Here are some frequently asked questions about the EMS Ready Campus program:
Q: What are the submission requirements?
A: Full requirements are laid out in the application packet, but the following summarizes the necessary steps.
- Ensure your organization's Institutional Membership is paid for the current academic year.
- Complete all required checklist steps for the Tier you are applying for.
- Complete the required introductory information and signature pages.
- Organize the submission as ordered in the checklist (except for rosters and training completion dates). Ensure each checklist step has its own individual response, and ensure all responses are either labeled with the question number or are preceded by a divider page indicating which question the response applies to. Ideally, supplemental information submitted should be specific to the checklist step in question. Do not simply submit a full copy of your SOPs (for example) and then reference that copy in the answer to several different questions.
- Provide an organization roster (if required) and logs of all required training on the training documentation spreadsheet. (For training courses that require additional documentation on course content, include the supporting materials in the main packet and put the training completion dates on the roster.)
- Submit two items via email to firstname.lastname@example.org by two calendar weeks prior to the start of that year's NCEMSF Conference, or as otherwise listed on the NCEMSF website:
- The full document (except the roster and training documentation) in (4) as a single PDF file.
- A separate spreadsheet roster and training documentation spreadsheet (11 KB) as a single Excel file (though not needed for the application submission, organizations should maintain copies of all training certificates for each member and be able to provide certificates upon request).
Q: Can we apply for more than one Tier at once?
A: The EMS Ready Campus program is designed to be a process that helps your organization grow. As a result, we do not encourage attempts to meet the requirements of multiple Tiers in a single academic year. Exceptions may be made for groups who wish to apply for Bronze and Silver simultaneously since they already have established involvement with emergency management on their campus and meet all Bronze requirements without additional effort, but requests for an exception must be made in writing to email@example.com and approved.
Q: What are "right-to-know" reports?
A: These refer to reports (also called Tier 2 reports) on hazardous materials stored on sites, whose reporting is mandatory under the Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know Act. Learn more about these reports and other acceptable options for responding to Bronze Tier requirement B.6.2 on our Application Guidance page.
Q: What is an Active Threat Incident?
Active Threat Incidents are situations where one or more individuals are actively engaged in attempting to harm or kill people in a particular area. The term has replaced Active Shooter Incident in the EMS Ready Campus program and other usage as it is broader than the former term.
Q: Do all of my members need to take a particular training class?
A: If the application checklist says that a class needs to be taken by all members, then yes.
The FEMA classes specified in the program requirements for all members are free and can be taken online. This allows flexibility for your members to learn at their own pace while still meeting program requirements. Non-FEMA classes in the Silver and Gold Tiers that apply to all members are also designed to be training that is either freely available online or that can be produced by your organization or another campus department, and relate directly to your organization's EMS operations (such as Triage training).
If your organization relies on non-medical volunteers or assistants, the training requirements will still be valid and beneficial and those staff must complete the listed trainings. For example, no specific medical certification is necessary to participate in tasks at an MCI, including triage, but without regular training on the triage system designated in your MCI plan, your non-medical staff will not be able to maintain proficiency in those tasks.
Checklist requirements that apply only to particular members of your organization do not need to be taken by all members, but others may take the class at your discretion.
For all training requirements, please use the spreadsheet roster and training documentation spreadsheet (11 KB) to record training completion dates for all applicable members (though not needed for the application submission, organizations should maintain copies of all training certificates for each member and be able to provide certificates upon request).
Q: Who is included when a requirement applies to "Command Staff?"
A: In the application, "Command Staff" should be assumed to include anyone who would take a lead role on a multi-unit incident or event. For most squads, this would be whatever operational ranks/levels are above Crew Chief. For organizations that maintain separate administrative staff who do not have operational responsibilities or do not have supervisory responsibilities (such as a person who only functions as an EMT on scenes but also is responsible for external communications for the group), the non-supervisory administrative staff would not be included. In general, staff advisors who have the ability to assume command of a scene should also be included, however a staff member with administrative oversight but no operational role (like a Director of Risk Management) would not be included. Specific questions should be addressed to firstname.lastname@example.org for clarification.
Q: Does EMS Ready Campus offer physical signs for posting on campus like the HEARTSafe Campus program?
A: At this time, the recognition is a plaque or framed certificate which is provided during the Awards Ceremony of each year's NCEMSF Conference, as well as inclusion on the NCEMSF website. No additional signage is available.
Q: Our school says a certain document (such as the Hazard Vulnerability Analysis or Right-to-Know filings) is confidential. How do we submit a response to the corresponding checklist item?
A: In most cases, the checklist item is intended to ensure your group has access to the information; NCEMSF staff do not need to see the original document. As such, a letter from the relevant campus department or administrator attesting to the fact that your group has access to the listed document, has reviewed it, and has applied the information from it to your operations is sufficient. In the case of hazardous materials information, our Application Guidance also specifies alternate sources of information which may be used instead.
Q: How strict is the grading? The Application Guidance section has a lot of information about emergency planning but we've never written plans before, or we've never conducted an exercise before.
While you read through the guidance and complete the program steps, remember that EMS Ready Campus, like all NCEMSF self-evaluative programs, is designed to help organizations on a path to improve their operations. As such, perfection in all areas (especially in regards to plan development and exercise design and execution) is not essential. Recognition will still be granted even if areas for improvement exist in the submitted applications, and NCEMSF staff can be contacted via email@example.com at any time during the process to provide mentorship and guidance.