Key accomplishments in FY 2017

Back to EMTS legislative report for fiscal year 2017

  • The department continues to use the funds collected through the $2-per-motor vehicle registration fee in the EMS Account of the Highway Users Tax Fund to support Colorado’s emergency medical and trauma services system. Approximately $7.2 million was distributed to support EMS and trauma statewide.

  • The 2016 legislative session produced a number of bills that directly impacted the Emergency Medical and Trauma Services Branch. Significant work went into gathering stakeholder input, holding a variety of task force meetings and drafting rules for promulgation through the Board of Health. Work included revising the air ambulance licensing regulations, moving Emergency Medical Responder (EMR) registration from the Department of Public Safety to the Department of Public Health and Environment, and drafting rules to implement SB 16-069 for community integrated health care service licensing and community paramedic endorsement. 

  • In March 2017, the Board of Health unanimously adopted 6 CCR 1013-4 Trauma Chapter Three. This followed significant work as stakeholders and the department developed a platform to allow expanded scope within trauma center designation as related to orthopedics. The task force continues to work on the expanded scope topics of general surgery and neurosurgery, and expects to bring revised draft rules to the Board of Health in mid-2018. 

  • The Colorado Resource for EMS and Trauma Education (CREATE) program continued to demonstrate success in fiscal year 2017. It disbursed funds in the form of education grants to help offset tuition, book and fee costs, with 860 students trained using support from these grant funds.

  • The governor signed into law HB 15-1015 on May 8, 2015, making Colorado one of the first states to adopt the Recognition of EMS Personnel Licensure Interstate Compact (REPLICA). More than 10 states have now joined the compact, and the first commission meeting is scheduled for October 2017. The compact will simplify the complexities of interstate licensing and certification of EMS Providers by allowing immediate recognition of certification in all participating states. 

  • Emergency medical services system consultations were conducted at the request of the Baca and Clear Creek County governments during the past year. The department worked collaboratively with regional and local stakeholders to assemble a team of practicing EMS professionals from communities across the state to assist these counties in analyzing their current EMS systems and developing strategies for improvement.

  • The Online Application Tracking Hub (OATH) continues to provide a successful electronic platform for many of the Branch’s regulatory responsibilities.

  • OATH is the application process for EMS providers to become certified and recertified, and it allows medical directors and education programs to confirm continued education and skills assessment. The online system provides a public lookup to view EMS provider certification levels and status. The online system was rolled out November 2014 and is nearing the end of the third year of implementation. Because EMS provider certifications are valid for three years, all certified providers will be through the process by November 2017. 

  • The scope of practice waiver process has been successfully moved from paper to the electronic platform, which includes an automated reporting function and email reminders of waiver reports and expiration deadlines. 

  • Air ambulance licensing and its inspection functionality were also added into the OATH system, moving the antiquated paper process into the electronic environment.

  • Approximately 850 Emergency Medical Responders (EMRs) were successfully transition from the Colorado Department of Public Safety, Division of Fire Prevention and Control (DFPC) to the department by July 1, 2017. Additionally, the 22 EMR education centers and groups were transitioned to the system. The transition was smooth and successful because of the ongoing and broad-based communication to the provider community and teamwork between DFPC and the department.  

  • The department continued implementation of SB 13-225 established two governor-appointed advisory boards, one on stroke and the other on ST-Elevation Myocardial Infarction (STEMI). The STEMI task force concluded its work and released a final report. The Stroke Advisory Board continues to meet and work on its charge.

  • In order to reach a wider cross-section of stakeholders, the October 2016 State Emergency Medical and Trauma Services Advisory Council (SEMTAC) quarterly meeting was held in Durango.