In July 2021 the BC Minister of Health asked the Emergency Medical Assistants Licensing Branch (the EMALB) to conduct a thorough review of EMS delivery in British Columbia, and to make recommendations for enhanced scope of practice for each license level (First Responder, Emergency Medical Responder, Primary Care Paramedic, Advanced Care Paramedic, Critical Care Paramedic). The EMALB submitted their recommendations in September of that year, and the Minister of Health formally announced the upgrades in December.
These changes were officially passed into law in 2022, with the goal of having all license holders upgraded to the new standard of care by September 2024.
The Emergency Medical Assistants Regulation:
The provision of EMS care in British Columbia is defined by the Emergency Medical Assistants Regulation.
Schedule One defines the minimum core services that a given license level MUST be able to perform.
Schedule Two defines endorsements that can be added to a given license level, further enhancing the care the provider can render.
What is in the new scope of practice?
Amendments to the new scope of practice include:
First Responder Schedule One – Core Services:
- Nasopharyngeal Airways (NPA)
- Wound management not requiring tissue perforation or indentation (including wound packing)
- Fracture management and immobilization (including pelvic binding)
- Lifting / Loading and Extrication / Evacuation
First Responder Schedule Two – Vital Signs Endorsement:
- Use and interpretation of pulse oximetry (SPO2)
- Use and interpretation of CO oximetry
- Use and interpretation of non invasive blood pressure measurement
- Use and interpretation of glucometers
First Responder Schedule Two – Medications Endorsement:
- Assist patients with their own prescribed medication
- Administer Epinephrine by intramuscular auto-injector or intranasal or sublingual preparations
- Intramuscular and intranasal administration of opioid antagonists (i.e. Naloxone)
- Intramuscular and intranasal administration of anti-hypoglycemic agents (i.e. Glucagon)
- Administration of oral analgesics
- Administration of Acetylsalicylic Acid (ASA)
- Topical administration of pro-coagulants and anti-fibrinolytics
EMR Schedule One – Core Services:
- All services specified in Schedule 1 and Schedule 2 for the category of First Responder will now be considered core content in the EMR license level
EMR Schedule Two – Medications Endorsement:
- Intramuscular administration of Epinephrine
- Administration of bronchodilators by inhalation and nebulization (i.e. Salbutamol)
About the BC EMALB First Responder and EMR Scope of Practice Update Course:
The new scope of practice update course was designed to build on your existing license.
The program takes a simple to complex approach, delivering cognitive learning online in a 4-8 hour course, followed by isolated skill practice (to gain competence with the new skills you will learn), followed by full call scenario practice (to integrate the new knowledge into your existing practice) delivered in a 2 day face to face workshop.
To successfully complete the scope of practice update course you must:
- Provide proof of current licensure at the First Responder or EMR level
- Successfully complete the online learning portion of this course
- Attend 100% of the face to face training session
- Demonstrate competency in skill and scenario practice
License holder and Instructor Development – How do I obtain this training and who will be conducting the teaching?
Priority Care First Aid has been heavily involved in the development of this course, and we are excited to see the program roll out in 2024.
All scope of practice update courses will be taught by an Instructor Trainer with 29 years of experience as a paramedic and educator. Your instructor has decades of experience teaching up to the Primary Care Paramedic level, and has worked extensively with BC EHS, the Fire Services, Law Enforcement, and with the Military.
Priority Care First Aid can provide the following:
- Instructor Development, to update your existing Professional Responder instructors so that they can provide this training internally to your members, or
- Individual Training, to update your individual First Responder or EMR license.
Please click HERE to contact us for more information.
We look forward to working with you soon, and to improving patient care throughout BC!
The Priority Care First Aid Team