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Breaking: Hundreds of EMTs, paramedics said to be working with fake credentials


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More than 200 emergency medical technicians and paramedics in Massachusetts and New Hampshire have been practicing without legitimate certification, having paid certificate mills for fake credentials without taking any medical training, an investigation by Massachusetts public health officials has found.

Initial reports suggested that in some cases, medics used the fake credentials to allow them to begin treating patients for the first time, but state officials now say that technicians bought the credentials to renew their state certification.

The outfits peddling certificates provided them during the past two years to emergency medical technicians, paramedics, police officers, and firefighters in at least a dozen communities, including Boston, according to two public officials briefed on the investigation. Some 18 Boston firefighters are among those responding to medical emergencies without legitimate accreditation.

The state Department of Public Health discovered the ruse last year, when some properly certified EMTs complained to state officials that a number of colleagues had not been trained but received certification. The investigation expanded in recent weeks when an ambulance company reported some of its employees had falsified documentation.

The investigation is ongoing and is expected to grow to include more communities, said the officials who spoke on condition of anonymity because they did not have permission to speak publicly. In the meantime, the state is forcing the unaccredited technicians and paramedics to undergo training to ensure safe medical care for the public, they said.

State heath officials sent ~0622942.pdf">a letter last week to medical training providers statewide, warning them of the consequences of falsifying credentials. The department could refer some of the cases to the attorney general for criminal prosecution.

"DPH has made this investigation a priority to ensure the heath and safety needs of the Commonwealth," officials said in an internal memo obtained by The Boston Globe.

http://www.boston.com/news/local/breaking_news/2010/05/sources_hundred.html

Mass. health officials confirm EMT fraud, vow 'aggressive action'

Massachusetts Public Health Commissioner John Auerbach said in an interview today that the state will be taking "aggressive action to make sure people who have deliberately falsified information are appropriately disciplined."

He made the comments after the Globe reported that an investigation by his agency found more than 200 emergency medical technicians and paramedics in Massachusetts and New Hampshire have been practicing without legitimate certification, having paid certificate mills for fake credentials without taking any medical training.

"It is extremely disturbing that we would uncover a pattern of falsification of certification for any licensed health care professional," Auerbach said. "We are determined to identify all of those instances where this has occurred and to put in place a mechanism to prevent this from happening in the future."

http://www.boston.com/news/local/breaking_news/2010/05/mass_health_off.html

Edited by CBEMT
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Yeah, very few of these folks, and non of the firemen, are going to get fired. The fire unions will simply run some full page ads in any area where this actually becomes news explaining how people are

this is posted after a particularly frustrating day so it might come off as a rant.

There should be a mass firing (see rationale below) of all those involved. That would free up a bunch of jobs for those who don't have them.

If they knowingly paid for the certs and didn't go to any classes, then they falsified their relicensure and they should be revoked and banned from practicing in Mass or any other state.

This is exactly the kind of thing that shows that we as a profession have a LONG LONG way to go before we are considered professionals. If you get 200 or more in one state who did this what kind of message does this send to the public. It sends this message to the public. They don't care enough to do the required steps so will they cut corners when they come get me.

This goes directly to the public wanting a competent provider that will help them. The public no longer will have faith that they are being treated by someone who is competent and if they didn't care enough to fulfill the requirements of the relicensure then they didn't care enough to take care of me completely.

Hey, if anyone on this site did this, let us know why you were so LAZY as to do this? I'm sure we'd all like to hear your answer but I'll bet that those who did this don't have the guts to do that.

But I can see it now, these emt's and paramedics are going to whine because they got caught. They are going to say that this was the only way they could get all their hours and they shouldn't get punished because it's not their fault. IT's the Man's fault for putting too many hours to recert that they didn't have time or some other lame ass excuse.

What the hell, I'm done I guess.

I'd love to hear what dust has to say about this.

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That's ridiculous. I totally agree that they should all be fired. All the services that were employing them are open to lawsuits, because even with the Good Samaritan laws, they were providing care outside their scope, and could have caused considerable harm. Therefore, are no longer protected and are liable for their actions.

Imagine being a patient and now finding out that the people who helped you when you were ill or injured were phonies...

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I COMPLETELY agree on a mass firing of these "employees" fakers. I actually just go a call about 2 hrs ago from the state about my EMT cert. I am DEFINITELY doing this the legal way. I would NEVER falsify a document let alone a document like that.

I don't care if they have been "doing their job" since 1979 under false pretenses they need to be fired loose ALL retirement,benefits and etc.

HOWEVER I know in Colorado and NREMT you can check the status of a persons certs. It is SIMPLE!! http://www.nremt.org/ type in persons name and state. For example Nichole Bull (me) Colorado I am NREMT certified. This makes me think now that NREMT for EMS and PD and Fire should all be required to be put on a database and be able to prove their knowledge. Such as NREMT. I think it should be required because of ppl like this. Fire em all and give me one of their damn jobs!!

This is from the NREMT website when I looked up myself

The following EMS personnel matched the search information that you provided.

The search results represent a list of names of individuals who possess national registration at the First Responder, EMT-Basic, EMT-Intermediate, and/or Paramedic level. These results do not necessarily represent the current city/state where the individual lives or works. You should verify the search results and the current certification status of the individual in question with the appropriate state EMS licensing/certification agency. IE CHECK WITH THE STATE TOO!!

To contact a specific state EMS licensing/certification agency, click here.

Displaying 1 to 1 of 1

Name Residence

Bull, Nichole M. Colorado Spring, CO

Displaying 1 to 1 of 1

This irritates and scares me to no end. I sure hope that employers are doing a more thorough check on prospective employees now. How many other states have non educated EMS,PD, FD and etc...

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HOWEVER I know in Colorado and NREMT you can check the status of a persons certs. It is SIMPLE!! http://www.nremt.org/ type in persons name and state. For example Nichole Bull (me) Colorado I am NREMT certified. This makes me think now that NREMT for EMS and PD and Fire should all be required to be put on a database and be able to prove their knowledge. Such as NREMT. I think it should be required because of ppl like this.

ou should verify the search results and the current certification status of the individual in question with the appropriate state EMS licensing/certification agency. IE CHECK WITH THE STATE TOO!!

You don't think the Department of Health has a verifiable database? Read the article again. Anyone verifying certification with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts (they're not NREMT) would have found valid certifications issued by the Commonwealth. They didn't fake the fact that they had certs. They (are alleged to have) faked their participation in a recert class. The paperwork was submitted, and their certification was re-issued as normal.

There's no mechanism anywhere that I know of for employers to look at somebody's recert class paperwork. They either have a certification issued by the state or they don't, and that's all anybody needs. These people did. Did they obtain these RE-certifications improperly? Remains to be proven, but it certainly seems that way. But again, it wasn't like the case in RI a month or so again where the kid was practicing after handing his employer a fake license that he made himself, and a simple web search would have proven it. Completely different.

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But again, it wasn't like the case in RI a month or so again where the kid was practicing after handing his employer a fake license that he made himself, and a simple web search would have proven it. Completely different.

I agree that it is completely different in the individual documents that were fakes... but I also think it doesn't matter. These people were *allegedly* not completing their re-cert continuing education credits, which therefore makes their license to practice null and void. Whether they got fake certification documents or got fake continuing education course documents, it's still fake, and they should not be allowed to maintain their registration status.

Whether they should be banned for good... that's up to the NREMT and the state, but if they are going to allow them to practice, it had better darn well be AFTER completing a nationally accepted course...

Personally, I say fire them. Let other qualified individuals have the job they worked for and deserve to have, and the phonies can go back to school for something else, or flip burgers.

Now, watch them all get fired and try to apply for unemployment benefits...

HOWEVER I know in Colorado and NREMT you can check the status of a persons certs.

Here in Minnesota, you can do that too, with the license number, which we have to provide in order to be employed...

Double interesting? In Massachusetts, they have a re-certification course verification website, where you can enter an EMS personnel number and see what courses and hours they have completed... Apparently employers will have to keep up on that, now too... http://db.state.ma.us/dph/oems/default.asp

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Can you imagine? That could wipe out entire services! I wonder how one gets by as a paramedic, for long periods of time, with no education or training at all?

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Yeah, very few of these folks, and non of the firemen, are going to get fired. The fire unions will simply run some full page ads in any area where this actually becomes news explaining how people are going to die because our heroic men and women of the fire services were tricked into receiving fake certificates.

Get stoned at a concert and pop hot on a drug screen for doing a little harmless weed and you will be fired and possibly lose your cert. Show that you're ignorant, lazy and morally bankrupt and you get retrained.

It's a crazy world kids...

Dwayne

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