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EMS Professions (April 6, 2020)

Committee on Accreditation of Educational Programs for the Emergency Medical Services Professions (CoAEMSP)

Effective immediately, the CoAEMSP Board of Directors amends the CoAEMSP March 20, 2020 Updated Statement regarding COVID-19 to clarify that Paramedic educational programs may employ a broader array of approaches, including simulation, in determining competency in didactic, laboratory, clinical, field experience, and capstone field internship.

Updated Statement Regarding COVID-19 (Coronavirus)



EMAIL UPDATE: Friday, March 20, 2020 at 1:55 PM

Good afternoon EMS educators',
I wanted to reach out to each of you to update you on the board's activity over the past two weeks.  As each of us across the state tries to navigate these unprecedented times, the CEMSEA board is reaching out to every regulatory body possible to research every option available to meet the needs of our students.  Much speculation has been circling about exceptions to "Title 22." as it applies to clinical hours, online lectures, and the transformation of the lab to an online format in the wake of the shelter in place.  Without adding to growing speculation ( but maybe I am), meetings were held between EMSAAC and state EMSA last week to address the impact of COVID-19 on our programs.  It would appear we may see some exceptions to current regulations in the coming days.  These are some of the potential directives that were given to LEMSA's during that meeting. 
From Sean Trask, there is an action item below in item 2; please respond -

  • The EMS Authority will be preparing emergency regulations to address the impact on EMS training programs with the suspension of clinical training and field internships. This would be valid for the duration of the Governor's declared emergency. We will be proposing:
    • EMT Regulations - allow 100% of clinical training to be completed through high fidelity simulation. Currently, EMT training programs may allow 6 of 24 hours and 3 of 10 documented patient contacts via high fidelity simulation, when available.
    • Paramedic Regulations - allow 50% of ALS contacts in the field internship. Effective April 1, 2020, paramedics can substitute 10 of 40 ALS contacts through high fidelity simulation.
  • I received an email from the AHA who is proposing to extend their card expiration dates 60-days. Do the LEMSA administrators have any concerns with this?

I want to preface; the state EMSA has not officially authorized any of these items as of yet.  However, after speaking with a state official this morning, I would expect some form of an update in the weeks to come. We can only hope that exceptions will be made for the sake of our students. 
Furthermore, it is my opinion each faculty begin to hold high-fidelity simulation ASAP (when the shelter in place lifts) while documenting each scenario meticulously with the hope it (along with others) will supplant required clinical hours and patient contacts during this crisis.  Lastly, this is the association's time to shine; we need each other more than ever.   Moving forward, this would be a great time to standardize our high-fidelity simulation, standardize our skills competencies, and work towards establishing our own sector.   Thank you for your time and take care of yourself and your families. 

Matthew McElhenie 
CEMSEA President


March 20, 2020

The Committee on Accreditation of Educational Programs for the Emergency Medical Services Professions (CoAEMSP) has
been closely monitoring the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) on Paramedic education programs and their
institutions. It is recognized that institutions are preparing or enacting action plans to keep students, faculty, and staff
safe; that programs are considering alternative methods for delivery of didactic courses; and that clinical and capstone
field internship sites are enacting plans and processes that might impact clinical and capstone field internship education.
The CoAEMSP recognizes that programs may need to employ different approaches and strategies that may be influenced
by individual institutional policies and procedures, local, state and federal regulations, and possible variations in the
spread of COVID-19. The CoAEMSP is providing the following guidance to programs in order to remain compliant with the
CAAHEP Standards and Guidelines for the Accreditation of Educational Programs in the Emergency Medical Services
Professions during this difficult time. We fully recognize that this is an evolving situation so additional guidelines will be
provided, as deemed appropriate.

More information see the letter here updated letter

March 9, 2020

Paramedic educational programs are in the process of planning and making decisions on how best to respond to the impact of COVID-19. Since the spread of COVID-19 is continuing, please know the CoAEMSP supports you as you work through this public health crisis. We will work with our programs to help them navigate issues that impact their students.

As academic institutions are in the process of planning and deciding how best to respond we encourage you to refer to these helpful resources for the latest information on coronavirus:

  • WHO
  • CDC
  • NHTSA's Office of EMS
  • U.S. Department of Education
  • Federal Student Aid
  • your local public health authority for your county and state
  • your local and state regulatory institutions including the State OEMS

For Programs in the clinical or capstone field internship phase, decisions made may impact the students' graduation date. Factors to consider include but are not limited to:

  • increasing the use of simulation; however, the capstone field internship team leads cannot be accomplished with simulation
  • meeting with the Program Medical Director to discuss options for continued learning
  • extending the students' learning
  • following your local public health authority
  • following your program's and institution's protocols
  • implementing the academic continuity plan for your institution
  • utilizing other clinical or capstone field internship affiliations that are accepting students
  • meeting your institutional requirements for potentially extended graduation for all students

If suspended from clinical and capstone field internship sites, and no other sites are available, then follow the program's action plan for students who do not meet the program's established minimums for patient contacts/skills. It will be important to document that if the institution is closed, skills labs and simulations will not be available.

Programs are encouraged to move forward using temporary, commonsense approaches without CoAEMSP guidance or approval. If graduation dates are delayed, be prepared to provide the CoAEMSP with evidence demonstrating which sites and students were directly impacted and the length of the disruption.

Visit periodically for updated information.      Letter

Please forward this statement to the appropriate individuals in your program.

George W. Hatch, Jr., EdD, LP, Executive Director

Paul Berlin, MS, NRP, Chair, Board of Directors