According to the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC), an increasing number of credentialed pre-hospital providers (EMT, AEMT, NRP) are primarily associated with a fire department. The National Fire Protection Association 2016 survey notes more than 64 percent of total fire department calls required some kind of medical aid.
The EMS Program at the South Carolina Fire Academy (SCFA) consists of a dedicated group of instructors committed to equipping students to respond to community healthcare needs through quality education, simulation, and opportunities to gain the technical skills necessary to become successful and competent EMS providers. The EMS Section staff seeks to ensure EMS students develop excellence in every aspect of their professional practice.
The EMS Training Section, created in FY 2015, coordinates EMT, EMR, CPR and First Aid for South Carolina fire departments and offers several continuing education courses for all levels of certification. These courses not only focus on the practice of EMS, but also professional development and leadership in a fire-based EMS system.
The section is also involved in multiple EMS related committees in the state to remain proactive with continuous trends in EMS education and development. Further, the EMS Programs Working Group continues to advise and support the development of Academy EMS training programs. It has representation from the South Carolina Firefighters’ Association, EMS Association, EMS Educators Association, public and private ambulance providers, and various hospital systems.
For more information, contact Julie McCabe, EMS Section Chief.
South Carolina recognizes the EMT, AEMT, and NRP levels of EMS certification. Emergency Medical Services is regulated by the Department of Health & Environmental Control (DHEC). At this time, the EMR – First Responder (Emergency Medical Responder) is not recognized as a certified level in South Carolina and does not fall under South Carolina Laws and Regulations pertaining to EMS. The ability to maintain a South Carolina EMS certification is dependent on a candidate’s National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT) certification. Candidates that do not have a NREMT certification, but have a current and valid state only certification may apply for a South Carolina provisional certification if certain prerequisites are met. Information on certification and reciprocity can be found on the SC DHEC Bureau of EMS News Page at https://www.scemsportal.org/certifications/reciprocity-guidelines-packet. Information on NREMT certification can be found at https://www.nremt.org/rwd/public.
In order to meet the needs of South Carolina EMS providers, the South Carolina Fire Academy (SCFA) offers several continuing education courses for all levels of certification. The SCFA is an approved American Safety and Health Institute (ASHI) Training Center for Basic Life Support, Advanced, Cardiac Life Support, and Pediatric Advanced Life Support. You can read more on these various SCFA offered ASHI courses at https://emergencycare.hsi.com/cpr-and-first-aid-courses.
In addition, the SCFA is an authorized National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians (NAEMT) Training Center for Advanced Medical Life Support, Prehospital Trauma Life Support, and Tactical Emergency Casualty Care. To read more about these programs go to http://www.naemt.org/education/education-overview. The SCFA strives to be the focal point to support and train emergency medical providers throughout South Carolina through quality and cost effective education.
The Initial EMT course offered at the SCFA is a state approved EMT course that allows a student to sit for the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT) certification examination.
The EMT Course at the South Carolina Fire Academy (SCFA) consists of over two-hundred hours of classroom education and meets the 2009 National EMS Education Standards. The initial EMT course prepares the student to provide emergency medical pre-hospital assessment and care for patients of all ages with a variety of medical conditions and traumatic injuries. Students must be 18 years of age and possess a high school diploma or GED. Students must also provide proof of immunization against Rubella, Rubeola, Mumps, Varicella Zoster (Chicken Pox), a negative PPD skin test within the last 12 months, and Hepatitis B. In addition, the SCFA requires completion of a WIN "Ready to Work" assessment in three areas of Applied Mathematics, Reading for Information, and Locating Information. Applicants must score a total of 12 on the three assessments with no more than one three on any area.