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Emergency Medical Services
The Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Division is the regulatory oversight authority for all EMS activities in the District of Columbia. The EMS Division is located within the Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Administration (HEPRA) of the DC Department of Health.
On December 6, 2013 the newest version of the EMS regulations was published in the DC register. This is the first major update to the EMS regulations in over 30 years. The new regulations can be accessed through the "Laws, Regulations and Policies" page.
The mission of the Emergency Medical Services Division is to encourage, foster, and promote the continued development of an optimal system of emergency medical and trauma care that provides the best possible patient outcome. The EMS Division is responsible for the certification of all emergency medical service providers in the District of Columbia. We are charged with the regulatory oversight of the EMS Educational Institutions and the EMS Response Organizations. The Department of Health does not provide EMT training. We certify the educational institutions that provide EMT training in the District.
The EMS Division runs the District’s Comfort Care Order/Do Not Resuscitate program and works with the Emergency Medical Services for Children program. It is our responsibility and our duty to recognize, research and recommend solutions to all problems and issues that could hinder providing the best possible pre-hospital service to the citizens and visitors of the District.
We strive to be an EMS system acknowledged as a leader for providing the highest quality patient care. We will do this by:
- promoting excellence through district-wide regulation, and promoting healthy communities;
- providing value-added information for emergency preparedness, public health, EMS research and strategic governance; and
- managing knowledge to improve public health in the nation’s capital.
Some of the duties of the members of the EMS Division include:
- Certify and inspect ambulances for proper equipment and drug control.
- Certify and inspect ambulance organizations for proper medical direction and protocols.
- Reviewing curriculum materials and course outlines for training sites and continuing education units.
- Monitoring the emergency medical service providers’ skills and knowledge through the use of the National Registry cognitive and practical skills examinations.
- Providing technical assistance to hospitals, emergency medical service providers, local government agencies and others interested in emergency care.
Developing and monitoring a District-wide Trauma System.