Louisiana becomes 21st state to join EMS Compact
The state legislature voted unanimously to join the compact during a special session dedicated to addressing the demands of COVID-19
By Laura French
BATON ROUGE, La. — Louisiana has become the 21st state to join the EMS Compact.
State lawmakers voted unanimously to join the compact during a special legislative session dedicated to addressing the demands of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a statement from the Interstate Commission for EMS Personnel Practice.
The commission credited Senator Barrow Peacock and Acadian Ambulance Service for providing strong support for the legislation. The Department of Defense also supported the legislation as a benefit for military members who serve in EMS.
"I can't even begin to tell you the excitement over here at Acadian that Louisiana will finally become a part of the Compact," said Scott Guidry, general counsel for Acadian Ambulance Service. "We are a multi-state operation with units in Louisiana, Texas, Mississippi and Tennessee. It's easy to see how Louisiana was the missing piece to our puzzle."
The EMS Compact enables EMS personnel licensed in one compact member state to practice in other member states without obtaining a separate license. The compact includes a coordinated personnel licensing data system for member states and supports expediting licensing in member states for military personnel and their spouses.
The compact was originally scheduled to go live in June but was declared operational in March in order to aid in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Louisiana will formally join the compact in July 2021 when the state law goes into effect.
"I am so pleased to have our neighbors from Louisiana joining us in the EMS Compact. Since the EMS Compact activated the cross-border privilege to practice this past March, we have had hundreds of EMS personnel use those provisions to move in or out of Texas without needing to obtain a new state license," said Compact Commission Chair Joseph Schmider. "Given the movement of patients and EMS personnel between Louisiana and Texas, this will be a great thing for EMS in both of our states."