Regulations & Compliance FAQ

1. If I don’t have an EMT with me on the ambulance, I cannot do ALS care and I can only provide BLS care to the hospital. In fact, I need to call the hospital to get permission to provide ALS care, right?

Wrong! 12VAC5-31-1250 (3) Advanced life support vehicle transport states in part.

An Attendant must be certified as an emergency medical technician or an equivalent approved by the Office of EMS in addition to the attendant-in-charge. The attendant must not serve as the attendant-in-charge. An operator may serve as the attendant if certified as an emergency medical technician or an equivalent approved by the Office of EMS.

The staffing of an ALS Ambulance during transport of an ALS level patient needs to have the ALS provider and an EMT. If there is not an EMT – DO NOT WITHOLD CARE TO THE PATIENT! 12VAC5-31-1060 Transport without required personnel note the ability of such a transport to occur, but it must be documented on the Pre-hospital Patient Care Report (PPCR).

2. I was told by my chief that even though I was convicted of a misdemeanor drug possession charge, I can still take an EMT course.

12VAC5-31-910 (4) Criminal or enforcement history states in part:

Has never been convicted or found guilty of any crime involving the use, possession, or distribution of illegal drugs except that person is eligible for affiliation five years after the date of final release if no additional crimes of this type have been committed during that time.”

Date of final release is that time from any sentence imposed by the Virginia Court system AND any probationary time issued. Individuals who are not sure if they are qualified to enter into an EMS training program in Virginia because of a past issue, should contact the Office of EMS for clarification.

3. We are hearing that we must have an AED along with our combination monitor defibrillator (AED and Manual capable) on our units. We also were told we had to change the energy settings per OEMS Rules and Regulations?

This is partly correct. We do require that an AED be on every permitted EMS vehicle in Virginia, BUT, we do say in 12VAC5-31-860 required vehicle equipment that “This may be a combination device that also has manual defibrillation capability.” Regarding the energy settings for delivery of shock, that is an issue that is addressed by your Operational Medical Director, not the Office of EMS.

4. We were told as a first responder agency that we did not have to fill out a patient care report, we would simply give the name of the patient to the arriving ambulance and that was it.

A licensed EMS agency in Virginia, transport or first response, should document every incident assigned to their agency, this includes cancellations, refusals, standby’s (as in fire and law enforcement assist), public service, etc. This data is in turn submitted to the Office of EMS on a quarterly basis as required by § 32.1-116.1 of the Code of Virginia.

5. How long do we need to keep our EMS Medical Records?

12VAC5-31-530 (2) Preparation and maintenance of records and reports states in part: “2. EMS agency records shall be prepared and securely maintained at the principle place of operations or a secured storage facility for a period of no less than five years.” Since the implementing of these regulations (January 15, 2003) the Code of Virginia has been amended to require the storage of records for a minimum of six (6) years. The upcoming revised regulations will be amended to reflect the current law. We also encourage agencies to consult their legal advisor for additional questions regarding the storage of PPCR’s and other legal documents for the agency.

We welcome any questions or additional ideas or questions concerning new regulations for Emergency Medical Services!