On Feb. 22, the New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH) endorsed Senate Bill 315, which, if passed, will make sharing emergency medical services (EMS) easier in New Mexico and other states.
Sponsored by Sen. Sander Rue (R-Bernalillo), the bill was introduced in the New Mexico Legislature earlier this month. It would allow New Mexico to join the Recognition of EMS Personnel Licensure Interstate CompAct (REPLICA) to create common licensing standards and qualifications for EMS personnel and allow them to practice across state lines in other member states under certain, authorized circumstances.
The REPLICA compact would cover emergency first responders, emergency medical Ttchnicians (EMTs) and paramedics. EMS caregivers that frequently move from state-to-state, such as wildland fire responders, federal homeland security, and federal law enforcement agencies, would also benefit from multi-state EMS license recognition.
“Having identical standards and regulations will allow EMS providers to practice across state lines within New Mexico and other member states,” said Department of Health Secretary Lynn Gallagher. “It will mean more emergency services on the ground in our state in the times we will need them most.”
The REPLICA compact requires a minimum of 10 states to sign on. Seven states have already passed REPLICA legislation including Colorado, Idaho, Kansas, Tennessee, Texas, Utah and Virginia, with seven other states, including New Mexico, currently having bills pending in their respective legislatures.
SB315 currently has been referred to the Senate Public Affairs Committee. It has already been endorsed by the New Mexico’s EMS Advisory Committee which includes members of the NM Nursing Association, Air Ambulance Advisory Committee, NM Fire Chief’s Association, NM Ambulance Association, the NM EMT Association, and more.
Developed under the direction of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, REPLICA member states would be able to more easily share and exchange information related to EMS personnel including criminal history checks, investigations, and adverse actions, and more comprehensive information about licensure history.
For more information on the bill, visit the legislation on the New Mexico Legislature website.
Additional information on the REPLICA EMS Compact, can be found at National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians resource page.