On January 13, 2021, the California EMS Authority approved the Coastal Valleys EMS Agency Application for Local Optional Scope of Practice (LOSOP) enhancement allowing Emergency Medical Technicians to administer COVID-19 vaccinations under direct supervision of paramedics or Registered Nurses. CVEMSA constituent counties of Mendocino and Sonoma join a growing number of California Counties expanding the EMT scope of practice to support the vaccination efforts of local public health jurisdictions.
For CVEMSA, this approval represents the first local accreditation process for EMTs, and will require partnership with local Advanced Life Support (paramedic) service providers to oversee the EMT practice in collaboration with CVEMSA. To provide the Emergency Accreditation Authorization for EMT Vaccinators, CVEMSA Medical Director Dr. Mark Luoto has issued EMS Special Memo 21-001 which outlines the training, oversight and documentation requirements for EMT Accreditation and approval to vaccinate. California Code of Regulations Title 22 provides the framework for Local EMS Agencies to approve expanded scope of practice for both provider agencies and individual EMTs, and the Special Memo provides the legal authorization needed to implement this expansion.
Briefly, any EMT seeking accreditation for LOSOP as a vaccinator must be affiliated with an ALS Provider sponsor that will ensure the EMS Agency training has been completed and competency verified. Sponsoring ALS providers will send a roster that includes an affirmation that EMTs listed were appropriately trained to CVEMSA for approval. CVEMSA will then authorize those EMTs to work under the direction of the ALS Provider Medical Director as an Optional Scope Medical Director. EMT Accreditation will be continuous until CVEMSA notifies provider agencies the program has been terminated, or the EMS Special Memo expires on January 13, 2022
ALS Providers may, at their discretion, sponsor EMTs of non-ALS agencies or volunteers. Paramedics that are not currently accredited by CVEMSA are permitted to function as EMTs, and may accredit as vaccinators under the provisions of EMS Special Memo 21-001 by affiliating with an ALS Provider agency, and having training and competency verified by the sponsoring agency.
Linked below are:
EMS Special Memo 21-001
Training and Accreditation Roster
CVEMSA-Approved Training Checklist
CVEMSA-Approved PowerPoint Presentation