Tenn. Comp. R. & Regs. 1200-12-01-.18 - EMERGENCY MEDICAL DISPATCHER STANDARDS

(1) Definitions - The terms used in this rule shall be defined as follows:
(a) Department - The Tennessee Department of Health, Division of Emergency Medical Services.
(b) Emergency Medical Dispatcher (EMD) - An individual certified by the Department as having successfully completed a Department-approved Emergency Medical Dispatch Course.
(c) Emergency Medical Dispatch Priority Reference System (EMDPRS) - A Department-approved protocol system used by a dispatch agency to dispatch aid to medical emergencies which must include:
1. Systemized caller interrogation questions;
2. Systemized pre-arrival instructions; and
3. Protocols matching the dispatcher's evaluation of injury or illness severity with vehicle response mode and configuration.
(d) Medical Director - A person approved by the Department who assumes medical leadership for the provision of emergency medical services, including basic and/or advanced life support, and/or medical dispatch services in the dispatch agency's geographical area.
(e) Pre-Arrival Instructions - Telephone-rendered, medically approved, written instructions given by trained EMDs through callers which help to provide aid to the victim and control of the situation prior to the arrival of pre-hospital personnel. The dispatcher shall adhere to the written wording as closely as possible.
(f) Vehicle Response Mode - The use of emergency driving techniques, such as red-light and siren, versus routine driving response.
(g) Vehicle Response Configuration - The specific vehicle(s) of varied types, capabilities, and numbers responding to render assistance in a particular emergency situation.
(2) Requisites for providing Medical Dispatch Service
(a) Any dispatching entity receiving and dispatching calls for emergency medical services which provides pre-arrival medical care instructions may require persons assigned to handle such calls to be certified as emergency medical dispatchers as defined in T.C.A. § 68-140-502. All such dispatching entities shall have medically approved dispatch protocols.
(b) The Department shall assist local dispatch agencies in implementing an Emergency Medical Dispatch Priority Reference System by:
1. Providing medical direction; and
2. Providing technical assistance; and
3. Identifying an approved standard Emergency Medical Dispatch Priority Reference System which must include at a minimum caller interrogation questions, pre-arrival instructions, and vehicle response mode/ configuration protocols as defined by these Rules.
(c) The EMDPRS including its questions, instructions, and protocols, shall be used exactly as approved by the Department.
(d) Dispatch agencies shall provide for medical dispatch quality assurance by initiating an ongoing medical call review procedure and a quality assurance program as established by the agency's Medical Director.
(3) Emergency Medical Dispatcher Curriculum
(a) All Emergency Medical Dispatch training program curricula shall be approved by the Department based on an approved checklist of required basic components and elements as approved by the EMS Board.
(b) Any curriculum submitted for approval shall conform to the guidelines of the National Association of EMS Physician's (Position Paper on Emergency Medical Dispatching ) and ASTMF 1258-90 (Standard Practice for Emergency Medical Dispatch) and/or its successor standards as a minimum.
(c) The length of the course shall be a minimum of 24 hours.
(4) Personnel Standards
(a) Certification - The Department shall develop, establish, or approve an Emergency Medical Dispatch certification and re-certification program. To be initially certified as an EMD, an individual shall:
1. Successfully complete a Department approved EMD Course; and
2. Maintain proficiency in cardiopulmonary resuscitation for basic life support procedures; and
3. Successfully pass an exam given through an approved dispatch organization that has pre-qualified for testing; or submit proof of having successfully certified as an EMD through an approved medical dispatch organization that has prequalified for certification reciprocity.
4. An applicant shall cause to be submitted to the administrative office of the Division of Emergency Medical Services, directly from the vendor identified in the Division's certification application materials, the result of a criminal background check.
(b) Recertification - Recertification is required every two (2) years to maintain Department certification. To recertify an EMD shall:
1. Submit to the Department a completed application form provided by the Department; and
2. Maintain proficiency in cardiopulmonary resuscitation for basic life support procedures; and
3. Meet one of the following:
(i) Complete ten hours or 1.0 continuing education unit (CEU) of Department-approved continuing medical dispatch education or in-service during the 2-year recertification period; or
(ii) Successfully complete an examination given through an approved medical dispatch organization that has qualified for recertification testing; or,
(iii) Submit proof of having successfully recertified as an EMD through an approved medical dispatch organization that has qualified for recertification reciprocity
(c) Reciprocal certification - Reciprocity for applicants certified outside Tennessee may be granted by the Department based on the following considerations:
1. Applicants shall provide to the Department with a current copy of their Emergency Medical Dispatcher certification; and
2. Applicants shall provide to the Department proof that the certifying course meets the standards established by the Department or shall provide the Department the curriculum; and
3. Applicants shall successfully complete the Department written examination; and
4. Applicants shall meet all Department certification requirements demonstrating proof that the applicant has certified in a State having current certification reciprocity with the Department.
(d) Certification and Recertification for the Handicapped - These rules shall not preclude any physically handicapped individual from certifying or recertifying who can demonstrate proficiency in verbally describing the treatment methods outlined in the Department approved EMD course and/or CPR course to a caller.
(e) Lapsed certification - Individuals who permit their certification to lapse may be recertified by completion of the recertification requirement.
(f) Instructor Standards - Instructors who teach Emergency Medical Dispatchers shall meet training and certification standards established by the Department.
(5) Proscribed Acts for Emergency Medical Dispatchers - The Department may refuse to issue a certification or recertification, or suspend or revoke a certification for any of the causes listed in T.C.A. § 68-140-511.

Notes

Tenn. Comp. R. & Regs. 1200-12-01-.18
Original rule filed January 7, 1997; effective March 23, 1997. Amendment filed April 13, 2006; effective June 27, 2006. Amendments filed August 18, 2009; effective November 16, 2009.

Authority: T.C.A. §§ 4-5-202, 4-5-204, 68-140-203, 68-140-204, 68-140-502, 68-140-504, 68-140-505, 68-140-506, 68-140-508, 68-140-511, 68-140-513, and 68-140-525.

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