Carson City, NV August 25, 2023
Nevada proudly stands as the 23rd state to unify its Emergency Medical Services (EMS) personnel standards with the Recognition of EMS Personnel Practice Interstate Compact (EMS Compact). Assembly Bill 158, approved unanimously by the Assembly and Senate and signed by Governor Joe Lombardo on June 12, 2023, is set to take effect on October 1, 2023.
This inclusion in the EMS Compact allows licensed EMS personnel from Nevada to practice across other member states without the need for separate licensing. More critically, it extends Nevada's reach into a pool of over 400,000 EMS personnel, all sharing the same licensure standards across compact states. Nevada will also gain access to the National EMS Coordinated database, a significant step in fortifying public protection through the sharing of EMS licensure data amongst member states. This database will empower Nevada with information on adverse actions taken against any individual's EMS license in other states, thus promoting public safety and advancing professional accountability.
Assembly Bill 158, a collaborative effort by Assemblyman Philip P.K. O’Neill, Assemblyman Ken Gray, and Assemblywoman Heidi Kasama, will also pave the way for an expedited licensing process for discharged service military personnel and their EMS-qualified spouses.
Bobbie Sullivan, Nevada's Emergency Medical Services Program Manager, and newly appointed Commissioner to the EMS Compact, expressed enthusiasm, stating, “I am thrilled about the benefits this will bring to Nevada, especially for our rural and frontier areas grappling with the recruitment and retention of EMS Personnel." Commissioner Sullivan also highlighted the EMS Compact's role in streamlining the process for the deployment of wildland firefighter EMS personnel in states like Utah by eliminating licensing delays.
Donnie Woodyard, the Executive Director of the EMS Compact, affirmed, “Nevada joining the EMS Compact is a crucial leap forward in advancing the EMS profession and harmonizing EMS standards nationwide.” He further noted that when states join the EMS Compact, they don't merely tap into a national pool of uniformly licensed and qualified EMS personnel; they also reduce administrative burdens. Woodyard stressed that all EMS providers would continue practicing with a state-authorized EMS agency under the supervision of a physician EMS medical director.
Nevada's inclusion in the Compact signals a nationwide reinforcement of professionalism, the significance of national standards, public protection, and accountability. Furthermore, the EMS Compact legislation necessitates that all Compact member states adopt uniform minimum standards for the licensure of EMS personnel.
The EMS Compact propels the day-to-day movement of EMS personnel licensed in one Compact state to all other compact states, extending the privilege to practice across all member states. As a result, the EMS Compact bolsters access to patient care, safeguards the public, alleviates administrative pressures for EMS personnel and states, and ultimately enhances the Emergency Medical Services system in the United States.