Forum Ride Along
Hey everyone I'm new to the site and I made the account for this specific set of questions/issues that I am having. I'll try to make it as concise as possible but it's an issue that I am having a lot of trouble understanding fully. I've been doing research on my own, looking at California's scope of practice and calling my counties EMS cert body but I haven't heard back yet about my specific issues. So I'm looking to you all for some help!

I am an EMT-1 in a California county. I work at an outdoor school (as part of a counties public education program) as their official EMT, that is approximately 60 minutes away from a hospital, and it takes about that long for an ambulance to reach our site. We do not have any bls supplies beyond bandages and microshields.

I am trying to push for opa's, npa's, suction, a bvm, occlusive dressings, a tourniquet, and splints (including traction ideally). I am being told by the county that I would require a doctors standing orders or a prescription from a doctor to legally use these things, and they are unwilling to purchase the supplies without those orders. I am wondering if this is truly the case.

As an EMT who is employed as such is it within my scope of practice to use those medical supplies without orders from a doctor in emergency situations? Do I need approval from the county (who does not have a doctor or any medically trained personnel to say yes or no) to possess and use these things? Do I need some sort of liability insurance? Who is liable if it turns out I'm a complete idiot and mess up (I'm thinking its only myself since I am an EMT)?

The liability I think is the counties main issue here. They seem incredibly non-concerned with the possibility of a student being critically injured and incredibly concerned with being sued for having these items and an EMT on staff using them. I want to present them with a coherent list of steps we need to take in order to safely and legally obtain and use BLS supplies in emergency situations. Any information you can give me or some directions to sources I can find the information at would be very helpful.


Forum Asst. Chief
In order to act in the scope of an EMT you do need to have a medical director. Right now it sounds like you are just acting as a basic first aid responder which doesn't require a medical director. To get those supplies and use them you would need a medical director. A lot of the questions you're asking are legal advice and we cannot answer them on this forum.


Forum Captain
It seems like they have answered your question for you already. In order to obtain and use those supplies you need a medical director.