EMS Compact declared operational
The interstate personnel licensing system was approved to begin operations early to help agencies impacted by COVID-19
By Laura French
MECHANICSBURG, Pa. — The Interstate Commission for EMS Personnel Practice has declared the interstate EMS Personnel Licensure Compact operational effective Monday, March 16, ahead of its scheduled go-live date.
The Commission voted to allow the process to go forward in order to help EMS agencies impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak address personnel issues. The Compact allows EMS providers licensed in one member state to practice in another member state without the need to earn a separate license in that state.
"We already know of EMS personnel in states around the country who are in quarantine from occupational contacts with suspected ill patients. For many EMS agencies, the loss of a few key personnel for two weeks, even if they don't become ill, can stress daily operations," said Commission Chair Joe Schmider. "The EMS Compact was built in part for this exact scenario. We want the EMS Compact to be one more tool in the toolbox that states can use in responding to this evolving public health event."
The Compact was originally scheduled to go live on July 1, 2020. The Commission said in its announcement that the Compact's automated data system will go online later this year and that member states have agreed to manually exchange paperwork in the interim to verify the license status of personnel.
On the same day the Commission made its announcement, it also announced that West Virginia has joined the Compact as the 19th member state. The state recently passed legislation to join the Compact, effective June 3, 2020.