Emergency Services

The Emergency Services Division of the Central Ohio Trauma System (COTS) serves as a liaison between fire departments, EMS agencies, and hospital emergency departments.  By utilizing a collaborative approach and shared values, we strive to solve difficult healthcare delivery challenges through evidence based research, data collection, and best practice strategies. We share in the mission of improving patient outcomes.  In doing so, we provide value to the community.

COTS emergency services partners collaborate with the Disaster and Trauma divisions to ensure best outcomes for the ill and injured of central, southeast, and southeast central Ohio.

The Central Ohio Trauma System offers its members access to cost savings through membership in a group purchasing organization, Savvik. When you join COTS, you'll receive access to this perks program with exclusive discounts on a variety of amazing products and services. Sign up today and save on thousands of items you need every day by following this link and talking with COTS Executive Director.

Here at COTS we go the extra mile to turn ordinary into extraordinary.​​​​

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Recent work of the Emergency Services division includes but is not limited to:

Emergency Patient Transport Plan - standardized approach to high patient ED census and overcrowding

In 1999, Central Ohio Trauma System hospital and EMS partners in Franklin County developed a novel approach to creating a culture of safety through their collaborative creation of the Emergency Patient Transport Plan (EPTP). Today, that plan continues to evolve as needed to meet the mission of COTS.

The EPTP Is a standardized approach to ensuring access to care when EDs are overcrowded. 
Hospital and public/private EMS partners may use the EPTP Training document to train their staff.
​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​As a supplement to the EPTP, RTAS participating hospitals update their busyness status in the Real-Time Activity Status (RTAS) web-based system.

Guideline for Early Recognition and Prehospital Management of the Adult Septic Patient

You may not know everything we do, but we know health.

Sepsis is defined as “a complication caused by the body’s overwhelming and life threatening response to an infection, which can lead to tissue damage, organ failure, and death” (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2017). 

As part of our mission to improve patient outcomes, the Central Ohio Trauma System (COTS) brought together emergency medical service (EMS) and hospital emergency medicine leaders to standardize the prehospital regional response to sepsis called the Guideline for Early Recognition and Prehospital Management of the Adult Septic Patient.

Through our partnership with the Ohio Hospital Association (OHA), the OHA Sepsis Collaborative is using our guideline to help build a standardized hospital response to the prehospital sepsis alert patient 

To learn more about this collaborative initiative, follow the link or contact Sherri Kovach, COTS Executive Director.


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2017). Sepsis questions and answers. https://www.cdc.gov 

Central Ohio Trauma System (2017). Guideline for early recognition and prehospital management of the adult septic patient. 

First Responder Infectious Exposure Guideline - standardized approach to first responder treatment by EDs for suspected infectious exposures

First Responder Exposure Guideline

EMS Handoff (Timeout)

The purpose of the EMS Handoff (Timeout) Project is to create a standardized approach to handoff communication during transfer of care from the prehospital emergency medical services (EMS) provider to the hospital care provider.  

To learn more about this project, please review the Roll Out documents.

Attestation: Regional Hospital Resource Guide for EMS

The Central Ohio Trauma System (COTS) has created hospital resource attestation guides to assist EMS in the appropriate triage and destination decisions for their patients based on primary medical or surgical issues. It is intended to assist EMS in getting their patient to the right hospital in the right amount of time the first time in order to minimize discomfort, expense, risk, and time associated with hospital-to-hospital transfers. 

2020 Franklin County
2020 Central Other Counties 1 of 2
2020 Central Other Counties 2 of 2
2020 Central Contiguous Counties
2020 Free Standing Emergency Care Centers

Click here to find the blank FSED attestation questionnaire.
Click here to find the blank hospital attestation questionnaire.

Submit completed questionnaires to wlowell@centralohiotraumasystem.org

Regional AirMedical Transport Communication/Safety Guideline

Regional AirMedical Transport Communication/Safety Guideline

COTS LVAD Guideline for EMS 2020

COTS LVAD Guideline for EMS 2020

Human Trafficking Resource for EMS

Human Trafficking Resource for EMS

Regional Concealed Carry Guideline for Patients and Off Duty LEO

Regional Concealed Carry Guideling for Patients and Off Duty LEO

Reducing the burden of the opioid epidemic in Franklin County

Since 2018, COTS has worked with Drs. Harvey Miller and Ayaz Hyder from The Ohio State University’s Center for Urban Research and Analysis (CURA) to reduce the burden of the opioid epidemic in Franklin County using geospatial analytics, predictive modeling, and academic collaboration.

2018 - 2019:

This grant was awarded as part of the OSU Opioid Innovation Fund. 




2019 –  present:

The grant awarded is part of the CDC’s Overdose Data to Action grant.