Since the early 1970’s, state EMS offices have been issuing licenses to prehosital care personnel. As a means of regulating the practice and protecting the public, EMS personnel licensure is as necessary and important as that of physicians, nurses and members of allied healthcare professions. The profession continues its evolution and the role of EMS personnel has seen significant growth. Today regional systems of response with multi-state footprints, staffing for large scale responses that are not at the level of a governor’s declaration of disaster, and planned special events (concerts, sporting events) are common. This multi-state need has refocused the discussion how to formally recognize an EMS providers ability to practice in multiple states without having to carry multiple licenses.
The Recognition of EMS Personnel Licensure Interstate CompAct (REPLICA) is the collective solution to cross border-licensing issues that have been managed by state EMS Offices in various ad hoc manners for years. With the implementation of an Interstate Compact, EMS will join the ranks of other professionals such as physicians, nurses and emergency managers. The Emergency Management Compact (EMAC) is a well-known example with which EMS personnel are familiar. Compacts create agreements between states outside of the federal government, allowing for states to preserve “home rule” and flexibility in the management of these entities. The United States Constitution, grants the right for the states to enter into multistate agreements for a common benefit. Every state in the nation has joined a minimum of five compacts as a means of addressing issues they share that are in need of a common solution.
According to the National Center for Interstate Compacts (NCIC) at the Council on State Governments (CSG), over 200 compacts exist in our nation today. The National Council of the State Board’s of Nursing is home to the Nursing Licensure Compact (NLC) and Federation of State Medical Boards home the physicians Interstate Medical Licensure Compact.