The Recognition of EMS Personnel Licensure Interstate Compact (REPLICA) provides a privilege to practice under authorized circumstances, to licensed EMS personnel in member states. The Compact was developed for the benefit of all licensed personnel working within all EMS system delivery models. Prior to its release in September 2014, a team representing seven EMS organizations and associations with the help of legal counsel carefully drafted REPLICA’s language. Those involved were: The National Association of State EMS Officials; Council of State Governments, Association of Air Medical Services: International Association of Flight and Critical Care Paramedics; International Association of Firefighters; National Association of EMS Managers; National Association of EMT’s; and Vedder Price Law Firm.
Although the compact was drafted to manage the problems presented when licensed EMS personnel cross a state line while doing their job, questions continue to be raised about how REPLICA does, or does not apply to agency licensure. The issue that exists today with EMS crossing state borders is a twofold problem: the personnel must be licensed, and the agency or vehicle must be licensed. The Compact is designed to help resolve one of the two issues; the licensing of personnel. The Compact expects that EMS agencies and their vehicles will be properly licensed in states where they are crossing state lines. Specifically, Section 15 “Construction and Severability” of the Compact states “Nothing in this compact supersedes state law or rules related to licensure of EMS agencies.” That very last sentence in the compact should not be ignored as it assures and upholds each states authority to hold ambulance services accountable to the agency licensure process, state-by-state, as they do today.
Additionally, EMS personnel often are requested to cross state lines in circumstances where personnel are needed, not ambulance vehicles. Examples include, but are not limited to our wildland fire response teams, sporting events, concerts, search and rescue and, special events specific to the state making the request for additional personnel.
In Section 5 of the compact, “Conditions of Practice in a Remote State” provides for the authorized circumstances when licensed personnel can cross state lines with the immediate legal recognition and protections being part of an interstate compact affords its members. The language specifically states:
“An individual may practice in a remote state under a privilege to practice only in the performance of the individual’s EMS duties as assigned by an appropriate authority, as defined in the rules of the Commission, and under the following circumstances:
- The individual originates a patient transport in a home state and transports the patient to a remote state;
- The individual originates in the home state and enters a remote state to pick up a patient and provide care and transport of the patient to the home state;
- The individual enters a remote state to provide patient care and/or transport within that remote state;
- The individual enters a remote state to pick up a patient and provide care and transport to a third member state;
- Other conditions as determined by rules promulgated by the commission.”
In the end, REPLICA is, was, and always will be for the licensed individual.