Paramedics & EMTs
In the state of Ohio there are multiple certification levels for pre-hospital responders. Each of the specific permitted skills for each level is outlined in Ohio's scope of practice. All certifcation standards are regulated by the Ohio Department of Public Safety's Division of Emergency Medical Services.
The minimum level required to staff an ambulance is "Emergency Medical Technician", called an EMT or EMT-Basic. The next level is the "Advanced Emergency Medical Technician", called and AEMT or EMT-Intermediate. The top level is the "Paramedic".
Fulltime Worthington Fire & EMS personnel must hold at least an EMT-Basic certification, and are required to complete paramedic certification within three years of initial employment. Front-line Medic 101 and reserve Medic 102 are always manned with a minimum of two paramedics and one EMT-Basic. Since the fire trucks also carry advanced life support equipment such as defibrillators and medications, at least one person on Engine-Rescue 101 and two people on Ladder 101 must be paramedics.
The aforementioned scope of practice lists in-detail the medical procedures each level is permitted to administer. In a very broad overview, paramedic-level certification permits insertion of advanced airways such as endotracheal or cricothyroid tubes; establishing IV access and delivering medications via that route; monitoring and interpreting cardiac rhythms; defibrillating with a unit other than an AED; and needle decompression into the chest cavity.
In order to maintain these levels of certification, every three years the individual must complete a certain number of continuing education hours, including certain amounts in specific categories. The amount for paramedics is currently 86 hours; for EMT-Intermediates is 60 hours; and for EMT-Basics is 40 hours. Each level must include a certain number of hours in pediatrics, geriatrics, and trauma, with paramedics also requiring a certain number of cardiac hours.
In Ohio, there is currently no requirement for each certified EMT or paramedic to submit their tri-annual proof of continuing education. However, the state utilizes a system of random auditing of individuals who, if selected, must present said proof in order to qualify for re-certification.