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Tidewater EMS Council: Five Decades of Caring for the Region

The Tidewater Emergency Medical Services Council (TEMS) has played a crucial role in shaping and enhancing emergency medical services in the Tidewater region of Virginia since it was incorporated in 1974. Created as a result of a federal initiative to enhance emergency medical services across the United States, TEMS serves as a regional coordinating body, bringing together various stakeholders, including emergency medical service providers, hospitals, local governments, and other organizations involved in healthcare. Over the years, it has evolved to meet the changing needs of the community and has been instrumental in improving the overall quality of emergency medical care.

One of the key functions of the Tidewater EMS Council is to facilitate communication and collaboration among different entities involved in emergency medical services. This coordination ensures a seamless and efficient response to medical emergencies. The council has been actively involved in the development and implementation of regional EMS plans, protocols, and training programs.


Since its origin, Tidewater EMS Council has played a vital role in advancing the quality of pre-hospital care through education and training. The council organizes training programs, workshops, and conferences for EMS providers, ensuring they stay updated on the latest medical practices and technologies. This commitment to education has significantly contributed to the professionalism and competence of emergency medical personnel in the region.

The Tidewater Healthcare Expo is a highly anticipated event offering a comprehensive conference experience that combines cutting-edge education, invaluable networking opportunities, and interactive engagement for the healthcare community.


In addition to education and training, the Tidewater EMS Council has been involved in promoting research and innovation in emergency medical services. By staying abreast of advancements in the field, the council strives to integrate new technologies and evidence-based practices into the region’s EMS system.

Whole Blood Initiative: The process of delivering whole blood to trauma patients BEFORE they arrive at a hospital began with TEMS taking the lead on research and building partnerships to supply the program and develop protocols. The Whole Blood Initiative (WBI) was launched in Virginia Beach in October 2022 for transfusions by EMS for trauma patients. Since that time the program has expanded to treat medical and pediatric patients and extended for delivery in Chesapeake and Portsmouth with Suffolk scheduled to start in March 2024.


The Tidewater EMS Council has also been an advocate for public awareness and community involvement. It actively engages with the public to promote initiatives such as CPR training, first aid awareness, and overall community preparedness for medical emergencies.

In addition to its core responsibilities, Tidewater EMS Council also provides administrative management for three key regional programs: Eastern Virginia Healthcare Coalition, Hampton Roads Metropolitan Medical Response System and Virginia-1 Disaster Medical Assistance Team and was instrumental in coordinating resources and establishing protocols in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.


Throughout the years, TEMS has also recognized excellence in EMS in the Tidewater Region with annual presentation of awards in 12+ categories. The Regional EMS Awards are a great way to acknowledge and celebrate contributions to Virginia’s Emergency Medical Services (EMS) system. Regional Winners advance to the state-level Governor’s Awards and multiple Tidewater region nominees have been recipients of this prestigious professional award. 


Through its collaborative efforts, educational programs, and commitment to innovation, the council will continue to play a crucial role in shaping the future of emergency medical services in the Tidewater area.

As the Tidewater EMS Council continues to evolve, it remains a pivotal organization in the Tidewater region, contributing to the improvement of emergency medical services and ultimately enhancing the health and safety of the community. 

In celebration of its 50th Anniversary of serving the region’s EMS System, TEMS has issued a commemorative challenge coin which will be presented at key moments this year and to those who’s charitable contributions to the Council exceeds $50 in 2024. You can also purchase this commemorative challenge coin here.

Invest in YOUR REGION’s Emergency Medical Services Delivery System through TEMS sponsored regional training opportunities and EMS initiatives.

The Tidewater EMS Council is a 501 (c) (3),non-profit organization which was established to support the EMS system in the cities of Chesapeake, Franklin, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Suffolk and Virginia Beach and Accomack, Isle of Wight, Northampton and Southampton counties.

Make a Difference by Equipping & Educating EMS Providers

TEMS, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, appreciates support for its training events and programs which benefit the EMS system across our region.

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Serving the cities of Chesapeake, Franklin, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Suffolk and Virginia Beach and the counties of Accomack, Isle of Wight, Northampton and Southampton.

TEMS is a 501(c)(3) Non-Profit Corporation.

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