Ambulance Group Pushes for Tougher State Licensing Rules
The California Ambulance Association last week called on lawmakers to adopt a statewide licensing system, mandatory federal background checks and a substance abuse diversion program, the Sacramento Bee reports. The industry group represents California's largest private ambulance companies (McIntosh, Sacramento Bee, 3/13).
A Bee investigation in January found widespread paramedic licensing fraud that could be traced to inadequate oversight by the state Emergency Medical Services Authority.
The findings included delays in state licensing penalties and no criminal prosecution of unqualified paramedic applicants who issue false training records, classes they never attended or someone else's license number (California Healthline, 1/29).
CAA's proposal calls for the state Emergency Services Medical Authority to oversee a statewide licensure program. CAA President David Nivens said funding could be provided by increasing licensing fees.
American Medical Response, the largest ambulance company in the U.S., also supports statewide licensing requirements, and the California Professional Firefighters union has said it will discuss the proposal.
Sen. Abel Maldonado (R-San Luis Obispo) plans to draft legislation that would strengthen regulation and licensing of EMTs and create a substance abuse diversion program, according to spokesperson Amy Thoma (Sacramento Bee, 3/13).