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Changes to EMS Scope of Practice and Alternate Care Patterns

As Illinois is now in a state of emergency and the COVID-19 response escalates, there may be requests for variations to the Emergency Medical Services (EMS) rules and regulations in order to meet the demand of patient requests.

In addition, EMS providers may see many of their personnel on quarantine or isolation due to exposures to COVID-19. Considering this, EMS systems should submit the following information whenever requesting a waiver for a EMS rule or requirement:
Changes to Plans or Staffing

  • EMS systems should define triggers through their local pandemic planning that would require changes in staffing models, equipment, and/or response patterns.
  • Changes to system plans, such as on scene triage and treat, refusals, and dispatch protocols MUST be approved by the system’s EMS medical director and IDPH.
  • Triggers may be different based on the location in the state, number of providers, and the EMS systems day-to-day operations.
  • If the system or provider requests a staffing plan change, a submission must be made if the change is anticipated to be longer than 72 hours. These staffing plans need to be submitted to the RH and regional EMS coordinator (REMSC).
  • No request will be granted for longer than 90 days without a re-evaluation of the request.
  • If a provider requests a staffing model change, a quality assurance process must be put in place by the local EMS system to have the provider evaluate at least five calls during the duration of the request to ensure there were no deficiencies in care due to the staffing change. This information will be submitted to and retained by the system and made available to IDPH upon request.

How to obtain provisional certification– see Attachment A

  • EMS systems must formulate a training and testing plan for reinstating or provisionally certifying EMS personnel who intend to work in their system.
  • Providers must have a valid cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) certification to be granted provisional licensure during a pandemic.
  • Documentation to ensure quality care in the form of quality assurance and improvement will be retained by the EMS systems and made available to IDPH upon request.

Requests should be routed through the REMSC with validation that the EMT/paramedic has been educated and trained to their level of licensure

Contact your IDPH REMSC or me if there are questions.

Last Updated: 06/17/2020

Guidance Document: