BEMTS works with EMS and hospital leaders statewide to ensure that all children – no matter where they live, attend school, or travel – receive the best care possible in an emergency situation. Should an emergency or disaster occur, EMSC's goal is to ensure that emergency personnel are properly trained in pediatrics; that ambulances and emergency departments have the equipment, supplies, and medications needed to treat children of all sizes; and that well-defined pediatric treatment protocols and procedures are in place. Contact the EMS for Children Program Director for the most up-to-date resources to care for children in Iowa.
Pediatric Emergency Care Coordinator Resources
What is a PECC and how much time will it take?
At its most basic, a PECC is a contact for an EMS service, hospital emergency department, fire department, law enforcement agency or school that is willing to receive periodic emailed information on caring for children. While many PECCs will be employees of the health care/public safety facility represented, that is not required. PECCs can be paramedics, EMTs, nurses, physicians, retired providers, hospital employees, police officers--anyone with a passion for care of children is welcome to serve.
Some health care providers rarely see children as patients, but each one must be ready for the day they do. The Iowa Department of Health and Human Services (Iowa HHS) can help with things like: training aids; skills sheets and exercises; continuing education; guidelines on pediatric-specific treatment, drugs and equipment; disaster planning; care for children with special healthcare needs. The PECC shares relevant information with their contacts as they choose, and the agency chooses which resources to use and how. Iowa HHS will work to make it easier for health care providers to do what they are already working to do--stay ready to care for kids.
If a PECC wants to do more, the opportunities are definitely there to be a pediatric champion--the PECC network provides multiple opportunities to take or give training, share equipment or partner in purchasing supplies. A PECC can can even serve as the contact for several agencies.
Be a PECC for one entity--or several
To become a PECC, contact the EMS for Children Program Director. PECCs will regularly receive emails containing pediatric resources, and will have first access to free virtual continuing education for EMS providers, physicians, nurses, social workers and more. PECCs are also welcome to use any of the resources below for training.
A PECC can also serve as the liaison for more than one entity. This maximizes the role's impact, without necessarily expanding the job. The PECC regularly receives relevant information and forwards it on to contacts at each agency the PECC has agreed to serve. This can be a great help to smaller and volunteer services, as well as local-access hospitals.
Want to do more as a multi-service or hospital PECC? Consider inviting other services to trainings, designing multi-service skills or preparedness exercises, developing a purchasing co-op for equipment, sharing training equipment or videotaping training to share. Emergency department and EMS staff can train together to maximize effectiveness and continuity of care.
Note on resources and links
Videos, training resources and fact sheets available on this page and via email to PECCs have multiple authors. They're provided as samples, with the understanding that services will evaluate and use them under the direction of their medical director and according to their own protocols and procedures. Any reference to specific products by presenters in no way implies an endorsement of a particular product or service by Iowa HHS or the EMSC program.
Virtual Pediatric Training for Prehospital and Hospital Providers, Law Enforcement, School Nurses and Social Workers
The Heartland EMS for Children Coalition YouTube channel contains several recorded continuing education sessions on topics including pediatric mental health emergencies, child poisoning, respiratory emergencies, children with special health care needs, and more (CE credit not provided for recorded sessions): HECC YouTube Recorded Trainings
Children with Special Health Care Needs
Nearly one in five children has a physical, cognitive, developmental, sensory, emotional, behavioral or long-standing medical condition that requires special care. This page provides resources to help health care providers, schools and families work together to make Iowa ready to care for all kids.
Communicating with EMS
Families can help ensure optimum care for a child with special health care needs by "preplanning" with local EMS providers for a potential emergency. This tip sheet outlines strategies for making a connection with emergency care providers in the community, educating them about the child's condition(s) and needs, and helping the child feel comfortable with EMS providers and equipment if an ambulance is needed.
Communication Cards for EMS
Iowa EMSC has developed a ring of laminated, low-tech picture cards designed to facilitate communication between prehospital providers and pediatric patients with special health care needs who have difficulty speaking. The EMSC program provides communication cares to Pediatric Emergency Care Coordinators free of charge. A free template is also available for use with permission. Contact the EMS for Children Program Director for more information.
How to Hold an Open House for Families with Special Health Care Needs
EMS agencies can encourage the relationship between health care providers and families by holding an open house for families directed specifically at children with special health care needs. These events are modified from traditional "touch a truck" experiences to retain all the fun while accommodating special equipment like walkers and wheelchairs, and being sensitive to those with aversion to noise, sirens, lights and large crowds. Find out how to hold an open house here: