Emergency Medical Services Clearance Process

The authority to function as an Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Provider in Baltimore County is delegated through the Baltimore County Fire Department's Medical Director.  The Fire-Rescue Academy is responsible for ensuring that providers meet the Medical Director's standard to function independently as an EMS Provider.  Information on the clearance processes for each of the levels of certification and licensure recognized in the State of Maryland is listed below.  If you do not hold Maryland State Certification or Licensure, you must first complete a recognized EMS initial education program or gain reciprocity (if you hold certification or licensure in another state).  Please contact the Fire-Rescue Academy for assistance in this process.  A comprehensive overview of the EMS Functional Clearance Procedure is found in SOP 600-21.

Andrew N. Pollak, MD is the Baltimore County Fire Department's Medical Director.  Morgen J. Bernius, MD is the Baltimore County Fire Department's Deputy Medical Director and oversees the educational programs conducted by the Fire-Rescue Academy

Functional Clearance of Basic Life Support Providers
Emergency Medical Responder (EMR) and Emergency Medical Technician (EMT)
Providers who are certified through the Maryland Institute for Emergency Medical Systems Services (MIEMSS) at the Emergency Medical Responder or Emergency Medical Technician levels may function as such in Baltimore County, provided that they have an EMS Affiliation on file with the Fire-Rescue Academy.

Intravenous Therapy Technician (IVT)
The Baltimore County Fire Department participates in the jurisdictional optional Intravenous Therapy Technician (IVT) program as specified in the Maryland Medical Protocols for EMS Providers.  In order to achieve functional status, a provider in Baltimore County must:

  • Hold an active, unrestricted certification as an Emergency Medical Technician in the State of Maryland
  • Maintain an EMS Affiliation on file with the Fire-Rescue Academy
  • Complete an approved IV Technician Training Program (Classroom)
  • Complete a clinical rotation in an emergency department approved by the FRA.

Please note:  Providers who are active Intravenous Therapy Technicians in another jurisdiction or who have completed an advanced life support program which has covered peripheral intravenous cannulation may be exempt from the training requirements.  These individuals must provide documentation of the successful completion of a prior training program and demonstrate proficiency in the skill of intravenous cannulation.  Please contact the Fire-Rescue Academy for additional information.

Paramedic/Firefighter Krystal Kelly supervises Basic Life Support Programs.

Functional Clearance of Advanced Life Support Providers
Process Overview
Maryland Licensed Paramedics and Cardiac Rescue Technicians undergo a comprehensive, multi-step clearance process to ensure that they meet the high standard of care that the department has set.  In order to achieve independent functional status, a provider in Baltimore County must:

  • Hold an active, unrestricted license as a Paramedic or Cardiac Rescue Technician in the State of Maryland
  • Maintain an EMS Affiliation on file with the Fire-Rescue Academy.  The affiliation must be with an Advanced Life Support Company
  • Complete a preceptorship on an ALS unit in Baltimore County with a department-approved ALS Field Preceptor
  • Receive endorsement from the providers company officer (career) or senior EMS officer (volunteer)
  • Receive endorsement from a promoted EMS Lieutenant or EMS Captain in the Baltimore County Fire Department
  • Successfully complete an ALS Skills Check with a Fire-Rescue Academy ALS Instructor

Preceptor Phase
A candidate for functional status must submit copies of their EMS licensure to the Fire-Rescue Academy prior to beginning the clearance process.  Additionally, the candidate must complete and submit the Preceptor Request Form.  The student will be assigned a preceptor by the Fire-Rescue Academy.  The student will ride with the preceptor on a Baltimore County Advanced Life Support unit until receiving an endorsement from the preceptor assigned by the FRA.  There is no minimum or maximum time frame required.  This portion is entirely competency-based.

Please note:  In order to maintain fairness and objectivity, the Fire-Rescue Academy can not accommodate special requests for preceptors except in extreme cases of hardship.  Every effort is made to ensure that preceptors are accessible to the student.  Additionally, the endorsement to function must come from the preceptor assigned by the Fire-Rescue Academy.  No other endorsements will be considered.

Endorsements Required
Candidates must receive endorsements from their preceptor, senior company officer, and EMS District Officer (promoted EMS Lieutenant or EMS Captain) prior to scheduling their turn-in at the FRA.  These endorsements must be documented on the ALS Competency Verification Form (PDF) and brought on the day of the evaluation.

ALS Skills Evaluation
Once all aspects of the field preceptorship have been completed, the candidate should submit an ALS Skills Evaluation Request.  The skills evaluation typically takes approximately two (2) hours and is conducted at the Fire-Rescue Academy with an Advanced Life Support Instructor.  The evaluation consists of:

  • A fifty (50) question multiple-choice examination on the Maryland Medical Protocols for EMS Providers.  The minimum passing score is a 70%
  • An oral evaluation on knowledge of ALS pharmacology from the Maryland Medical Protocols for EMS Providers.  Five (5) medications are chosen at random
  • Dynamic recognition of approximately twenty-five(25) electrocardiogram tracings
  • Four dynamic scenarios where the provider must verbally assess and treat patients in a given situation.  These scenarios also include evaluation of the ability to utilize all electrical functions of the Lifepak 15 monitor/defibrillator.

Upon successful completion of all phases of the ALS Clearance Process, the candidate will be issued a letter to function independently.

Paramedic/Firefighter Pam Westfall supervises Advanced Life Support Programs.