The National EMS Education Standards have been updated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
In 2009, the EMS community came together to create the original National EMS Education Standards (the Standards). This represented a major step toward realizing the vision put forth in the 1996 EMS Agenda for the Future and was further outlined in the EMS Education Agenda for the Future: A Systems Approach four years later. This new version of the Standards builds on the foundation created by those landmark documents and other achievements of the last quarter-century, including EMS Agenda 2050 and the National Scope of Practice Model.
The National EMS Education Standards outline the minimal competencies for entry-level EMS clinicians to perform their roles as outlined in the 2019 and 2021* updated National EMS Scope of Practice Model. The Standards, while a national effort, were intentionally created in a way that allows for diverse implementation methods to meet local needs and evolving educational practices. This less prescriptive format of the Standards allows for ongoing revision of EMSeducational content consistent with scientific evidence, educational practices, and community standards of care.
Noteworthy revisions found in the 2021 edition of the Standards are based upon input and considerations obtained from numerous sources. These include stakeholder and public comments, national guidance documents (the original 2009 National EMS Education Standards, EMS Agenda 2050, and the 2019 and 2021 updated National Scope of Practice Model), the National Registry of EMT’s practice analysis, technological advances, known and evolving best practices, and evidence-based medicine.
The following areas within the Standards had notable revisions: public health; pediatrics; geriatrics, behavioral/psychiatric; cultural humility; EMS operations; pharmacology; and EMS safety, wellness and resilience. Input was provided and every suggestion or recommendation was considered. Revision and adjustments were based on a team discussion, with expert consultation when needed.
When applying the Standards to individual programs and classes, EMS educators have the freedom to develop their own curricula or use any of the wide variety of lesson plans and instructional resources that are available. This ensures that each program can specifically address individual and community needs.