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The Florida Department of Health works to protect, promote & improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county, & community efforts.

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EMS Service Provider Regulation and Compliance

Contact the Florida Department of Health

Emergency Medical Services

Licensure of Emergency Medical Service Providers

ALS & BLS Information

1. Who needs a Basic Life Support (BLS) or Advanced Life Support (ALS) ambulance service license?
Every person, firm, corporation, association or governmental entity owning or acting as an agent for the owner of any business or service which furnishes, orperates, conducts, maintains, advertises, engages in, proposes to engage in or professes to engage in the business or service of providing prehospital or interfacility advanced life support services or basic life support transportation service must be licensed as a basic or advanced life support ambulance service, before offering such service to the public.
Reference Section 401.25, Florida Statutes and Section 64J-1.002, & 64J-1.003, Florida Administrative Code.

2. What are the requirements for a BLS or ALS ambulance service license?
The paper work requirements are listed on the application for BLS or ALS ambulance licensure, "Ground Ambulance Service Provider Licensure Application," DOH Form 631-Editable Version (Non-editable version). Click on the application and the application checklist to review all requirements. Other requirements are listed in Section 401, Florida Statutes and Chapter 64J, Florida Administrative Code. The following is a partial list of the major requirements: Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity (COPCN) from the county commission in the county you wish to operate your service, a medical director (licensed Florida physician) with a Department of Justice-Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) registration (ALS only), vehicle liability insurance, trauma transport protocols and an approved radio communication system. Approval of a radio communication system is completed by Department of Management Services (DMS)-Information Technology Program. Contact DMS for more information on EMS radio communication systems.

3. What is the required staffing for BLS and ALS vehicles and air ambulances?
BLS vehicles are required to have at a minimum an emergency medical technician (EMT) attending the patient and a driver meeting the requirements in Section 401.281, Florida Statutes.
ALS vehicles are required to have at a minimum a paramedic attending the patient and an EMT.
Aircraft-prehospital air ambulances are required to have a minimum of one paramedic.
Interfacility air ambulance staffing is based on the patient's condition as determined by the medical director.
Reference Section 401.25, Florida Statutes, Section 401.251, Florida Statutes, & Sections 64J-1.003; 64J-1.004; and 64J-1.005, Florida Administrative Code.

Air Ambulance

1. Who needs an air ambulance service license?
Every person, firm, corporation, association or governmental entity owning or acting as an agent for the owner of any business or service which furnishes, operates, conducts, maintains, advertises, engages in, proposes to engage in or professes to engage in the business or service of transporting by air ambulance, must be licensed as an air ambulance service, before offering such service to the public.
Reference Section 401.251, Florida Statutes and Section 64J-1.005, Florida Administrative Code.

2. What are the requirements for an air ambulance service license?
The paper work requirements are listed on the application for AIR ambulance licensure, "Air Ambulance Service Provider Licensure Application," DOH Form 1575 (Editable Version). Click on the application and the application checklist to review most requirements.  Other requirements will be found in Section 401, Florida Statutes, and Chapter 64J-1, Florida Administrative Code. The following is a partial list of the major requirement: Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity (COPCN) from the county commission in the county you wish to operate your prehospital service, a medical director (licensed Florida physician) with a Department of Justice-Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) registration (prehospital only), aircraft vehicle liability insurance, trauma transport protocols and an approved radio communication system. Approval of a radio communication system is completed by DMS-Information Technology Program. Contact DMS for more information on EMS radio communication systems.
Reference Section 401.251, Florida Statutes and Section 64J-1.005, Florida Administrative Code.

Driver and Personnel Requirements

1. What are the requirements for an ambulance driver?
An ambulance driver must meet the following requirements:

  • Is at least 18 years of age;
  • certifies under oath that he or she is not addicted to alcohol or any controlled substance, and is free from any physical or mental defect or disease that might impair their ability to drive an ambulance;
  • upon initial designation as a driver, has not within the past three years, been convicted of reckless driving or driving under the influence of alcohol or controlled substance and has not had a driver's license suspended under the point system provided for in Chapter 322, Florida Statutes;
  • successfully completed a 16 hour course of instruction on driving an authorized emergency vehicle, which includes, at a minimum, classroom and behind the wheel training.  Section 64J-1.013, Florida Administrative Code for details on the 16 hour course content;
  • possess a valid American Red Cross or National Safety Council first aid course or its equivalent; and
  • possess a valid American Red Cross or American Heart Association cardiopulmonary resuscitation card.

Reference Section 401.281, Florida Statutes and Chapter 64J-1.013, Florida Administrative Code.

Fees & Laws

1. What are the law and rules governing Emergency Medical Services?
Chapter 401, Florida Statutes and Section 64J-1, Florida Administrative Code, are the law and rules, respectively, that governs Florida Emergency Medical Services.
Chapter 401, Florida Statutes
Section 64J-1, Florida Administrative Code

2. What are the fees for ambulance service licensure?
The fees are $660.00 for a BLS license and $1,375.00 for an ALS and Air license, plus $25.00 for each vehicle or aircraft you permit under your license. The license and vehicle permits are issued for two years.
Reference Section 401.34, Florida Statutes

3. If I want to change the status of my license from BLS to ALS during my two-year cycle will you pro-rate the fees?
NO, the fees will not be pro-rated. You would be considered a new service, charged the full fee, and the license will be good for two years from the date of issue of your ALS license.

Inspections

1. Is an inspection from your department required as part of the licensure application process?
NO, an inspection of your vehicles and service records and facilities is not required prior to licensure. However, your service will receive an inspection within 90 days of your licensure issuance date.

Service Changes

1. What happens if my service decides to move?
A license is valid only for the service location for which it was originally issued. You must submit another application, and the fee is $30.00.
Reference Section 401.321, Florida Statutes
It is the responsibility of the licensed provider to keep the records on file in the EMS Program current. During the two-year licensure period, documentation may expire (such as the medical director's contract, medical director's physician license, DEA registration, vehicle/aircraft liability insurance, and COPCN). The provider should automatically submit current information in a timely fashion.

Other Transport Service

1. I want to operate a wheelchair and stretcher transport service.  Does your office license these services also?
NO, we do not license non-ambulatory passenger taxi services, as they do not provide medical transport. A service of this type is providing transport to non-ambulatory passengers not in need or likely to need medical attention. If a service of this type provides transport to a passenger that is in need of or likely to need medical attention they are in violation of Chapter 401, Florida Statutes and must be licensed as an ambulance service. Some Florida counties do regulate wheelchair and stretcher services. Call the county commission office of the county in which you desire to operate this type of service for information.

Vehicle Permits

1. Do I need to have vehicle or aircraft permitted before operating them?
Yes, vehicles and aircraft must be permitted under your service license before operating them. Vehicle and aircraft permit applications, "Application for Vehicle Permit(s)" DOH Form 1510 (Editable Version) and

"Application for Air Ambulance Permit" DOH Form 1576, May 1998 (Editable Version). Click on the application needed and print the permit applications for your use.
Reference Section 401.26, Florida Statutes and Section 64J-1.007, Florida Administrative Code.

2. What are the levels of vehicle permitting?
Vehicles are permitted either at the BLS or ALS level. Once permitted at that level, the vehicle must be operated at all times at that level with the required staffing and equipment.
Reference Section 401.26, Florida Statutes and Section 64J-1.007, Florida Administrative Code.

3. I have a permitted vehicle/aircraft that requires maintenance.  Can I use an unpermitted vehicle/aircraft in its place?
Yes, when it is necessary for a permitted vehicle/aircraft to be out of service for routine maintenance or repairs, a substitute vehicle/aircraft meeting the same transport capabilities and equipment specifications as the out of service vehicle/aircraft may be used for a period of time not to exceed 30 days. An unpermitted vehicle/aircraft cannot be placed into service, nor can a BLS vehicle be used at the ALS level unless it is replacing a vehicle that has been temporarily taken out of service for maintenance. When such a substitution is made, the following information shall be maintained by the licensee and shall be accessible to the department:

  • identification of permitted vehicle/aircraft taken out of service;
  • identification of substitute vehicle/aircraft; and,
  • the date on which the substitute vehicle/aircraft was placed into service, the date on which it was removed from service and the date the permitted vehicle/aircraft was returned to service.

4. If I permit a vehicle/aircraft in the middle of my two-year licensure cycle, how long is the permit good for?
The permit WILL expire at the same time your license does.

Trauma Transport Protocols (TTP) describe the procedures used by the emergency medical services prehospital provider for dispatch of vehicles.

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