Metropolitan Boston Emergency Medical Service Council

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Updated Statewide Treatment Protocols, effective October 20, 2015

Office of Emergency Medical Services

Department of Public Health                                                                                                               

Commonwealth of Massachusetts


Updated Statewide Treatment Protocols, Effective October 20, 2015


The MA Department of Public Health’s (Department’s) Office of Emergency Medical Services (OEMS) has issued the updated Statewide Treatment Protocols, v. 2015.1, which will become effective October 20, 2015. The updated Protocols are available at, and a summary of changes can be found at These Protocols have been developed and approved for recommendation to the Department by the Emergency Medical Care Advisory Board and its Medical Services Committee.


Aside from technical corrections of errors and typos, the most significant changes to this year’s protocols include:

·         Renumbering the protocol document to reflect year of release (2015)

·         Clarification on Spinal Motion Restriction as the standard of care for spinal trauma

·         Allowing “wound-vacs” to be maintained by EMT-Basics during inter-facility transfer, rather than Paramedics.

·         Addition of a Scope of Practice document clarifying permitted interventions for each level of EMS personnel.

·         Medication dose adjustments, to simplify administration given different formulations, and in conjunction with changes in clinical evidence-based-care. This includes modifications to Midazolam dosing, phased replacement of Dopamine for Norepinephrine, and removal of Thiamine. This will involve the phased introduction of IV infusion pumps by 2017 for use with vasoactive medications.



EMS personnel must be trained to operate under these updated Protocols by October 20, 2015. Ambulance services and their training officers are responsible for ensuring all their EMS personnel have successfully completed training before implementing these Protocols. The Department will be releasing a resource for this training  in the coming weeks. If the Department-provided training is used for education, there will be a statewide approval number for the course. Once all service EMS personnel have been so trained and the service is appropriately equipped, they may start operating under these Protocols.  Please note that documentation of successful completion of Protocol training for all service EMS personnel, including the exam, will be reviewed by Department inspectors and investigators.