Johanna Hecht
KU Statehouse Wire Service
The Kansas Board of Emergency Medical Services (EMS) wants to reduce the number of number of continuing education hours for emergency workers.
Curt Shreckengaust, deputy director of the Kansas Board of EMS, March 22 proposed the new regulations for review by the legislature’s Joint Committee on Administrative Rules and Regulations.
The changes would require that:
emergency medical responder (EMR) continuing education hours would be reduced from 20 hours to 16;
emergency medical technician (EMT) continuing education hours would be reduced from 40 to 28; and,
intermediate and advanced-level EMTs would see a reduction from 50 hours to 44.
“The EMS community received a few comments from larger fire-based EMS organizations in the state and other small departments explaining that it costs more money to provide those extra hours,” Shreckengaust said.
Shreckengaust said the organizations did not specify costs, but he explained costs vary around the state.
If an individual currently works for EMS in the state of Kansas, he or she is required to recertify every two years by going through continuing education. This includes Advanced Emergency Medical Technicians (AEMTs), EMTs, EMRs, and paramedics.
Sen. Tom Hawk, D-Manhattan, who sits on the state’s EMS Board, said he is comfortable with the change.
“Sometimes we overkill in requiring more than we need to, but I want to make sure we don’t require too little,” Hawk said.
Most states have some form of prescribed continuing education plan, Shreckengaust said.
“(We) would still focus on what the board of EMS believes are the essential needs of daily practice in the field,” Shreckengaust said.
The next public hearing is scheduled April 26. The Kansas Board of EMS will vote on the changes on June 3.
Edited by Leah Sitz