to Ohio Emergency Medical Services

Critical Information


New Fire Service Certifications – Effective January 1, 2018

On January 1, 2018, revisions to the Ohio Administrative Code related to fire service training (OAC 4765-20 through 4765-25) became effective. The rules include two additional certifications.

Live Fire Instructor

The Live Fire Instructor certification will be required, effective January 1, 2021, for all fire instructors and assistant fire instructors conducting live burn evolutions required for firefighter certifications. The certification is being phased in from January 1, 2018, through December 31, 2020. All fire instructors and assistant fire instructors will be required to hold the live fire instructor certification on January 1, 2021, if they intend to participate in live burn evolutions when required for state certification as a firefighter.

Requirements to obtain the certification vary depending on when the fire instructor or assistant fire instructor received his/her instructor certification, with exemption (“grandfathering”) options available to fire instructors and assistant fire instructors, depending on when certification was achieved.

NOTE: Although the requirement to be certified as a Live Fire Instructor applies to individuals who provide instruction in live fire training evolutions required for certification as a firefighter and “grandfathering” options are available, all fire instructors and assistant fire instructors participating in live fire training evolutions are encouraged to attend the Live Fire Training Operations Course and to become certified as a Live Fire Instructor.

Click HERE for additional information on the Live Fire Instructor certification, including course entrance requirements, certificate qualifications, and exemption (“grandfathering”) options.

Hazard Recognition Officer

The Hazard Recognition Officer certification is an optional certification available to certified firefighters effective January 1, 2018. The training required for certification meets the minimum requirements set forth in NFPA 1031: Standard for Professional Qualification for Fire Inspector and Plan Examiner for Fire Inspector I. As with the Fire Safety Inspector certification (NFPA Fire Inspector II) the training will provide the student with the appropriate knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to conduct fire and life safety inspections, although at a more basic level. The certification will not permit the certificate holder to write citations. Citations remain the responsibility of certified fire safety inspectors.

NOTE: The Hazard Recognition Officer course, required to obtain an initial Hazard Recognition Officer certification will be available through Ohio chartered fire training programs on April 1, 2018. Current fire safety inspector certificate holders, however, may drop-back to the Hazard Recognition Officer certification through one of the following actions:

  • A Fire Safety Inspector (FSI) who wishes to “drop back” in the middle of his/her certification period will be required to submit a signed written request to the Division of EMS.
  • A Fire Safety Inspector (FSI) who waits until his/her certification renewal date will be able to “drop back” electronically when they renew his/her fire certifications online.

Click HERE to view details regarding the Hazard Recognition Officer certification.

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EMS Scope of Practice Update

On October 18, 2017, the State Board of Ohio Emergency Medical, Fire, and Transportation Services (EMFTS Board) made the following amendments to the Ohio EMS scope of practice:

  1. Emergency medical responders (EMRs (formerly First Responders)) may apply and obtain readings from CO-oximeters.
  2. Ketamine has been added to the list of medications approved for administration by advanced emergency medical technicians (AEMTs (formerly EMT-Intermediates)).

In addition to these amendments, the concentration of epinephrine 1:1,000 will now be listed as epinephrine 1 milligram per 1 milliliter (1 mg/1ml). This action is due to a national patient safety initiative impacting all healthcare sectors, including pharmaceutical manufacturers, in an effort to reduce medication administration errors. Of note, the national recommendation is to refer to epinephrine 1:10,000 as epinephrine 0.1 milligram per 1 milliliter (0.1 mg/1 ml). 

Click HERE to view the Ohio EMS scope of practice matrix.

Click HERE to view the memo from State EMS Medical Director Carol Cunningham regarding the change in the Ohio EMS Scope of Practice. 

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New Patient Tracking App for use by Fire / EMS Responders

During a Mass Casualty Incident (MCI), patient tracking for the purpose of family reunification is an important consideration in the management of the incident.  A statewide patient tracking program called OHTrac was developed several years ago for this purpose. The Ohio Hospital Association and Ohio Department of Health recently completed the initial rollout of a new patient tracking APP, titled OHTrac, that is specifically designed for fire / EMS responders.

Hospitals throughout the state have been using a web-based version of OHTrac for several years. The APP version was designed for pre-hospital fire / EMS providers to use on cell a phone or tablet in the field to begin the patient tracking process. The Apple and Droid version of the APP is available to download for free and there is no charge for access to the OHTrac system.

The OHTrac APP has been piloted in the field by fire/EMS responders from multiple regions throughout the state during full-scale exercises. From feedback received from these pilot programs, the OHTrac APP was further refined. The APP is intuitive in use and only requires about 30-40 minutes of training. A PowerPoint training program available below will allow fire / EMS personnel to be easily trained during a shift or at a group or individual training session. There are only three required fields for fire / EMS providers to enter a patient using the OHTrac APP:

  1. a triage number, which can be scanned into the proper data field from a bar-coded triage tag,
  2. triage level, and
  3. patient gender.

Use of the OHTrac APP can also assist the triage officer in designating the proper hospital(s) to be transported. The pilot studies have shown hospitals receive notice of the number and severity of patients that are being transported to their facility by using OHTrac prior to formal verbal communication from the scene.

Best practices when implementing the use of the OHTrac app for patient tracking has shown that integration of using the APP in cooperation with the local hospital(s) is instrumental to a successful program. The materials available at the link will also reference you to the appropriate Regional Hospital Coordinator who will be able to provide you with a local hospital contact and access to the OHTrac system.

Click HERE to download a PowerPoint presentation about the app.

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Pharmacy Board Naloxone Transfer Guidance

The State of Ohio Board of Pharmacy has developed guidance regarding the legal transfer of naloxone between EMS agencies to reallocate the medication to avoid expiration. The guidance can be accessed at HERE.


Fire Training Rules - Filed with JCARR

OAC 4765 Fire Rules

Subsequent to the Stakeholder Meeting conducted on February 8, 2017, and feedback from stakeholders over the past several months the proposed fire training rules have been revised. The revised fire training rules were filed with JCARR on September 21, 2017, and are available via the following links:

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New Ambulette and Medical Transportation Rules

Effective August 1, 2017

  1. Licensed ambulette services with an expiration date of August 1, 2017 or later will be required to comply with new ambulette rules (O.A.C. 4766-3-01 through O.A.C. 4766-3-18).
  2. The revisions to O.A.C. 4766-1-01 regarding public hearings and notices apply to all medical transportation services and will become effective on August 1, 2017.

Click HERE to view the rules on the Register of Ohio website.

Summary of Key Changes:

  • 4766-3-02 - Application must be complete and received by license expiration date. Service tax ID or EIN added to application.
  • 4766-3-03 - All fees are nonrefundable.
  • 4766-3-05 - Vehicles listed on Certificate of insurance.
  • 4765-3-07 - NEW Ambulette license plate requirement.
  • 4766-3-08 - Ambulette roadworthiness requirements and equipment and supplies requirements are no longer listed in rule.
  • 4766-3-09 - Periodic Mechanical Safety Inspection by certified mechanic. Click HERE to see a sample form.
  • 4766-3-10 - Rule rescinded. Portions of the rule were moved to the amended rule O.A.C. 4766-3-08.
  • 4766-3-13 - NEW driver training and qualifications requirements.
  • 4766-3-18 - Incorporated by reference: lists the location of all documents referenced in this rule.

DISCLAIMER:  Only key changes are listed.  Please refer to the respective rule to see the complete changes for each rule.

Click HERE for additional information about EMS rules and the rules review process.

Contact the Division of EMS at (614) 466-9447 or (800) 233-0785 if you have any questions.

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New Online Certification Renewal System

As of May 24, 2016, all EMS and fire certifications must be renewed online using our Online Certification Renewal System. Paper renewal applications will no longer be mailed.

Passwords for the old system will not transfer to the new one. All certificate holders must set up new accounts and passwords the first time they log on to submit renewal applications. To access the new system, an email address must be listed in the EMS database. Certificate holders should not wait until the last day of the certification cycle to renew.

The new system is user friendly and secure. It provides step-by-step prompts to ensure the correct information is entered and allows for quicker processing.

Click HERE to see the User Guide.

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Waveform Capnography Requirement

Effective January 2021, waveform capnography is required for all patients requiring invasive airway devices. EMS Priority 1 training and equipment grants are available to assist with acquisition.

Click HERE to learn more about the requirement.

Click HERE to learn more about the EMS Grant Program.

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DEA - Fentanyl Briefing Guide

There is a significant threat to EMS, fire, law enforcement personnel and other first responders who may come in contact with fentanyl and other fentanyl-related substances through routine law enforcement, emergency or life-saving activities. Since fentanyl can be ingested orally, inhaled through the nose or mouth or absorbed through the skin or eyes, any substance suspected to contain fentanyl should be treated with extreme caution as exposure to a small amount can lead to significant health-related complications, respiratory depression, or death. The DEA - Fentanyl Briefing Guide contains recommendations on potential best practices for first responders that may encounter, test and transport exhibits that could contain fentanyl-related substances.

Click HERE to view or download the DEA - Fentanyl Briefing Guide.

Click HERE for more opiod response resources from federal and state partners.

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