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Disaster Protocols

These All Hazards Medical Disaster Protocols have been developed to support and delineate emergency services care under austere circumstances. Normal EMS operations may need to be suspended if all available resources are required to manage the disaster event. “Alternative Care/ Austere Care” refers to medical care delivered to individuals under conditions of duress, such as after a disaster or when medical supplies are insufficient to meet the demand for emergency care and local medical direction cannot be provided. Planning for these catastrophic events allows the EMS system to provide a certain level of care to every individual who needs it, instead of a high level of care to only a few people. Alternative/Austere care under these protocols is only rendered in the setting of disaster or isolation where no local medical direction exist.

The potential of opening an Alternate Medical Treatment Site (AMTS) is considered in this document. The opening of an AMTS normally occurs in conjunction with the hospital facilities, Florida Department of Health and Emergency Medical Services leadership in which medical direction is provided. In this instance, local and state EMS medical directors shall work in unison to support the needs of the community and support the optimal functioning of the EMS Providers. At times, certain suspected contagious diseases, hazmat and other mass casualty or toxic events may be the preceding factor that creates this scenario and medical direction may not be available.

This document is intended to be an encyclopedic document. It attempts to cover many perceived problems that may be encountered in disaster circumstances and to provide a common framework for providing emergency care. Some patients may require treatment not specified in these protocols. It is recommended that the EMT / Paramedic make all attempts to contact local medical direction within the austere environment for medical direction. When an EMT / Paramedic is unable to make contact with local medical direction within an austere environment, he or she may administer BLS and/or ALS only as authorized in these treatment protocols.

These protocols are not mandatory and should only be use during a state or nationally declared disaster while under the direction of state or federal officials. These protocols are only valid within the State of Florida. Any use of these protocols outside the State of Florida shall be governed by the state in which the EMT / Paramedic is providing treatment. In addition, all attempts should be made to contact the local medical direction for the area in which the EMT / Paramedic is providing care.

Download Disaster Protocols here.