Is my employer wrong?

CheyLei

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So I have looked the answer up and can’t get any answers. Is it okay to only have one emt working at a station? I don’t mean one emt and one paramedic. I mean the only person in the whole station is just one basic emt. Is a station allowed to operate and be open if you don’t have at least two people?
 

NPO

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So I have looked the answer up and can’t get any answers. Is it okay to only have one emt working at a station? I don’t mean one emt and one paramedic. I mean the only person in the whole station is just one basic emt. Is a station allowed to operate and be open if you don’t have at least two people?
That entirely depends on local and state laws.

Your question doesn't really make sense or provide enough information. You say "open." You're not accepting patients like a walk in clinic, so you're not "open".

Do you mean is it okay for them to send you on calls? That will depend on the applicable laws. In some areas with volunteer services it's normal for one person to bring am ambulance and another person to meet them on scene.

If you provide more information, perhaps we can help, but chances are you're just not fully informed of how the operation works.
 
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CheyLei

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The state is Alabama and I’m new to the area so I’m not sure about everything that’s allowed. I know the business can not be open without having at least three paramedics working here but I’ve never heard of read anything about how many people have to be at a station on shift. This is not a volunteer station and we only run an ALS truck. I have had to work with other emts before and the medic would meet us at the patients location but today I was told I would be the only one on shift and at the station for the 24 hour shift and the medic would be on call at home. I am just trying to figure out if that is okay or if I was put in an odd situation just to say that the station is technically open.
 

NPO

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The state is Alabama and I’m new to the area so I’m not sure about everything that’s allowed. I know the business can not be open without having at least three paramedics working here but I’ve never heard of read anything about how many people have to be at a station on shift. This is not a volunteer station and we only run an ALS truck. I have had to work with other emts before and the medic would meet us at the patients location but today I was told I would be the only one on shift and at the station for the 24 hour shift and the medic would be on call at home. I am just trying to figure out if that is okay or if I was put in an odd situation just to say that the station is technically open.
If they told you the paramedic is on call at home, then that is how the operation is set up. It is not unheard of. If you have concerns I would suggest you talk to your supervisor.
 

Aprz

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It depends on area. In my area, we do something kind of like that. Instead of an on call paramedic, it is just a paramedic that works by themselves on a quick response vehicle (QRV).
 

DrParasite

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I'm going to make a couple of assumptions about your particular situation. Please correct any that are incorrect:
1) the agency existed before you started, and this is how they operated in the past
2) the medic lives locally and is able to respond in an appropriate timeframe to any and all calls
3) when you say "Is a station allowed to operate and be open," that means the station and its units are available to be dispatched by your local 911 system
4) your agency had trouble recruiting paramedics, and the respond from home concept was a way for them to hire or retain staff.

Based on all my assumptions, I would say your employer is not wrong. I've never heard of the "3 paramedics needed for a business to be open" but this seems to be a discussion for you to have with your supervisor or your state's EMS regulatory agency.

It's not uncommon for a single staffed responder to meet someone else on a scene. Essentially, you are responding as the first responder, providing lifesaving interventions and assessment until the medic arrives and takes over, and then you are the transporter (which is why you bring the ambulance).

I've worked in a station where I was on the QRV, and if a call came out, I was technically supposed to wait for an officer to show up from home. Since I was confident in my abilities (15+ years of experience beforehand), when the second EMS call was dispatched I took the QRV to the scene, and let the other responders who were coming from home handle the second call. Plus I know the ambulance was going to show up sooner or later. It's not uncommon.

If I was in your position, as long as I was paid my hourly wage for all 24 hours that I am working, I would be happy. And if you have any questions about the agency's operations, speak to your supervisor.
 

ffemt8978

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Sounds like the OP is confusing minimum requirements to respond to a call with minimum requirements to transport a patient. As others have said, these requirements vary by locality but here is an example. In Washington state, one person could respond to a call by themselves. In order to transport a patient, there had to be a minimum staffing of one EMT and one First Aid person (driver) for medical calls and a minimum of one EMT and one First Responder (again driver) for trauma calls.
 

NomadicMedic

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In Pennsylvania, this would probably get you cited, if people found out.
From title 35, 8133, (the PA EMS act) the minimum staffing to respond to an emergency level is two. Anything else would require a minimum staffing waiver from the DOH/BEMS.

 
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ffemt8978

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In Pennsylvania, this would probably get you cited, if people found out.
From title 35, 8133, (the PA EMS act) the minimum staffing to respond to an emergency level is two. anything else would require a minimum staffing waiver from the DOH/BEMS.

Which is why it's important to know what your local laws and regulations are.
 

DrParasite

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In Pennsylvania, this would probably get you cited, if people found out.
From title 35, 8133, (the PA EMS act) the minimum staffing to respond to an emergency level is two. Anything else would require a minimum staffing waiver from the DOH/BEMS.

while completely splitting hairs, I would argue that since both a medic and EMT are responding (albeit in two different vehicles from two different locations), they might be able to get away without a citation. But that question would better asked of the citing agency, as they could provide their authoritative interpretation of the rules.
 

NomadicMedic

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while completely splitting hairs, I would argue that since both a medic and EMT are responding (albeit in two different vehicles from two different locations), they might be able to get away without a citation. But that question would better asked of the citing agency, as they could provide their authoritative interpretation of the rules.

Citing agency = where I now work.

So, this is the sticky spot, " Except as provided under paragraph (2), minimum staffing for a BLS ambulance when responding to a call to provide EMS is an ambulance attendant, EMR or EMT, a second EMS provider at or above the EMT level and an EMS vehicle operator, except that only the two EMS providers need to respond if one of them is also the EMS vehicle operator."

Not minimum staffing when meeting another person on the scene. That's the stuff that gets you jammed up. Do it once or twice, probably not a huge issue. Make it a daily practice, it becomes an issue.

Using your instance of a separate medic in a fly car, you could file for a waiver, which might or might not be granted, depending on the circumstance.
 
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