** ARCHIVED NEWS ARTICLE - Originally Published June 2020**
The Interstate Commission for EMS Personnel Practice welcomes West Virginia as the 19th state to join the EMS Compact. Governor James Justice signed the legislation on March 5th which becomes effective on June 3, 2020. Formal entry to the EMS Compact requires a vote of the Commission which is scheduled for June 16, 2020 in Reno, NV at the Commission’s annual meeting.
The EMS Compact enables licensed EMS personnel to cross state borders using a privilege to practice in other EMS Compact member states without obtaining a separate license. Other provisions of the EMS Compact legislation include a coordinated personnel licensing data system for member states to share information on their licensed personnel. The Compact also supports expedited licensing in member states for military personnel and their spouses upon discharge from service. In addition to West Virginia, several other states are considering EMS Compact legislation this year.
Jamie Weller, Chair of the West Virginia EMS Advisory Committee said; "We are pleased to have our State in the Compact. This will be a big help to our personnel along the Virginia – West Virginia border. I hope our participation will also be an incentive to our neighbors to the north and west to get in. Everyone in EMS needs to be doing all we can to make operations as simple as possible for our workforce, many of whom are volunteers. My thanks to everyone in West Virginia who worked to support this legislation."
The EMS Compact became operational in 2017 when the 10th state passed legislation to join and the Interstate Commission for EMS Personnel Practice was formed. Since that time the Commission has adopted rules for operations and is close to rolling out the coordinated personnel data system. In response to the evolving COVID-19 pandemic the Compact Commission voted recently to immediately activate the privilege to practice under the Compact using a manual system for states to exchange personnel information.
Compact Commission Chair, Joseph Schmider of Texas said; "Welcome aboard West Virginia! You enter the EMS Compact with a lot going on in EMS across the nation. This EMS Compact represents one more useful capability for all our member states in managing the people who are so vital in meeting the public’s needs for emergency services."