News & Events

August 23, 2022

The following information concerns the removal of distributive education limits in relation to NREMT recertification. This is the most current information we have and we will provide updates as they are made available.

NREMT 22-Resolution-06:

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the National Registry of EMTs Board of Directors directs the Executive Director & Chief Executive Officer to modify standards, applications, policies, and processes to remove limits on asynchronous distributive education and that this authorization is subject to the following parameters:
  • This resolution is to be applied consistently to all requirements for continuing education, including recertification, state licensure eligibility requirement, refresher training after three failed examinations, and re-entry.
  • This change with the accompanying rationale is to be effectively communicated to stakeholders.
  • This change is to be fully implemented by September 30, 2022, to avoid complications with the 2023 recertification applications.

To view the full resolution visit

The NREMT will continue to provide updates as they put the new policy in place.

View the NREMT news release:

February 4, 2021 - Chilton Co. Emergency Ambulance Service RFP


Congratulations to Joe Acker on his retirement from BREMSS on April 30, 2018.  Joe served as the BREMSS Executive Director since December 1990.  Joe was instrumental in many developments and improvements in EMS over the years, in this region and across the State.  Some initiatives of note include state-wide patient care protocols, emergency medical dispatch, county ambulance contracts, initial and continuing EMS education, QI/QA, MCI management, hospital divert system, Trauma Communication Center and the trauma, stroke, and STEMI systems.  We wish Joe and his wife, Faye, a long and happy retirement on their farm, Acker’s Acres.

In the event of diversion of all EDs in the BREMSS Region, please refer to the Destination Decision Tree (DDT). We have laminated copies of the DDT in our office if you would like to come by and pick some up. 

Trauma System celebrates 20th anniversary

 The Birmingham Regional Emergency Medical Services System (BREMSS) Trauma System had its twenty (20) year anniversary on October 2, 2016. The trauma system enrolled its first trauma patient at 9:25 am on October 2, 1996 by Homewood Fire Department.
Since that date, 44,746 trauma patients have been placed in the BREMSS trauma system by paramedics and hospitals in the BREMSS region. Based upon early studies that demonstrated a twelve percent (12%) reduction in trauma deaths by the system, it could be estimated that over 5,369 individuals have had their lives saved by the BREMSS trauma system since 1996.
The system was a BREMSS initiative supported by the hospitals across the BREMSS six-county region. The original planning group was co-chaired by Dr. Robert Carraway (Carraway Methodist Medical Center) and Dr. Richard Treat (UAB Hospital), ably assisted by Dr. William Hardin (Children’s of Alabama). The system uses a concept which was originally used in Portland, Multnomah County, Oregon; conceived by Dr. William Long of Emanuel Hospital and designed/implemented/operated by Multnomah County EMS.
The University of Alabama at Birmingham provided the startup funding of $500,000 for this voluntary trauma system. A trauma system implementation operations committee was formed and guided the “early years”. This group representing all BREMSS hospitals was co-chaired by Dr. Loring Rue (UAB Hospital) and Dr. Robert Carraway (Carraway Methodist Medical Center).
The Trauma Communications Center (TCC) has been in operation 24/7/365 for the twenty (20) years. The TCC links all trauma hospitals together, receives information from paramedics “on scene”, and routes all trauma patients to the “real time”, currently available trauma hospitals. Staffing was originally one (1) Paramedic and is now three (3) Paramedics at all times.
Many doctors, nurses, paramedics, and hospital personnel planned, supported, and caused the system to be the success it is today. A few of the additional, notable individuals involved in the BREMSS Trauma System:
Frazer Rolen – Alabama Hospital Association/Birmingham Regional Hospital Council
Dr. Sherry Melton – UAB Hospital Trauma Services
Geni Smith, RN – Children’s of Alabama Trauma Services
Holly Waller, RN – UAB Hospital Trauma Services
Dr. Peter Glaeser – Children’s of Alabama
Dr. Jorge Alonzo – UAB Hospital
Celia Dover, RN – Carraway Methodist Medical Center
Herm Brehmer – Medical Center East (St. Vincent’s East)
Oscar Brenen, EMT-P – Birmingham Fire & Rescue
David Waid, EMT-P – Regional Paramedical Services
Rex Chilton, EMT-P – Trauma Communications Center
Buddy Wilks, EMT-P – Trauma Communications Center
Frank Brocato, EMT-P – Hoover Fire Department
Dr. Bart Guthrie – UAB Hospital Neurosurgery
Dr. Patrick Pritchard – UAB Hospital Neurosurgery
Dr. Jeffrey Kerby – UAB Hospital Trauma Services
And many others
The BREMSS trauma system was totally voluntary and funded only by all hospitals in the BREMSS region until 2007. This funding by hospitals in BREMSS continues today along with grants from the Alabama Department of Public Health for Statewide efforts. The system received national recognition in 2006 upon receipt of the Mitretek/Harvard award for the most innovative Homeland Security program in the United States. Governor Bob Riley determined the BREMSS trauma system should be statewide and the State Health Officer, Dr. Donald Williamson, enlisted BREMSS’ guidance and assistance, and the Trauma System is statewide today with over sixty-eight (68) hospitals participating in Alabama and surrounding states.
Since 1996, in the BREMSS region as well as statewide, the trauma system has served more than 113,867 patients.