EMS Care to Dogs and Cats*

download (2)House Bill 187 was signed by the Governor on May 31, 2016 and becomes effective on August 31, 2016. This legislation establishes Ohio Revised Code 4765.52, which permits EMS certificate holders to provide care to dogs and cats within the following guidelines.

• The law applies to all EMS certificate holders (EMR, EMT, AEMT, Paramedic).

• Only dogs and cats are referenced in the Bill. The law does not authorize care to any other animals.

• Medical care for dogs and cats should only be performed in the course of an emergency medical response, fire response, or response to aid law enforcement. The law does not apply to a call for EMS care for animals and, furthermore, does not require EMS organizations to respond to calls for animal assistance.

• The scope of practice is not expanded for care to animals. The certificate holder is only authorized to perform the corresponding form of medical services that could be provided to a human patient including:

-Opening and manually maintaining an airway;
-Giving mouth to snout or mouth to barrier ventilation;
-Administering oxygen;
-Managing ventilation by mask;
-Controlling hemorrhage with direct pressure;
-Immobilizing fractures;
-Bandaging;
-Administering Naloxone if administering Naloxone has been authorized by the medical director and the drug is administered either in accordance with a written protocol established by a veterinarian or pursuant to consultation with a veterinarian.

• Immunity applies to EMS certificate holders when providing care to dogs and cats under the same circumstances as when providing care to human patients.

• Veterinarians who assist EMS certificate holders with medical services to a dog or cat have the same level of immunity as medical directors who assist with EMS matters.

*This document has been prepared for informational purposes only. As always, certificate holders and EMSOs should consult with their legal counsel for advice.