camts blog

Commission on Accreditation of Medical Transport Systems

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Lithium Batteries Cause Serious Burns

Lithium batteries have been proven to overheat and cause fires when not stored appropriately. This was noted by the FAA several years ago when they did not allow passengers to store lithium batteries from laptops in their checked luggage on airplanes.

Lithium batteries are used in many portable devices including vaping kits. Recently a paramedic on board an air medical aircraft suffered serious burns when lithium batteries in the flight suit pocket overheated and caught fire. These loose batteries were in a pocket along with keys and a sharpie.

As the pilot was preparing to depart, there was a bright flash reflected in the front canopy, screams in the back of the aircraft and smoke in the cabin. The Flight Nurse observed that the Paramedic was on fire.
The Paramedic was removed from the aircraft and the flames were extinguished. The Paramedic confirmed that these batteries were personal property used in a vaping kit.

The fire was the result of a thermal runaway event involving these two loose spare batteries held in the pocket of the Paramedic’s flight suit. The Paramedic was later found to have sustained second and third degree burns to a moderate surface area of her body, mostly to her left arm and torso.

This is a strong reminder to seriously consider what is carried on board an aircraft. We are careful to secure equipment and ourselves on board. Remember to check your pockets. Do not carry loose lithium batteries. This is a danger on and off the aircraft.

First Recipient of the Ralph N. Rogers, MD Leadership Award

This award was created to honor the memory of Dr. Rogers, who was Chair of the CAMTS Board of Directors from 2000 – 2016.  Our first award recipient is Dr. Adam Gottula.

Dr. Adam Gottula, is pictured here at the University of Cincinnati as a 4th year Emergency Medicine Resident, where he is scheduled to serve on the UC Health Air Care and Mobile Care transport team.

Dr. Gottula will begin a fellowship in Anesthesia Critical Care at the University of Michigan in July 2021. He is invested in caring for the critically ill and injured both in the hospital and during transport. He intends to use the monetary award to attend MTLI in 2021 and 2022.  His energy and dedication emulate the values and integrity of Dr. Rogers and CAMTS is proud to award this exceptional applicant. 

CAMTS Announces October Webinars

“Preparing for Accreditation” for potential and new applicants is:

Tuesday, October 13, 2020 from 1:00 to 5:00 PM EDT 

​Learn about the 11th Edition Standards, Policies and process, Online applications and interact online with the CAMTS Executive Director and Associates.


“Preparing for Reaccreditation” for programs applying for re-accreditation is:

Thursday, October 15, 2020 from 1:00 to 4:00 PM EDT 

Learn about the common misinterpretations of standards and most cited weaknesses along with the new online application process, policy changes and interact with the CAMTS Executive Director and Associates.

Please visit www.camtsorg and for details and registration. CEU’s will be awarded. There is a minimal charge for the electronic handouts that includes the accreditation standards.   

Preparing for Accreditation & Reaccreditation Webinars

We typically conduct a workshop called Preparing for Accreditation each year prior to AMTC. This year, we will conduct a virtual workshop for programs who are applying for accreditation or interested in applying and a separate workshop for programs that are re-accrediting.

There will be a registration and fee for these workshops. CE’s will be available to attendees. Watch the website for the date to be announced and please register to get the latest updates in policies and standards that will include drafts for the 12 Edition.

COMING SOON – Webcasts

CAMTS is also in the process of posting webcasts to address some of the information gaps for transport professionals who have frequent questions about standards and the accreditation process. We will also post a webcast interview each month called “Meet the Board” to introduce individual Board members and highlight their level of experience and expertise. These webcasts will be free of charge.

CAMTS – Sponsors HHS COVID-19 Healthcare Resilience Workgroup

For several months, the COVID-19 Healthcare Resilience Workgroup of the National Healthcare Preparedness Programs of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS/ASPR) has been conducting webinars several times a week that have been viewed by over 30,000 people around the world.

The Project Echo platform is focused on the pandemic to bring in experts in EMS, Emergency Departments and Critical Care Units to discuss their latest treatments, findings and outcomes. The CAMTS Executive Board participates in these webinars and recently became a sponsor. As a sponsor, CAMTS distributes invitations to upcoming webinars such as the one held each week – “National COVID-19 Grand Rounds: Emergency Department” to all accredited services, site surveyors and Board members.

To sign up for COVID-19 conferences by HHS go to:
For past recorded sessions:

Accreditation Standards 12th Edition and Best Practices

The second draft revisions to the 12th Edition Accreditation Standards is posted on the website. All comments and suggestions are welcome. The Standards Committee plans to present a final draft to the Board of Directors next year with the 12th Edition to be published by fall of 2021.

The 7th Edition of Best Practices will be available by October 2020. In this edition, there are more than 100 selected policies and practices from air and ground operators, private agencies and accredited services that meet or exceed the intent of the current and revised accreditation standards. Watch for announcements on the website. 


Ralph N. Rogers, MD was known for his passion for transport medicine, keeping lifelong friendships and leaving a legacy as a visionary leader.  This scholarship, founded in his memory, is to encourage, mentor and secure the future for continued leaders in the Medical Transport Profession.

This scholarship will be awarded to an individual for leadership development, based on need.  This scholarship is meant to encourage the growth of future leaders of the medical transport industry, who can make significant contributions and follow in the footsteps of our friend and pioneer in medical transport, Ralph N. Rogers, MD.


Submissions for this scholarship are currently OPEN.
(Deadline: 9/11/2020)

All applications must be mailed in full to:
P.O. Box 130
Sandy Springs, SC  29677
OR sent to

Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible as an awardee, the individual must meet the following specific criteria:

Medical Transport Service Expertise:

  1. One year of leadership in medical transport experience.
  2. Employment with a medical transport service or ground critical care service, current accreditation by CAMTS is preferred.
  3. Recent experience and currently involved in medical transport service activities.
  4. Preferred experience in two (2) of the four (4) following areas of expertise:
  1. Administration
  2. Aviation
  3. Medical
  4. Ground critical care transport

Completion Timeline: Ability to complete the selected leadership education course within two years.

Geographic Location and Background Experience:  The CAMTS Leadership Fund Selection Committee may select an awardee located within the  United States or internationally. The criteria will demonstrate an Awardee who is highly qualified and demonstrates the characteristics of a strong leader in the medical transport service.

This scholarship is sponsored by CAMTS and funded partially through donations to the MedEvac Foundation International.

Accepting Comments & Suggestions for Standards 12th Ed

The Commission on Accreditation of Medical Transport Systems (CAMTS) is accepting comments and suggestions for the 12th Edition of the CAMTS Standards.  The second draft of the 12th Edition is posted here with proposed changes highlighted.  You can submit comments and suggestions for standards changes at any time, however doing so now will allow us to consider them for the next revision.  Be sure to reference the standard number in your comment.  We will continue to accept comments and will issue updated drafts as new comments are reviewed.  The tentative publication date for the 12th Edition Standards is October 2021.

We have also posted a list of all the comments/recommendations we have received for both the first and second drafts of the 12th Edition Standards and the committee considerations for each. 

We are still particularly interested in receiving comments and suggestions for the standards related to clinical education.  Advances in human patient simulation, interactive computer-based education and recent changes in national and internationally education programs have changed over the past several years.  CAMTS has generally supported educational courses that have been developed and endorsed by many of the practice organizations that are represented on the CAMTS Board. We have also been open to courses that have been developed or adapted by specific transport programs as long as they have been reviewed and approved by the CAMTS Education Committee.

We want to make sure the standards are leading best practices in initial and continuing education. How clinical competencies are established, measured and monitored are an extremely important part of the transport environment and your thoughts about these would be greatly appreciated.

Please let us know where we need to delete old standards, update current ones or add new ones.  We look at the Standards as your Standards, written by the experts that do medical transport every day.   Tell us what your doing and how you think the Standards need to change.  For specific standard changes please use the Standard Comments and Change form noted above.  For more general comments on the education standards please send an e-mail to:   (Associate Executive Director)

and/or (Chair, CAMTS Education Committee)

COVID-19 Testing for First Responders

The Federal Healthcare Resilience Task Force (HRTF) is leading the development of a comprehensive strategy for the U.S. healthcare system to facilitate resiliency and responsiveness to the threats posed by COVID-19. The Task Force’s EMS/Pre-Hospital Team is comprised of public and private-sector Emergency Medical Service (EMS) and 911 experts from a wide
variety of agencies and focuses on responding to the needs of the pre-hospital community. This Team is composed of subject matter experts from NHTSA Office of EMS, CDC, FEMA, USFA, US Army, USCG, and non-federal partners representing stakeholder groups and areas of expertise. Through collaboration with experts in related fields, the team develops practical
resources for field providers, supervisors, administrators, medical directors and associations to better respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The following document provides a brief overview of COVID-19 testing to inform decision-making for first responders including emergency medical service (EMS), Fire & Rescue, Law Enforcement and 911 telecommunicators.

Resilience During Times of Change

March 31,2020

by Eileen Frazer

reprinted from Air Medical Journal :

In the Commission on Accreditation of Medical Transport Systems (CAMTS) 11th Edition Accreditation Standards, we included resilience training as part of stress management in the list of didactic education for managers and crewmembers, and we also included post−critical incident counseling in section 04.00.00 for communications specialists. In the current health care and economic change environments, care providers are not only challenged by adapting to change but also the “ordinary” stressors of dealing with emergency and life-critical situations.

It is more apparent than ever that managers (who also have to deal with a higher stress value) need to recognize and address employees who may not have resilience or the capability to “bounce back” after traumatic and tragic situations they deal with on a regular basis, often resulting in posttraumatic stress disorders.

In the CAMTS publication Safety and Quality in Medical Transport Systems: Creating an Effective Culture, the chapter entitled “Provider Resilience” was written by John Overton, MD, Laurie Shiparski, BSN, MS, and Philip Arthier, RN, MPH.1 The authors presented a self-assessment tool to identify the 10 symptoms of your capacity for resilience that is worth sharing.

Symptoms of low resilience Absent Present

  1. Forgetfulness and inability to access information you have
    learned to respond in the situation
  2. Inability to focus on individuals and the bigger picture of the situation
  3. Overwhelmed with emotion, uncontrollable crying, outbursts
    of anger, or frustration
  4. Complete sadness, sorrow, depression, despair
  5. Hopelessness, cynicism
  6. Inability to act on priorities
  7. Self-doubt about ability to impact the situation effectively
  8. All issues seem big and overwhelming
  9. Feeling alone and isolated Low energy, fatigue, exhaustion

According to the authors, if you answered “present” to any of the questions, it is time to focus on your resilience and stop any further progression of energy-draining behaviors.

In my opening paragraphs, I also talked about change. We know we do not function at our best when we are stressed and tired, and, on top of that, we are in the environment of constant change. When we consider the many changes we encounter, planned and unanticipated, it is even more critical to manage how we navigate through changes. The authors referenced earlier asked many health care providers how they effectively manage change in their personal and professional lives.

The following are the top responses they received that may sound familiar or interesting to our readers:

*I believe in myself and know I can handle any situation.
*The more I tap courage and act on it, the stronger I feel.
*I get enough rest and take care of myself.
*I find people I can talk to and find support.
*I recognize when I am feeling stressed & take a break, reassess, & adjust.
*I offer help to others and have an attitude of gratitude.
*I realize everything happens for a reason and I may not know why.
*I remind myself why I choose this profession & identify what brings joy.
*I know I make a difference in the lives of many with the work I do *Humor and fun help me get through tough times.
*I learn from every situation and seek challenges that grow me.
*When something feels overwhelming, I remind myself that I can break it
down into smaller manageable steps.
*I know time heals and sometimes I need to detach, think, and come back
to issues.
*I show up every day with all my talents and flaws, knowing it is all needed.
*I remember to have patience with myself and others as we adjust to new
*I resist engaging in judgment and blame of myself and others.
*I notice now if I am in a downward spiral of negative thinking or being and remind myself to engage in energizing behaviors.

We are all called on to deal with stress and change. The Executive Staff of CAMTS recently recognized that we also need to be aware of site surveyors who may be asked to visit a program that experienced a recent fatal accident where interaction with management and staff can be very emotional. Having an open and caring culture is always our goal and we encourage surveyors to relate situations that dealt with difficult and
emotional situations. Storytelling is always a way to release stress.