Q:  Why should I make sure I receive an instructor signed completion certificate for a course I complete outside my own service? -or-

Why, as an instructor, do I have to provide a signed completion certificate to students outside my own service?

A:  Instructors should refer to MDPH/OEMS AR 2-212 "EMT Continuing Education Standards" Section I E (1) for course completion documentation requirements.

When an EMT takes a course at the service where s/he works (the "affiliated" service), the designated Training Officer is able to enter the course into the National Registry website based on the roster that was signed. The course information is automatically populated into the EMT's online profile.

When an EMT takes a course that will not be entered by a TO, the EMT needs to enter the course into their online profile and also provide his/her Training Officer with proof that the course was completed.

Old way:

  1.  You took a course & signed a roster
  2. The instructor also signed the roster confirming that you were present
  3. The instructor sent the roster to OEMS
  4. OEMS entered the course into their database

New way (when taking a course not provided by your own service or TO):

  1. You take a course & sign a roster
  2. The instructor also signs the roster confirming you were present, but keeps the roster for his/her own records
  3. The instructor gives you a course completion certificate as proof that you were present
  4. You enter the course into the website at massemt.org or nremt (if you're Nationally Registered)
  5. You give your TO the course completion certificate as proof so s/he can check-off your training as completed


Q:  Are OEMS approval numbers valid for the calendar year or the recertification period?

A: OEMS approval numbers for courses will be issued to conincide with the recertification period beginning 4/1/2016 through 3/31/2017. Instructors may apply for a specific date or dates within that time period or request an "open" (aka "blanket") approval number for that time period. "Open" numbers which were set to expire 12/31/15 have been extended to 3/31/2016.


Q:  Who is required to take the EMT-P to Paramedic Transition course?

A: Every EMT-Paramedic in MA (Nationally Registered or not) has to take this course unless they are a recent graduate of a paramedic program and their certification number begins with the prefix letter "M". The deadlines to complete this course is 2016/2017 depending on recertification dates.

A properly delivered course includes the National Scope of Practice content that has not been included in MA, but is now taught to all paramedics nationwide (this will ensure a paramedic, regardless of the state, has the same training).  It is true that some of the training will be for skills a paramedic will not use in MA, but again, it's not to prepare them for providing this care in MA, but rather it's to educate them to the level that matches all paramedics nationwide.


Q:  How many continuing education credits do I need to renew my EMT certification?

A:  The following training is required for renewal, based on the National, Local, and Individual Continued Competency Requirements.

     EMT: 20 hours National, 10 hours Local, 10 hours Individual (40 total)

     AEMT: 25 National (20 EMT NCCR + 5 Paramedic NCCR), 12.5 Local, 12.5 Individual (50 total)

     Paramedic: 30 National, 15 Local, 15 Individual (60 total)


Q: What credits can I use toward my EMT recertification?

A: Continuing education courses that have received an OEMS approval number or CECBEMS approval may be applied toward EMT recertification. OEMS does not allow certain CECBEMS approved courses. Refer to MDPH/OEMS AR 2-212 "EMT Continuing Education Standards" Section I Part C for restrictions.

Contact Aaron Gettinger at 617-753-7304 with questions regarding special credit for programs such as college courses and out of state conferences.

The National Registry does not allow clinical rotations, instructor methodology courses, management/leadership courses, performance of duty, preceptor hours, serving as a skill examiner, and volunteer time with agencies.


Q: How many continuing education credits does OEMS allow an individual to acquire through online EMS training programs?

A:  The National Registry defines Distributive Education (DE) as “a method of delivering EMS education where the educator and student are not able to interact in real time. Examples include online courses, journal article reviews, and videos.” Online training is limited to 1/3 the total number of credits required (EMT-13, AEMT-16.5, Paramedic-20)


Q:  I am an instructor. Can I apply teaching hours toward recertification credits if I teach EMS courses?

A: Teaching EMS topics counts as taking the course and instructors earn hour-for-hour credits, but each course taught can only count once during their two year recertification cycle.

Remember, all credits entered into your online profile need to have an OEMS approval number. Submit a letter of request for teaching and/or special credit for approval with documentation that supports the request to OEMS.


Q: Is the BLS "Assisted" Albuterol class required to be taught at regular intervals, or is it a one-time class and then we can review it as we see the need?

A: OEMS didn’t issue a mandate for renewal training for albuterol, but the ambulance service’s Affiliate Hospital Medical Director who authorizes EMTs to use it (as indicated in the signed BLS Memorandum of  Agreement) might require this.  The service itself may also want to require it.  Otherwise, as one would maintain competency for any other EMS skill, it should be covered during continuing education.


Q: A/R 2-260 "Standards for ALS/BLS Training" clearly states that this training is for all personnel staffing with less than 2 Paramedics, but does it apply to services that are strictly BLS but intercept with and share patient care duties with other departments with PP, P-AEMT, or PB configurations?  (For example, what if I'm an EMT and my department is licensed at the Basic level only, but we use paramedic intercept services and we transport the patient in our BLS ambulance with their paramedics on board?)

A: The training required in A/R 2-260 applies specifically to EMTs at all levels working for ALS level licensed ambulance services that are staffing paramedic-level ambulances in any staffing configuration less than two paramedics. If a BLS level service routinely intercepts with paramedic services and work with paramedics in their ambulances, they are limited to performing only their BLS skills (and not assisting the paramedic) unless both the paramedic and the EMT have had the ALS/BLS Interface training.


Q: What are the course requirements for a Paramedic Assist Class?

A: The ALS/BLS Interface Training (formerly referred to as “Paramedic Assist”) is required for ALL levels of EMTs (EMT, AEMT, and Paramedic) before staffing an ambulance licensed at the ALS level when the staffing configuration is less than two paramedics.  The specific requirements are included in AR 2-260 Requirements for ALS/BLS Interface Training. The ALS/BLS Interface course outline is available.


Q: Do you have to be specially trained and certified to teach people how to use the PAPR (Powered Air Purifying Respirators)?

A: Yes, you need to have training in order to teach the program. Contact the Massachusetts Department of Public Health’s Emergency Preparedness Bureau at: (617) 624-5289.


Q: Can any EMT teach a First Responder course for firefighters and/or police officers?

A: No, EMTs must meet the primary instructor qualifications listed within OEMS Administrative Requirement 2-100 "Minimum Standards for First Aid Training for First Responders".


Q: How much training is involved to become a paramedic in MA?

A: You can review requirements on the Massachusetts Paramedic Training Programs.


Q: Is a paramedic, even if they are not Nationally Registered, allowed to complete an interfacility transfer if it originates in another state for transfer into MA? May they also transfer a patient to another state?

A: Any paramedic certified in Massachusetts who has successfully completed the most current Interfacility Transfer training program may complete a transfer for any patient within the Commonwealth to another a state or any patient originating in another state into the Commonwealth as well as the return transfer if needed. At all times the scope of practice is limited to the IFT guidelines found in Appendix A3 of the Mass EMS Pre-hospital Treatment Protocols.


Q: Are there any requirements for M+M rounds at the paramedic level?

A: Ambulance Services licensed at the ALS level are required to maintain an ALS Affiliation Agreement with a hospital licensed by the Department of Public Health to provide medical control. According to 105 CMR 170.300 (A)(7), the Affiliation Agreement must include a provision to ensure "regular consultation between medical and nursing staffs and EMS personnel providing ALS services, including but not limited to attendance at morbidity and mortality rounds and chart reviews;" The hospital is similarly bound to this requirement through their hospital regulations governing hospitals providing medical control (see 105 CMR 130.1502(K).


Q: Do you know of any upcoming I/C courses?

A: Instructor Coordinator (I/C) Courses are coordinated through OEMS. Contact Pat Reilly for information at: 617-753-7318.

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