Center East (St. Vincent’s East)
Oscar Brenen, EMT-P – Birmingham Fire & Rescue
David Waid, EMT-P – Regional Paramedical Services
Rex Chilton, EMT-P – Trauma Communications Center
Buddy Wilks, EMT-P – Trauma Communications Center
Frank Brocato, EMT-P – Hoover Fire Department
Dr. Bart Guthrie – UAB Hospital Neurosurgery
Dr. Patrick Pritchard – UAB Hospital Neurosurgery
Dr. Jeffrey Kerby – UAB Hospital Trauma Services
And many others
The BREMSS trauma system was totally voluntary and funded only by all hospitals in the BREMSS region until 2007. This funding by hospitals in BREMSS continues today along with grants from the Alabama Department of Public Health for Statewide efforts. The system received national recognition in 2006 upon receipt of the Mitretek/Harvard award for the most innovative Homeland Security program in the United States. Governor Bob Riley determined the BREMSS trauma system should be statewide and the State Health Officer, Dr. Donald Williamson, enlisted BREMSS’ guidance and assistance, and the Trauma System is statewide today with over sixty-eight (68) hospitals participating in Alabama and surrounding states.
Since 1996, in the BREMSS region as well as statewide, the trauma system has served more than 113,867 patients.