Kern County Considers Wider Background Checks for EMTs
Kern County's Emergency Medical Services Department is proposing to adopt mandatory criminal background checks for all emergency medical technicians, effective this summer, the Sacramento Bee reports.
Monterey County also is considering similar action. The proposals require approval by the county boards of supervisors.
Kern County currently issues EMT certificates on the honor system and without running a check on an applicant's criminal history.
A Sacramento Bee investigation earlier this year found loopholes within the state's licensing system in which applicants with criminal records were able to obtain EMT certification.
The certificates issued by one jurisdiction are valid statewide. Half of Kern County's more than 4,000 active EMT certifications were granted to applicants who did not reside or work in the county, according to the Bee.
The Senate currently is considering legislation (SB 254) by Sen. Roy Ashburn (R-Bakersfield) that would require by 2009 mandatory criminal background checks for all California EMTs and statewide licensure (McIntosh, Sacramento Bee, 4/30).