NCOA Connect

Fire and Falls Webinar Series: Engaging Firefighters and EMS for Falls Prevention

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When an older adult falls and needs help getting up, emergency medical services (EMS) and fire departments are often the first to arrive at the scene. 

Among people aged 65 years and older, falls are the leading cause of emergency department visits and account for 17% of all 911 calls. Up to 56% of 911 calls for falls do not result in transport to a medical facility. 

The use of EMS for falls-related calls has heavy financial consequences to communities and decreases the availability of EMS to respond to more urgent needs. As a trusted source of information, firefighters and EMS can have a key role in falls prevention efforts, including addressing home hazards and referring older adults to falls prevention programs and services.   

Hosted by NCOA and the Administration for Community Living, this series features organizations that have successfully partnered with their local EMS and fire department to address falls prevention. Speakers will share best practices and lessons learned. 

You will discover new skills and gain innovative ideas that can be adapted and applied in your own community to bridge the fire and falls prevention networks.  

Registration Details:

  • This series includes 4 live 60-minute webinars on September 1, 8, 15, and 22 at 1:00 p.m. EDT. 
  • Registration is FREE, and registrants will have access to both the live webinars and the recordings. 
  • After registering, you will receive a confirmation email, as well as email reminders prior to each live webinar with a link to join the event.

See 4 Webinars in Series

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  • JT

    Question from September 1: Will this be published in a peer-reviewed journal? 

    Response: Yes, we have a draft of our paper describing the processes and outcomes, and are getting ready to submit for publication.


    Reply
  • JT

    Question from September 1: Did the EMS partners have community paramedicine programs or did they provide services as an extension of their emergency response? 

    Response: One of the fire departments had a dedicated education and outreach department that handled everything for this project. Another fire department did not have such a department, but the Battalion Chief took on the role of coordinating and communicating with other partners. Along with the Battalion Chief, firefighters and EMS staff delivered the RememberingWhen™ program as an extension of their emergency response. We did hear about some visits being delivered in two separate sessions as the staff had to attend to emergency situations.


    Reply
  • JT

    Question from September 1: Was there any pushback that this collaboration effort created more work for the fire departments?

    Response: There was no pushback from or within the fire departments that we are aware of. We had conducted interviews with the chief of each fire department prior to inviting them to the project, but as we discussed in our presentation, all fire departments we had reached out to were interested in participating. When we conducted trainings at the fire departments, both on the RememberingWhen™ program and on how to make referrals, all staff who participated seemed very motivated and eager to start the program. The only issue they brought up was the time it took to use the electronic tool to make referrals and document, and the fire departments chose to have one or two people handle this part to reduce the burden on everyone who may deliver the program.

    Reply
  • Best Practices for Developing EMS/Fire Partnerships

    Contains 1 Component(s)

    Learn about a community-engaged referral infrastructure for older adult falls prevention in two Iowa communities.

    Speakers from the University of Iowa Injury Prevention Research Center will discuss their work to develop a community-engaged referral infrastructure for older adult falls prevention in two Iowa communities. 

    Speakers will share their approach to organizing a stakeholder advisory board, including fire services personnel, to address falls in the community and provide sample protocols developed for maximizing older adult referral to and participation in evidence-based falls prevention programs.  

    Learning Objectives: 

    By the end of this webinar, participants will be able to:

    1. Describe the Remembering When(TM) Plus program
    2. Identify the process for developing an infrastructure to actively refer older adults to falls prevention programs in their communities.
    3. Compose workflow plans and referral tools for disparate organizations and communication systems.

    Sato Ashida, Ph.D.

    Assistant Professor

    University of Iowa College of Public Health

    Dr. Ashida is a member of the University of Iowa Center on Aging and is an Aging Mind and Brain Initiative (AMBI) faculty member. Her training background consists of health behavior theories, gerontology and aging, program development and implementation, social network methodology, and public health genomics. Her previous work includes evaluation of social influence and its impact on motivation to undergo health screening and to improve lifestyle (diet, physical activity), the roles of social support and engagement on health, and social resources that facilitate behaviors.

    Carri Casteel, Ph.D.

    Associate Professor

    University of Iowa College of Public Health

    Carri Casteel is a Professor of Occupational and Environmental Health at the University of Iowa and the Director of the NCIPC-funded Injury Prevention Research Center at the University of Iowa. Her research areas of interest have focused on the development and evaluation of programs for older adult falls, workplace violence and opioid overdose.

    Donna Bethge (Moderator)

    Aging Services Program Specialist

    Administration on Aging/Administration for Community Living

    Donna Bethge is an Aging Services Program Specialist in the Office of Nutrition and Health Promotion Programs at the Administration for Community Living (ACL), Administration on Aging.  She worked in the aging network in Maryland for 10 years with Area Agencies on Aging and an assisted living community, developing and implementing programs for older adults, as well as supporting and promoting evidence-based programs before joining the team at ACL as the lead for the Falls Prevention grant program.  She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Organizational Management from Northern Kentucky University.

  • Partnerships in Action: The CARES Paramedicine Program in Ohio

    Contains 1 Component(s)

    Discover how two clinicians engaged with local EMS/community paramedicine to identify and address falls risk at the scene.

    Speakers from the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center will discuss their work to develop and implement an effective model for community paramedicine engagement in falls prevention. 

    Speakers will share how they embraced the community-based participatory action approach in their partnerships with EMS/community paramedicine and key lessons learned from working first-hand with partners in the field to identify and address falls risks on the spot. 

    We encourage you to watch this TED Talk before the webinar: Carmen Quatman: Transforming the Impact of Falls.

    Learning Objectives

    By the end of this webinar, participants will be able to:

    1. Identify opportunities for paramedicine agencies to contribute to community and clinical falls prevention efforts;
    2. Describe the development of a Community Falls Intervention Team (FIT) using a community-based participatory approach and quality improvement methods;
    3. Analyze communication optimization strategies to increase referral support and improved health outcomes for falls

    Carmen Quatman, MD, PhD

    Vice Chair of Quality, Department of Orthopaedics

    The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center

    Dr. Carmen Quatman, MD, PhD is a board certified Orthopaedic Trauma Surgeon with specialty training in Geriatric Orthopaedics. She practices at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center and focuses her research on fall prevention and geriatric orthopaedics. 

    Catherine Quatman-Yates, DPT, PhD

    Assistant Professor Department of Physical Therapy

    The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center

    Catherine Quatman-Yates is a physical therapist and researcher at The Ohio State University. Here research emphasizes health care processes and outcome improvements to support safe and physically active lifestyles across the lifespan. She is particularly interested in using community-based participatory action research and innovative implementation and improvement science methodologies to drive measureable and scalable positive changes in health care delivery systems.

    Donna Bethge (Moderator)

    Aging Services Program Specialist

    Administration on Aging/Administration for Community Living

    Donna Bethge is an Aging Services Program Specialist in the Office of Nutrition and Health Promotion Programs at the Administration for Community Living (ACL), Administration on Aging.  She worked in the aging network in Maryland for 10 years with Area Agencies on Aging and an assisted living community, developing and implementing programs for older adults, as well as supporting and promoting evidence-based programs before joining the team at ACL as the lead for the Falls Prevention grant program.  She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Organizational Management from Northern Kentucky University.

  • National Fire Protection Association & Remembering When Program

    Contains 1 Component(s)

    Learn about a fire and falls prevention program designed to be implemented by a coalition.

    This presentation will provide an overview of the Remembering When (TM) program, a fire and falls prevention program designed to be implemented by a coalition comprising the local fire department, service clubs, social and religious organizations, retirement communities, and others. 

    This presentation will also share insights and examples of how EMS and Fire Departments are working with their local communities to address falls prevention across the country.

    Learning Objectives

    By the end of this webinar, participants will be able to:

    1. Describe the Remembering When(TM) fire and falls prevention education program;
    2. Analyze the importance of fire departments in community and clinical falls prevention activities and efforts;
    3. Compare and contrast various models of EMS/fire department and falls prevention partnerships from across the country


    Andrea Vastis, MPH, CHES

    Senior Director, Public Education

    National Fire Protection Association

    Andrea Vastis, MPH, is the Sr. Director of Public Education at the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), with oversight of fire and life safety and wildfire education efforts.  She has over 25 years of experience in public health education and programming spanning worksite wellness, government, academia, and healthcare.  Her focus is on improving access to education and healthcare, eliminating health disparities, supporting the profession of fire and life safety education, and providing culturally competent programming. 

    Donna Bethge (Moderator)

    Aging Services Program Specialist

    Administration on Aging/Administration for Community Living

    Donna Bethge is an Aging Services Program Specialist in the Office of Nutrition and Health Promotion Programs at the Administration for Community Living (ACL), Administration on Aging.  She worked in the aging network in Maryland for 10 years with Area Agencies on Aging and an assisted living community, developing and implementing programs for older adults, as well as supporting and promoting evidence-based programs before joining the team at ACL as the lead for the Falls Prevention grant program.  She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Organizational Management from Northern Kentucky University.

  • Using 911 Data to Identify Fall Patterns and Predictors in Florida

    Contains 1 Component(s) Includes a Live Web Event on 09/22/2021 at 1:00 PM (EDT)

    Explore how to gather and use EMS 9-1-1 falls-related call information to identify patterns and predictors of falls.

    This presentation will describe how to gather and use EMS 9-1-1 falls-related call information to identify patterns and predictors of falls in the community and in assisted living facilities. 

    The speakers will describe their roles as EMS dispatch and the Fire Department in working with their local falls prevention coalition and share how they were able to use EMS call data to make a real and lasting impact around falls prevention in their community, including a 12% overall reduction in 911 calls related to falls.

    Learning Objectives

    By the end of this webinar, participants will be able to:

    1. Describe the collaborative activities between a falls prevention coalition and EMS/fire department;
    2. Examine strategies to collect and analyze EMS 911 call data for falls prevention
    3. Formulate ideas for using EMS 911 call data to develop interventions to address patterns and predictors of falls;
    4. Analyze fall reduction programs focused on data collection called "Prevent the Fall, Prevent the Call" (Assisted Living and Nursing Home Facilities) and "Pinellas Park C.A.R.E.S: Community Assistance through Resources, Education and Safety" (Residential) to reduce frequent 911 callers for falls and lift assists.


    Lori Collins

    911 Database Analyst

    Pinellas County Safety & Emergency Services, Florida

    Lori has spent the last 42 years in fire and life safety education.  She has extensive experience presenting at local and national conferences, creating curriculum, presenting programs to all ages and publishing life safety books as well as a monthly column in APCO for 10 years.  She has taught at the National Fire Academy and loves being part of an amazing community of Life Safety Educators. 

    Jillian Rose

    Fire & Life Safety Educator

    Pinellas Park Fire Department

    Jillian is a Florida State Certified Fire & Life Safety Educator for the City of Pinellas Park Fire Department located in Pinellas County, Florida. Her primary passion is keeping her community safe through innovative public education programs designed for all ages to provide the knowledge and skills necessary to promote safer and healthier citizens to enhance their awareness of life safety. Getting people involved in fall prevention is a tough topic that many people shy away from, however her fall prevention efforts have brought in audiences of over 500 people for one viewing.  Currently, Jillian is launching a new fall prevention program called Pinellas Park C.A.R.E.S. (Community Assistance through Resources, Education, and Safety).  The Pinellas Park C.A.R.E.S. program monitors statistics of older adults that have suffered a fall and will speak on how she is assisting her fire department in being proactive to prevent future falls with the help of education and resources that serve seniors at the national, state and/or community level.

    Donna Bethge (Moderator)

    Aging Services Program Specialist

    Administration on Aging/Administration for Community Living

    Donna Bethge is an Aging Services Program Specialist in the Office of Nutrition and Health Promotion Programs at the Administration for Community Living (ACL), Administration on Aging.  She worked in the aging network in Maryland for 10 years with Area Agencies on Aging and an assisted living community, developing and implementing programs for older adults, as well as supporting and promoting evidence-based programs before joining the team at ACL as the lead for the Falls Prevention grant program.  She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Organizational Management from Northern Kentucky University.