I Have an EMT-1 and an EMT-P; Which License Gets Disciplined?

I Have an EMT-1 and an EMT-P; Which License Gets Disciplined?


Many firefighters have multiple EMS Licenses. You may be licensed as an EMT-1 and a Paramedic. So what happens if you make a mistake while working only under your EMT-1?

Let’s say that your current job only requires you to have the basic EMT certification, an EMT-1. It does not require that you have a Paramedic license, but you do. Let’s say that you are employed to only perform Basic Life Support (BLS) procedures but you make a mistake that puts you in violation of the Health and Safety Code.  Does the Paramedic license trump the EMT-1 even though you were not working in a medic capacity? Which license gets disciplined?

This is a law firm, so the following answer won’t surprise you: It depends. That translates to: It’s complicated.  I actually had to go directly to the California Emergency Medical Services Authority Administrative Adviser and Counsel to get the answer; here is what he said:

 As each certificate or license is issued by a separate entity, it is up to that entity to take action if they deem it warranted on the certificate or license that they issued.  It is completely possible, and often happens, that if an individual has a separate EMT-I cert and an EMT-P license that they may be subject to discipline by the LEMSA on their EMT-I cert and by EMSA on their EMT-P license for acts arising out of the same occurrence.  Whether to take disciplinary action or not is up to the issuing agency.

One certification does not “trump” another for disciplinary purposes.  If an EMT-P had a separate EMT-I cert, and was employed to only perform BLS procedures(which is allowed under the license), and was in violation of the Health and Safety Code, EMSA could still take action on the EMT-P license regardless of whether the LEMSA also took action on the EMT-I cert or not.  EMSA cannot take action against an EMT-I certification, only the LEMSA can do that.  However, if an individual possessed both an EMT-I and an EMT-P license, and was performing activities that are allowed only under his EMT-P license, then only EMSA could take action against the license. 

So for those of you firefighters who are licensed as EMT-1 and EMT-P, and then perhaps you have driver’s license, theoretically you could be facing discipline on 5 separate levels for one instance for something like a DUI: 

  1. your department
  2. your Local
  3. the EMSA
  4. the National Registry
  5. and the DMV

Good thing that you have a license defense team, who knows the departmental-admin side and the DMV hearing side and possibly even the criminal and civil side. We know how to juggle all of these and to ensure that saving one – does not mean jeopardizing the other.

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