The SHARP (Sponsor Hospital Area Response Physician) Team is currently the sole state-certified EMS agency in Connecticut providing EMS physician response. Based at Yale New Haven Hospital, the SHARP Team responds primarily to the 12 towns in Greater New Haven that receive EMS medical oversight from YNHH, but the team is available as an asset to the entire state.
The SHARP team operates two fully equipped SUV emergency response vehicles. Each vehicle is equipped with a full set of ALS equipment, with additional equipment and medications that fall outside of the standard scope of our regional paramedics (e.g. RSI, toxicology antidotes, chest tubes, central venous catheters).
The SHARP Team is composed of EMS-trained attending physicians, Yale EMS fellows and EMS Physician Assistants. All team members practice in the Department of Emergency Medicine at Yale New Haven Hospital, and undergo additional EMS-specific training prior to joining the team. In addition to several members having significant past prehospital experience as EMTs and paramedics, all SHARP Team members receive training in:
- Incident command system ICS/NIMS)
- Hazardous materials (operations level or higher)
- Emergency vehicle operators course (EVOC)
The SHARP Team serves two primary functions: EMS education and oversight as well as expanded scope patient care.
- EMS education and oversight: As the operational arm of the EMS medical direction for the region, the SHARP Team may respond to “routine” calls in the EMS system to provide real-time feedback on patient care. This provides field experience for the Yale EMS fellows, quality oversight of the system and the opportunity for learning for the EMTs and paramedics in our system.
- Expanded scope patient care: The SHARP Team is able to bring additional skills and education to certain high-risk calls that may benefit patient care. Typical calls that the SHARP Team may be requested to respond to by the incident commander include:
- Prolonged extrications
- Multiple-alarm fires
- Multiple-casualty incidents
- Hazardous material incidents
- High-risk patient refusals
- Mass gatherings (e.g. sporting events, college graduation ceremonies)
The SHARP Team is dispatched by MEDCOM New Haven. When an Incident Commander at a scene determines the need for SHARP Team response, they may be requested by radio on MED10 (South-Central), or at 203-499-5600. Callers should provide the call location, nature of the incident, and if possible the IC point of contact and primary radio operations channel. Upon arrival to the scene, the SHARP Team will report to the IC for an update and task assignment and will remain on-scene until formally released by the incident commander.
As an all-volunteer agency, SHARP Team members may on occasion respond directly to the scene in personal vehicles, but will still be in communications with MEDCOM via portable radio or phone. On rare occasions the team will not be available for response (e.g. all members working in the ED or are traveling out of the region); if this occurs MEDCOM will notify the requesting agency.