Frequently Asked Questions

Retardant aircraft dropping a load of retardant

What is my personal liability?

The performance of Medical Unit personnel will subject them to personal liability in the same manner as any Government employment, Government employees are generally immune from personal liability arising from any act performed WITHIN THE SCOPE AND COURSE OF THEIR EMPLOYMENT. This non-liability would extend to the approved treatment of injuries or administration of drugs during regular employment by persons employed to provide those services.

What is considered my scope of employment?

To be considered as "acting within the scope and course of your employment", you must hold an "Agency Approval Certification" to act as an agent of the government, commensurate to your level of responsibility, i.e. Incident Medical Specialist Manager (IMSM), Incident Medical Specialist Assistant (IMSA) or Incident Medical Specialist Technician (IMST) in the Medical Unit.

Under the "Agency Approval Certification", you may engage in the practice of medicine that is limited to the therapy and products presented in the Region 1 and 6 Medical Unit training.  The use of any products, treatments, or therapy that is not included in the R-1and 6 training is considered outside the scope and course of your employment, and immunity from personal liability would not be extended to their use.

Do I operate under my EMT certification when hired in an IMS role?

Your EMT certification is issued by a state and certifies that you have certain skills in Basic Life Support.  IMS personnel do not operate under the EMT certification while working in the medical unit, rather, they operate under an "Agency Approval Certification" to act as an agent for the government, performing duties commensurate with their level of assigned responsibility.

Your EMT certification is required as a prerequisite to attending the medical unit training.

Do I operate under my EMT certification when hired in an EMT role?

When hired to function as an EMT on a fire, you are performing only those duties allowed by your EMT certification.

EMT’s from out of state can only function at a “basic life support” level and within the approved State Basic Protocols, regardless of the level authorized by the state in which the EMT is licensed. Out of state EMT-I and EMT-Ps need medical control therefore functioning at an Advanced Life Support level is stricly prohibited.

Doesn't the use of  "over the counter drugs"  fall inline with practicing medicine? 

The diagnosis and treatment, with drugs or therapy, of even minor illness or injury, are considered "practicing medicine". This includes therapy with "over the counter" drugs, and any therapeutic course of action, if it is prescribe. Therefore to accomplish this the R-1 and 6 training sessions are geared towards the minor medical care in the treatment of minor medical problems most commonly found on a incident.

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