A Guest Post By Chief Bill Forbush, Garden City Fire Department

Recently, many EMS providers have attended regional meeting with state health officials to discuss a number of pressing issues, including the National EMS Education Standards. The standards were developed by a committee of the National Association of EMS Educators (NAEMSE) under contract to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). The standards replace the current National Standard Curricula (NSC) and add to the existing core content and scope of practice documents. The final draft was delivered by the group to NHTSA in September and states now are faced with the option of adopting it, adopting it with addenda or rejecting it. National standardization of EMS has many potential benefits, but there are some aspects of the NEMSES document that could adversely affect the fire service and are causing concern among many Fire Chiefs.

One such consideration is the mandate that paramedic education programs be offered exclusively by institutions of higher learning who are accredited by the Committee on Accreditation of Educational Programs for the EMS Professions (CoAEMSP). This non-governmental body has accredited about 250 paramedic programs nationwide and only two in Michigan; Lansing Community College and Huron Valley Ambulance. The National Registry of EMTs, a non-governmental non-profit testing service has indicated that beginning Dec. 31, 2012, it will no longer accept candidates for testing unless they have graduated from such a program. While we [click to continue…]