Thursday, 26 January 2023

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The Tidewater Emergency 

Medical Services Council, Inc.


At any moment, an individual may suffer a sudden, life-threatening illness or traumatic injury requiring immediate medical attention. More than one in every six people in the Tidewater Emergency Medical Services (EMS) region will summon an emergency ambulance every year. The ambulance response is provided from a local level, triggered by a call to 9-1-1. The professional volunteer and career emergency medical personnel are certified, and their ambulances are licensed, by the Virginia Department of Health's Office of Emergency Medical Services.  At a regional level, the Tidewater EMS Council was incorporated in 1974 as a non-profit organization for the purpose of developing and implementing an efficient and effective regional EMS delivery system. The council integrates and coordinates resources to ensure rapid response and expert patient care, as well as coordination between more than 60 local EMS agencies and 15 hospitals and disaster medical preparedness. pdf Description of region. (505 KB)

Programs . . .

EMS system planning and coordination for 10 cities and counties in Southeastern Virginia and Virginia's Eastern Shore.

This program is guided and funded primarily under an annual contract with the Virginia Department of Health, Office of Emergency Medical Services and local contributions. These services include:

·       EMS system planning, regional medical direction, protocol development, standardized medication and IV box exchange system, mass casualty planning, trauma, STEMI and stroke triage planning and quality improvement, EMS performance improvement, grants assistance, and other forms of technical assistance.  alt

·       Coordination and guidance of EMS training programs, specialized course development and provision, continuing education, emergency prepareness courses and administration of state EMS test sites within the region.

·       Coordination of a Critical Incident Stress Management team, a group of volunteer mental health and public safety workers who are specially trained to provide crisis management education, defusing and debriefings for emergency services personnel.

·       Recognition of EMS personnel via an annual regional awards recognition program. Regional award recipients are forwarded as nominees for the Virginia Governor's EMS Awards program. The awards program is part of the council's overall recruitment and retention initiative which includes EMS Week events in May and promotion of volunteer and career opportunities.

·       Publication of a bi-monthly EMS newsletter Response with a circulation to more than 1800 individuals and agencies throughout the region. 

·       Development and maintenance of the council's website and a regional EMS listserv.

·       Administrative support for the Virginia-1 Disaster Medical Assistance Team (DMAT) which a unit of the National Disaster Medical System. The DMAT is a group of professional and para-professional medical personnel (supported by a cadre of logistical and administrative staff) designed to provide medical care during a large scale disaster or other event.

Implementation and sustainment of the Hampton Roads Metropolitan Medical Response System

The HRMMRS program improves and supports regional medical response to acts of terrorism or any large disaster within the Hampton Roads Planning District Commission (HRPDC) region. The program provides mass casualty incident response preparedness through planning, training and exercises, a deployable medical strike team, mass casualty incident and disaster response equipment and supplies and pharmaceutical caches.  This program is funded by 17 HRPDC jurisdictions.alt

Coordination and support of the Eastern Virginia Healthcare Coalition

Managed under an agreement with the Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association, the EVHC supports and promotes the emergency preparedness, mitigation, response and recovery capabilities of local healthcare organizations including hospitals, public health, EMS, long term care facilities and others. The program is funded by VHHA utilizing federal Hospital Preparedness Programs grants.

The council's 24-member board of directors represents the 10 cities and counties within the Tidewater EMS region plus six other medical organizations. The 10 jurisdictions are the cities of Chesapeake, Franklin, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Suffolk, Virginia Beach and the counties of Accomack, Isle of Wight, Northampton and Southampton.

The TEMS Strategic Plan 2018-2021 Rev 3-8-2018 is fully revised every three years by the board of directors and interim revisions are accomplished annually.  A number of standing committees assist the board accomplish the goals and objectives identified in the plan, and workgroups, taskforces and subcommittees assist the standing committees. See our meeting and event calendar and committee descriptions all available from the left menu.

For a nice review of the council's past accomplishments, all folder Annual Reports  dating back to 2000 are posted.

The pdf Scope of Service (59 KB) report prepared for the council's redesignation by the Board of Health in 2019 provides a comprehensive look at the council's activities.

A compilation of articles highlighting the organization's 40 year history in 2014 provide a great insight into how and why the council was developed, and how it has helped to improve the regional EMS system over the years.

The council is a 501 (c) (3) organization. Our  folder Federal 990 forms are available for review at any time during normal office hours and is also posted electronically at Guidestar, a national database of non-profits. Unrestricted as well as targeted contributions are always appreciated.

Contact Information . . .

Tidewater EMS Council, Inc.

1104 Madison Plaza Ste 101

Chesapeake, VA  23320


Telephone: 757-963-0632  Toll free: 844-757-TEMS (8367) 

Fax: 757-963-2325


E-Mail:This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Click here for all of our staff information.


Office hours:  Monday - Friday, 8:30 am - 4:30 pm except holidays

Tidewater Emergency Medical Services Council, Inc.
(TEMS Council)
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