EMS agencies and personnel throughout Kentucky often have questions about KRS 311A and its regulations, 202 KAR 7 et al. Some of the questions arise many times. Because these are general, need-to-know issues, Legal Services has set up this section of the website for your questions. The question could be added to this FAQ section to help other certified or licensed agencies and personnel conduct their businesses and carry out their duties as EMS providers in Kentucky.
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Under KRS 311A.175(1) – (3), all EMS personnel have a duty to perform procedures that fall only within their scope of practice. All EMS personnel are tasked with knowing what that scope of practice is. (KRS 311A.175(4)) If someone—an employer, a medical director, a physician, nurse, or anyone—asks a licensed or certified EMS professional to perform a procedure that is outside the scope of practice for the professional’s level of certification, the EMS professional has a legal duty to refuse to exceed his scope of practice. (KRS 311A.175(5)) And, when the EMS professional uses that legal duty to refuse, the employer cannot discipline or discharge the first responder, EMT, or paramedic. Disciplining or discharging an individual for refusing an illegal order could create legal liability on the employer’s part for wrongful termination of an employee.