IAFC, IAFF, NFPA, NVFC oppose required degrees for medics

In a joint statement, four national organizations state the reasons they oppose requiring college degrees for entry-level paramedics

By News Staff

Four prominent firefighting organizations released a joint statement in opposition to legislative and regulatory efforts that would require entry-level paramedics to earn degrees.

The International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC), the International Association for Fire Fighters (IAFF), the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) outlined the reasons they do not support placing education requirements on paramedics, including the difficulties it would cause for EMS and rescue agencies.

“[R]equiring a college degree for entry-level paramedics would create hardships for fire departments and make EMS systems financially unsustainable in many states,” the statement read. “There are no identifiable data or other evidence suggesting that requiring paramedics to obtain a college degree would result in better patient outcomes, enhanced professionalism for EMS providers, better performance or higher pay.”

The organizations also outline how the education requirement change would be detrimental to residents in rural areas and leave fewer options for training.

“This completely arbitrary change would shutter over 20 percent of existing paramedic education programs, leaving colleges and universities as the only venues available for paramedic education, thereby severely restricting fire/EMS departments’ ability to recruit and train paramedics,” the statement read. “The justifications used to support a proposed transition to college degree educational requirements are unnecessary, untested and do not have the support of our organizations.

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