San Diego County Emergency Medical Services Office

All-Hazard Health Services Capacity Management Plan - Level 5 (Baseline Surveillance)

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Latest News


50th Anniversary of EMS Week:
Honoring Our Past, Forging Our Future

May 15, 2024, 10:04 AM PST

EMS Week

May 19-25 marks the 50th anniversary of National EMS Week. It is a time to show our gratitude toward EMTs and paramedics who provide lifesaving care across the nation every day. EMS Week is also a time to educate the public about EMS and the essential service it provides to our community.

This year’s theme is “Honoring Our Past, Forging Our Future.” EMS Week celebrates the EMTs, paramedics and other EMS professionals who continuously provide high quality, patient-centered care to residents and visitors of San Diego County.

The San Diego County EMS Office is participating in EMS Week through a series community events. We look forward to contributing towards this important week of recognition and supporting all EMS professionals.

Monday, May 20 – Tuesday, May 21

  • On Monday, County EMS staff will conduct skills verification sign-offs for EMT certification renewals free of charge. Please contact EMS Certifications for more information on how to sign up. County EMS will also host a media event to focus on the many critical roles and responsibilities that EMS professionals have within our community.
  • On Tuesday, County EMS staff will visit hospitals to thank EMS professionals for their dedication and care to San Diego County. Staff will also provide snacks and beverages as a sign of appreciation.

Wednesday, May 22 –  Friday, May 24

  • Wednesday is Pediatric Awareness Day and County EMS staff will be handing out “Coloring with Pedro” pediatric coloring books at various hospitals. The EMS for Children Innovation and Improvement Center will be offering a Prehospital Pediatric Airway Management webinar with 1.5 hours of free CE. The webinar is on May 22 at 2:00 PM and EMS professionals can register online.
  • Thursday is Save-a-life Day and County EMS will host the San Diego Blood Bank at the County Operations Center for blood donations. If interested, please sign up to donate at this event.
  • County EMS staff will be doing additional hospital visits to continue to show support for EMS professionals.

2024-2025 Protocol and Policy Updates

May 1, 2024, 11:00 AM PST

Picture of protocol updates presentation

The San Diego County EMS 2024-2025 protocols and policies are posted on the Prehospital Policies and Protocols page. All protocol and policy updates take effect July 1, 2024.

Please see the Protocol Packet, Protocol Presentation, and Protocol Changelog for more information about the updates.



New Online Reporting Platform for APS Referrals

December 22, 2023, 9:21 AM PST

Aging & Independence Services (AIS) has transitioned to a new online reporting platform for APS referrals. To report suspected elder or dependent adult abuse or self-neglect, use the new link below:

APS Online Reporting Platform

You do not need a username and password to use the new online system. In addition, a SOC 341 form is no longer required if you use the online referral option above. Referrals can still be made by calling the AIS Call Center at 800-339-4661. The Mandatory Reporting page has been updated and the San Diego County EMS Office is in the process of revising policy S-411 Reporting of Suspected Child, Dependent Adult, or Elder Abuse/Neglect to reflect these changes.


Alvarado Hospital Medical Center Transition to UCSD Health - Update for EMS Stakeholders

December 5, 2023, 1:00 PM PST

UCSD Health has announced a change in operations at the Alvarado Hospital Medical Center Campus, affecting the EMS delivery system. Please see this announcement from UCSD for additional information.

The County of San Diego EMS Office would like to communicate several important notes:

  • Effective December 11, 2023, the Alvarado Hospital Medical Center Campus will transition to UC San Diego Health East Campus Medical Center.
  • Existing specialty care services will continue, including stroke and STEMI.
  • There are no anticipated ambulance access changes, including planned construction detours, in the coming months.
  • Current Alvarado patients will transition to UC San Diego Health patients on December 11.
  • During the next Regional Communication System radio re-banding update, radio talkgroups will transition from ALVR to a new designation. Direct radio communications with the UCSD East Campus Medical Center should be completed on the existing ALVR talkgroup in BLS Zone.

"Emergency Department Impact Status Scorecard" Pilot Program

November 29, 2023, 1:15 PM PST

In collaboration with hospital leaders and the Hospital Association of San Diego and Imperial Counties, the San Diego County EMS Office deployed an "Emergency Department (ED) Impact Status Scorecard." The ED Impact Status Scorecard is a novel system stress indicator allowing hospitals to communicate real-time facility capacity. This system facilitates the ongoing partnership between hospitals, EMS professionals, and County EMS. The successful pilot program, initiated May 2023, has been expanded for use across the entire San Diego County hospital system.

View the details here: ED Impact Status Scorecard Pilot Program Expansion 

Picture of EMS Mobile App

EMS Mobile App is Now Available

The San Diego County EMS Office is pleased to announce our new EMS Mobile App!

The app is now available to the community: EMS Mobile App

The EMS Mobile App is a browser-based application and works on any device with an internet connection and web browser. The app allows users to easily search through all protocols and policies using keywords. In addition, users can bookmark specific protocols and policies to quickly access them at any time.

The EMS Mobile App also has a references section with important resources for our hospital and prehospital healthcare professionals.


Patient-Centered Care Modification from Paramedic to EMT Transport from Scene to Hospital

Following removal of the tool that permitted EMTs to transport eligible patients after on-scene paramedic treatment during periods of high system stress, the San Diego County EMS Office received requests from EMS prehospital and hospital professionals for clarification of the currently authorized use of EMS Policy S-412.

The EMS Medical Director has issued the Patient-Centered Care Modification from Paramedic to EMT Transport from Scene to Hospital memo to provide guidance and clarification on this policy.


EMS Cardiac Monitor Data Retention Community Consensus Guidance

A community workgroup was formed as part of the San Diego County EMS Office quality assurance/quality improvement (QA/QI) program. The workgroup has developed a consensus guidance document to provide communitywide standards in EMS cardiac monitor data management.

This guidance is intended to enhance the QA/QI process by ensuring standardization in EMS cardiac monitor data integration and retention. The EMS Medical Director has released an EMS Cardiac Monitor Data Rentention Community Consensus Guidance memo with more information.


Treatment on the EMS Gurney Community Consensus Guidance

A community workgroup has developed a consensus guidance document to provide focused, patient-centered guidance for hospital treatments that may be performed prior to patient Transfer of Care.

This guidance is intended to bring clarity to interventions that are reasonable to perform during this time interval to facilitate a smoother patient handover process. The EMS Medical Director has released a Treatment on the EMS Gurney Community Consensus Guidance memo with more information.


Recommendation for COVID and Flu Vaccinations

With concern for the surge in COVID cases this fall, it is important for all of us to be up to date on our vaccinations. The harsh influenza season in the Southern Hemisphere suggests we may experience a severe flu season concurrent with this potential surge in COVID cases.

The EMS Medical Director strongly recommends COVID and flu vaccinations and has released a strong recommendation for COVID and flu vaccinations memo with more information.

Xylazine as a white crystalline solid

Xylazine Alert for EMS

Please see the Xylazine Alert for EMS Professionals from the EMS Medical Director.  

Additional information may be found at this National Institute of Drug Abuse page and this Drug Enforcement Administration info sheet.

Ryan Mitchell First Responder Behavioral Health Support Program logo

Behavioral Health Program for First Responders

The Fire Captain Ryan Mitchell behavioral health support program is a free, confidential 24/7 peer-supported referral hotline.

This program aims to increase awareness about local mental health resources and decrease the stigma and barriers associated with First Responders seeking behavioral health support services.