The UAB Office of EMS is involved in every aspect of EMS including initial training of EMS providers, medical direction, regulation, continuing education, operations, and research.

EMS Training

Historically the UAB Office of EMS offered one of the first EMS training programs in the state of Alabama. In 2005, the decision was made to transition the program to Jefferson State Community College in order to better serve students through the community college system. Since that transition, we have enjoyed a robust relationship with the Jefferson State EMS training program and have continued to provide not only their medical direction but also support for their students as a clinical rotation site for their EMT, Advanced EMT, and Paramedic students.

In addition to participation in the initial training of EMS providers, we also coordinate both medical student and Emergency Medicine resident EMS activities including EMS ride alongs, EMS medical direction courses, EMS and disaster-related core content lectures, and supervision of EMS related scholarly activities. In the past, our students have presented several posters and other scholarly oral presentations regarding their EMS projects and have helped coordinate disaster drills and other readiness activities.


Continuing education is vitally important to EMS, and because of this we have worked very hard to expand our EMS education offerings. We are an American Heart Association training center and are licensed to offer the Critical Care EMT Paramedic course (CCEMTP) . Dr Ferguson offers regular courses as part of his Alabama EMS Challenge utilizing both traditional classroom and simulation based educational modules which have been very well received in the EMS community.

  • Care about continuing education

  • Help your patients/people/partners

  • Anticipate changes (patient care and industry as a whole)

  • Listen to you patients

  • Listen to your colleagues

  • Evaluate everything you do (evidence based medicine)

  • Never quit learning

  • Grow EMS in Alabama/ Help mature your partner

  • Enjoy your profession

Medical Direction


The UAB Office of EMS provides service medical direction for several EMS agencies including Hoover Fire, Trussville Fire, Center Point Fire, Lifeguard EMS Birmingham Operation, Jemison Fire, Warrior Fire, and others Our philosophy of medical direction is very “hands-on” and we enjoy the relationships formed with the EMS Providers in our region. Our goal is to know all of the EMS providers well enough that if we run into them at the store, we will know them well enough to have a conversation. While that may sound silly, it is important because if we know them that well we will also know their skill set well enough that we can provide them with better medical direction.

Regulatory Affairs

UAB Office of EMS faculty participate regularly in the regulatory oversight of EMS in Alabama. We participate in Birmingham Regional EMS System (BREMSS) meetings and committees , the State Emergency Medical Control Committee (SEMCC), and City of Birmingham EMS Committee. In addition, Dr Nafziger serves as the Assistant State EMS Medical Director for the Alabama Department of Public Health. We are strong supports of Alabama’s statewide trauma and stroke systems and the Birmingham regional STEMI system.



Our faculty love participating in EMS operations. (Of course we do, we are EMS people!) In addition to operational support for agencies that we provide medical direction for, our faculty co-chair UAB hospital’s Emergency Management Committee, which oversees disaster preparedness activities for the health system. We plan and execute hospital disaster drills and oversee real-time events. We participate in UAB’s Serious Infectious Diseases team and essentially work through the hospital’s command structure to serve as an interface between UAB hospital and the pre-hospital emergency community. We participate in the Jefferson County Healthcare Coalition and work with local and state EMA and public health authorities as well as other local hospitals to plan for and respond to disasters.


In the office of EMS, we strongly support EMS research and believe that we must used evidence based medicine whenever possible to improve the care we provide our patients. While research is not our primary mission (there is another whole UAB EM Office of Research for that!), we support our research mission by helping forge operational relationships with EMS providers and assisting with research whenever possible. From time to time we do manage to sit still long enough to publish an abstract or a paper and every time we do we think “wow, I should do this more often”. Also, we are grateful to the Office of Research for helping us with statistics and paperwork since those particular items are not our favorite.