Question: Can an off duty medic who stops to assist an on duty crew the care (in the area for which he works and is certified) at an accident scene or medical event provide advanced care i.e. IV, med administration injections etc.?
This is a great question. A paramedic is certified by a Base Hospital to perform delegated or controlled medical acts when employed by an EMS service. The SWORBHP Medical Council has discussed this question and given it a lot of thought. It is a complex issue as we need to balance what it best for patients and enabling you to render assistance wherever possible yet remain within the confines of the fact that certification by the Base Hospital is tied to the work you provide through a recognized EMS service.
As an example, the Base Hospital would not certify you as an individual to perform delegated or controlled medical acts with equipment and medications you sourced independently if you were planning on responding to calls in your personal vehicle during your off duty hours. However, there are instances where paramedics are functioning in an authorized capacity on behalf of an EMS service on a volunteer basis (bike patrols, color guard in parades, etc). In these and other instances, you may need to respond and act to your complete scope of practice and certification would obviously be necessary to do so.
Complicating this further is that various EMS services have polices that speak to assistance provided by paramedics during their off duty hours and the Base Hospital does not wish to become in conflict with these polices which differ throughout the Southwest region.
The bottom line is that certification through SWORBHP as defined by the Advanced Life Support Patient Care Standards is valid when you are functioning in an authorized capacity on behalf of your EMS service. Think of it as if you are wearing your uniform regardless of if you are volunteering or not, you can be considered certified by the Base Hospital. We encourage all paramedics to speak with your service to clarify any local service specific polices that may also impact your ability to render care during your off duty hours.