The Emergency Medical Assistants (EMA) Licensing Board is required to regulate the first responder and paramedic professions to ensure the public is protected. The Emergency Health Services Act empowers the EMA Licensing Board to investigate complaints regarding paramedics and first responders.
Types of complaints include:
- A paramedic or first responder has incompetently carried out their duties.
- A paramedic or first responder has breached the terms and conditions on their licence.
- A paramedic or first responder has breached the EMA code of ethics.
- A paramedic or first responder has a health ailment, impairing his/her ability to practice safely.
Have a concern about a first responder or paramedic?
The EMA Licensing Board receives complaints about the conduct or competence of first responders and paramedics from patients and their families, employers, colleagues and the criminal justice system. They may also receive complaints alleging that a first responder or paramedic has a health ailment impairing their ability to practice safely.
When you have a concern about a first responder or paramedic, we recommend:
- You contact the EMA Licensing Board.
- You consider pursuing the matter with the employer of the first responder or paramedic.
How to Make a Complaint to the EMA Licensing Board
Anyone may make a complaint regarding the conduct or competence of a first responder or paramedic that is licensed in British Columbia by completing the complaint registration form and emailing it to our office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If the board determines that your complaint is not within its jurisdiction, you will receive a letter explaining this, including information about other forums that may be more appropriate for your complaint.
How to Make a Complaint to the British Columbia Emergency Health Services Corporation
The British Columbia Emergency Health Services Corporation (BCEHS) is responsible for the British Columbia Ambulance Service, and they are committed to putting patient needs first. For more information, please see the Provincial Health Services Authority Compliments and Complaints process.
For EMAs: What happens if a complaint is made against me?
If a complaint is made against you, the board will send you a letter asking you to submit your account of the incident. The board will then review your response and the original complaint.
If the board determines no further action is required, the board will close your complaint file and send you a letter notifying you of its decision.
If the board determines further action is required, it may refer the complaint to the Investigation Committee and you may be contacted by the committee for additional information.
The complaints process flow chart can be found here.
Role of the Investigation Committee
The Investigation Committee is appointed by the board and acts independently. The board refers complaints to the committee for investigation as necessary.
The committee conducts an investigation of the complaint and reports its findings to the board. Based on the findings, the committee will recommend a hearing if it is warranted.
In accordance with the Complaint, Investigation and Hearing Procedure Rules, Part 1 (PDF, 26KB), the Investigation Committee is comprised of at least three people – one must be a physician and one must be a person who represents the paramedic community.
Current Investigation Committee members
- Dr. Peter MacDonald, emergency room physician, chair
- Lisa Constable, RN, BScN, MSN, member
- Brian Reichert, paramedic advisor, CCP, member
- Rob Evans, paramedic advisor, CCP, member
- Robbin Norgren, paramedic advisor, ACP, member
- Marc Slabotsky, paramedic advisor, PCP, member
- Jeff Miller, FR advisor, EMA FR, member
- Don Jolley, FR advisor, EMA FR, member
What if I want someone to represent me to the board?
You may appoint a representative in accordance with the board’s policy on a representative (PDF, 192KB). The board will only discuss your case with a third party if you submit the Authorization of Representative form (PDF, 264KB) to email@example.com. Your representative may be present during the complaint investigation but may not speak on your behalf.
The board has the right to deal directly with you if it is of the opinion that your representative is not working in your best interest or is obstructing the process.