to Ohio Emergency Medical Services

Critical Information

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.

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.

Free-standing Emergency Department Trauma Reporting Requirement

The recent addition of Free-standing Emergency Departments (FSEDs) in many areas has increased capacity and reduced the time to delivery of trauma services for many patients. However, it has caused some confusion concerning the need to report patient encounters through FSEDs to the Ohio Trauma Acute Care Registry.

The Ohio Board of Emergency Medical, Fire, and Transportation Services is charged with development and maintenance of a state trauma registry as outlined in Ohio Revised Code 4765.06 (B):

(B) The board shall establish a state trauma registry to be used for the collection of information regarding the care of adult and pediatric trauma victims in this state. The registry shall provide for the reporting of adult and pediatric trauma-related deaths, identification of adult and pediatric trauma patients, monitoring of adult and pediatric trauma patient care data, determination of the total amount of uncompensated adult and pediatric trauma care provided annually by each facility that provides care to trauma victims, and collection of any other information specified by the board. All persons designated by the board shall submit to the board any information it determines is necessary for maintaining the state trauma registry. At the request of the board any state agency possessing information regarding adult or pediatric trauma care shall provide the information to the board. The board shall maintain the state trauma registry in accordance with rules adopted under section 4765.11 of the Revised Code.

Compliance with this law requires reporting all care provided to adult and pediatric trauma victims who are evaluated and treated in any of Ohio’s FSEDs. A separate facility identification code must be issued by the Ohio Department of Public Safety Division of EMS for each FSED in order to comply with this law and to ensure accurate documentation of the delivery of trauma care throughout the state.

Click HERE to view the memo to Hospital CEOs.

EMS Clinical Biosafety Courses

The State Board of Emergency Medical, Fire, & Transportation Services (EMFTS) and the Ohio Department of Public Safety, Division of EMS are seeking ways to better prepare EMS healthcare workers to identify and manage a patient suspected or confirmed to have a high consequence infectious disease.

NETEC (National Ebola Training & Education Center), comprised of faculty and staff from Emory University, the University of Nebraska Medical Center/Nebraska Medicine and the New York Health and Hospitals Corporation, and Bellevue Hospital Center, has developed a series of EMS clinical biosafety courses. The EMS Clinical Biosafety Awareness Course aims to increase awareness about standard and transmission-based infection control practices, and considers some past and present high consequence infectious diseases as well as seasonal and pandemic influenza. By increasing awareness about timely and relevant infectious disease threats and reviewing infection control practice, healthcare workers can better protect themselves in the workplace.

Click HERE to access the Clinical Biosafety Awareness Course.

Click HERE to access modules that can be incorporated into training programs or learning management systems.

Please contact the Division of EMS Education Section, at (614) 466-9447 with questions.

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.

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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