EMS Compact Commission Clarifies Compact Activation Date

The Interstate Commission for EMS Personnel Practice, at their annual meeting on October 27th, adopted a policy that clarified and established the activation date for the EMS Compact as March 15, 2020. In turn, this established a deadline of March 15, 2025, for each member state to be in compliance with uniform state licensing requirements which include criminal background checks prior to issuing a state EMS license.

The EMS Compact model legislative language (REPLICA), and each respective individual state law, establishes minimum criteria to ensure state EMS licenses are issued uniformly across member states. One of these elements is the requirement of states to implement a criminal background check requirement “five years after activation of the Compact" – but the REPLICA legislation does not define the term “activation of the Compact.” The actual model legislation language states, “No later than five years after activation of the Compact, requires a criminal background check of all applicants for initial licensure, including the use of the results of fingerprint or other biometric data checks compliant with the requirements of the Federal Bureau of Investigation with the exception of federal employees who have suitability determination in accordance with US CFR §731.202 and submit documentation of such as promulgated in the rules of the Commission”.

Compact Commissioners, representing the 22 member states, evaluated the issue and clarified the Compact activation date. Discussion resulted in the accepted recommendation of choosing an operational, functioning date. The EMS Compact was publicly declared operational for National COVID-19 response on March, 13, 2020 (with an effective date of March 15, 2020).

The Compact Commissioners ratified the policy by vote during the Annual Meeting in October.