New Process for Virginia Office of EMS Fingerprint-Based Background Checks – Deadline to utilize new process is January 1, 2020

New Process for Virginia Office of EMS Fingerprint-Based Background Checks
Deadline to utilize new process is January 1, 2020

All EMS agency personnel (career, volunteer, certified, non-certified [drivers/auxiliary] and Operational Medical Directors) are required by Virginia Administrative Code 12VAC5-31-540 to submit fingerprints for a criminal history background check, no more than 60 days prior to the individual’s affiliation with the EMS agency.

Starting January 1, 2020, the Virginia Office of Emergency Medical Services (OEMS) will be utilizing the state contractor FieldPrint to collect and submit electronic fingerprints for regulatory required background checks.

To submit your fingerprints, please visit the Virginia Office of EMS website, select the Regulation & Compliance Division, then select the Fingerprint Submission tab. Then, you’ll answer a couple quick and simple questions to obtain your appropriate FieldPrint code. Next, follow the onscreen link to FieldPrint and schedule your appointment to submit your fingerprints.

FieldPrint assures that all areas of the Commonwealth are within 40 miles of a FieldPrint location. Should a FieldPrint location not be close enough or has limited operating hours, you can apply for an exception to receive and return a ink and paper fingerprint card completed by your local law enforcement agency, via FieldPrint. Please contact the Regulation and Compliance Division at 804-888-9130 for further instructions, PRIOR to scheduling your FieldPrint appointment.

EMS Agencies do not have to wait until January 1, 2020 to begin using this process. Agencies can now begin using this process; however, all agencies MUST utilize this new process by January 1, 2020. 

34 thoughts on “New Process for Virginia Office of EMS Fingerprint-Based Background Checks – Deadline to utilize new process is January 1, 2020

    1. Hello Jason,
      Per the Code of Virginia and the Virginia Administrative Code, this is the acceptable process for an individual seeking EMS certification or affiliation within the Commonwealth of Virginia for eligibility to be determined.

      However, an EMS agency located in a locality having a local ordinance adopted in accordance with §§ 15.2-1503.1 and 19.2-389 of the Code of Virginia, shall require an applicant for employment or to serve as a volunteer to submit fingerprints and provide personal descriptive information to be provided directly to the Central Criminal Records Exchange to be forwarded to the Federal Bureau of Investigation for the purpose of obtaining criminal history records information for the applicant. The Central Criminal Records Exchange shall, upon receipt of an applicants records or notification that no record exists, forward the results of the state and national records search to the county, city, or town manager or chief law-enforcement officer for the locality, or his designee, shall notify the Office of Emergency Medical Services regarding the applicants eligibility for certification or affiliation in accordance with the requirements related to disqualifying offenses set forth in regulations of the Board.

      No other criminal records checks or processes are allowed by regulation or law.

    1. Currently, the Office of EMS will continue to mail an eligibility letter to the requesting agency for their files. We are working on upgrading the portal to allow for the eligibility status to be displayed on each provider portal, as well as all agency affiliation rosters where they appear as well.

    1. All affiliated EMS agency members in the Commonwealth of Virginia, both certified and non-certified must have an eligibility form in their agency file, unless they were affiliated with the agency PRIOR to January 1, 2003.

      1. This is from the Criminal History Record Verification, Frequently
        Asked Questions (FAQ’s)

        3. Q: Is the fingerprint process retroactive – do I need to have all my members have this done?

        A: Although the legislation was passed and effective on July 1, 2013 – the Office was not able to finalize the
        process to check criminal history records until recently. The process begins on July 1, 2014 and as such,
        anyone who applies for membership or employment with an EMS agency on or after July 1, 2014 must be
        fingerprinted. NO – it is not retroactive.

        So, is this still accurate?

        1. Yes, that is correct. We are NOT requiring agencies to repeat fingerprints of their members. This is simply a change (new process) of how we will acquire fingerprints after January 1, 2020. Any member (certified or not) of any agency that joined/affiliated with an agency after January 1, 2003 MUST have an eligibility status letter in their personnel file per EMS Regulation. Only members that have joined or were affiliated with the agency PRIOR to January 1, 2003 are EXEMPT from having a criminal background check.

  1. We work with our local law enforcement to do our fingerprints. They currently utilize “live Scan” to do FP. I am assuming for us to continue this process our locality will have to adopt the above code, is that correct? If not what are our options? Where will the nearest FieldPrint location be to Franklin County?

    1. In order for an EMS Agency to NOT utilize FieldPrint to acquire fingerprints; their local government must adopt the ordinance and become the responsible agent for the collection, submission, and interpretation of results compared to Code of Virginia and Virginia Administrative Code to determine eligibility for EMS certification and or affiliation in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

      The locality will then be responsible to notify both the requesting agency of the applicants eligibility status and the Virginia Office of EMS. You may also contact the Regulation & Compliance Division for further information at 804-888-9131.

  2. I see that there are large gaps of areas that do not have a print center to them, i see this as a problem and could cost agencies members if they have to travel 30 plus miles to get finger prints to join a volunteer agency, is there anything being done to increase the offices that may help some of these areas.

    1. Yes there are alternatives, please call the Virginia Office of EMS, Regulation & Compliance Division for further details at 804-888-9131.

  3. More hurdles for “volunteering”. It’s already to the point where volunteers are saying it’s not worth the headache.

  4. Will there be any costs associated with this new process, by either the individual being fingerprinted or organization that they will become affiliated with? If so, how much?

    1. Only non-certified applicants applying to affiliate with an EMS agency such as drivers are required to pay a fee when scheduling the appointment.

      If joining a volunteer agency the fee is $28.72 and a career agency is $35.72.

      1. Can you clarify what is meant by “non-certified applicant” means? Also, who pays the fee, the individual or does the EMS agency receive a bill later?

        1. A non-certified provider is any person affiliating with an EMS agency that does not hold a Virginia Office of EMS certification or endorsement. Examples of these positions could be drivers, helpers, or administrative staff members. Fees are only charged to non-certified applicants joining/affiliating with an EMS agency. The fee must be paid at the time of scheduling the fingerprinting appointment.

      1. If the agencies Super User has not received any information from OEMS, how can we obtain the information that was supposed to be sent to the Super User?

        1. Any agency Superuser that did not receive the notification email from the Office of EMS regarding how to submit fingerprints for eligibility status starting January 1, 2020 may email a request to the Regulation & Compliance Division Manager at ron.passmore@vdh.virginia.gov

    1. Yes, when scheduling the fingerprint appointment, information will be provided as to what acceptable forms of Identification are required at the appointment.

    1. FieldPrint lists the following locations nearest to Patrick County Virginia:
      Stuart VA
      Martinsville, VA
      Floyd, VA
      Galax, VA
      Rocky Mount VA
      Danbury NC
      Eden NC
      Wentworth NC
      Mount Airy NC
      King NC

  5. When someone is fingerprinted to join a volunteer EMS organization does the office of EMS obtain this information and then send a letter to the EMS agency
    My reason for this question if the agency misplaced the letter do you have to be reprinted are can the Office of EMS provide a copy of this Thank you
    Billy

  6. Why has the OEMS not permitted departments to setup accounts to pay for applicant fees? Fieldprint says departments could do that however the OEMS has not elected that option, therefore Fieldprint will not allow it. Getting new volunteers is hard enough without making them pay $28 and go elsewhere to be printed. It would help if departments were permitted to setup an account to pay the fee for applicants.

    1. Thank you very much for making our office aware that this option is available, we did not know this was an option offered by FieldPrint. The Virginia Office of EMS and FieldPrint are working together to outline the process whereby an EMS agency can arrange to provide payment for their non-certified members. Information will be posted on the Office of EMS website as soon as it is available, as well as an email that will be sent to all agency superusers regarding this option. We certainly want to do everything in our power to make this transition as smooth as possible, as well as being easier and more efficient for our agencies and providers.

  7. This is going to be a problem for small agencies that are already strapped financially. People from Russell County will have to travel 30-40 miles (Big Stone Gap or Abingdon) to get this done. With travel time, this will take 2 hours or more. This coupled with the cost is a little much for volunteers. We get people all the time, that only stay with us for short periods of time and then they are gone. Why did this change have to take place?

    1. There is no cost to the agencies with regards to criminal history background checks. There is a fee assessed only to individuals that do not hold a Virginia EMS certification to affiliate with a licensed EMS agency. Agencies may choose to cover this cost, but are under no obligation to do so. Again as a reminder, this fee is covered and paid for by the Office of EMS for all members seeking affiliation with an EMS Agency except those that do not hold an EMS certification.

      The current 2013 Budget Bill only authorizes the Office of EMS to pay for background checks for individuals that are certified by the Office of EMS and are seeking to affiliate with a licensed EMS agency. A 2020 Budget Bill amendment was entered in the current Virginia General Assembly session to allocate funding to cover non-certified applicants as well. If this budget bill passes this session, the Office of EMS will be able to cover the costs associated with non-certified members after July 1, 2020 (this summer).

      If the FieldPrint location is too far away or the available hours are too limited, an option is available for FieldPrint to mail the applicant a paper and ink card that the applicant will take to their local law enforcement station or office to be completed, and then mail back to FieldPrint for processing. Instructions on how to access this option can be found at: http://www.vdh.virginia.gov/content/uploads/sites/23/2019/12/Fingerprint-Submission-Paper-Card-Request.pdf

      The Office of EMS was the final Office/Division of the Virginia Department of Health to transition background checks to the state contract vendor. All Virginia Department of Health agencies, divisions and offices utilize FieldPrint for the submission of fingerprints statewide. This contract streamlines and standardizes the process while providing a considerable cost savings.

  8. This new process is placing undue cost on volunteer agencies, already struggling to get new new members. why are we being charged to bring in new uncertified members. or individuals who wish to help with administration or fundraising. I’m finding this as a method to limit volunteer agencies. What new volunteer wants to pay to join and agency. and even if the agencies reimburses the new member this is a new cost that was not budgeted.

    1. There is no cost charged to any EMS agency for complying with Virginia Administrative Code 12VAC5-31-910 of the EMS regulations that require every person wishing to affiliate with a licensed EMS agency to submit to a fingerprint based criminal background check to determine their eligibility status to affiliate with an EMS Agency.

      Current Code of Virginia budget bill language only authorizes funding for the Office of EMS to cover costs for “certified” EMS providers. Therefore, the cost associated with “non-certified” applicants currently cannot be paid for by the Office of EMS and is passed to the applicant, with volunteer applicants receiving a discounted fee. Agencies are able to cover this fee for applicants if they choose; however, they are not under any obligation to do so.

      A budget bill amendment was introduced in the current (2020) General Assembly session that, if passed, would authorize the Office of EMS to cover the costs associated with “non-certified” providers as well.

      The Office of EMS continues to work diligently to assure a responsive and supportive approach to all Virginia EMS agencies, while maintaining compliance with Virginia law and regulatory requirements. We strive for the most efficient and effective processes to enable positive recruitment efforts for all Virginia EMS agencies.

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