(1) Each permitted ambulance not specifically exempted from this part, when transporting a person who is sick, injured, wounded, incapacitated, or helpless, must be occupied by at least two persons, one of whom must be a certified emergency medical technician, certified paramedic, or licensed physician and one of whom must be a driver who meets the requirements for ambulance drivers. This subsection does not apply to interfacility transfers governed by s. 401.252(1). (2) The department shall establish by rule educational and training criteria and examinations for the certification and recertification of emergency medical technicians and paramedics. Such rules must require, but need not be limited to: (a) For emergency medical technicians, proficiency in techniques identified in s. 401.23(7) and in rules of the department. (b) For paramedics, proficiency in techniques identified in s. 401.23(1) and in rules of the department.
(3) Any person who desires to be certified or recertified as an emergency medical technician or paramedic must apply to the department under oath on forms provided by the department which shall contain such information as the department reasonably requires, which may include affirmative evidence of ability to comply with applicable laws and rules. The department shall determine whether the applicant meets the requirements specified in this section and in rules of the department and shall issue a certificate to any person who meets such requirements.
(4) An applicant for certification or recertification as an emergency medical technician or paramedic must: (a) Have completed an appropriate training course as follows:
1. For an emergency medical technician, an emergency medical technician training course equivalent to the most recent emergency medical technician basic training course of the United States Department of Transportation as approved by the department;
2. For a paramedic, a paramedic training program equivalent to the most recent paramedic course of the United States Department of Transportation as approved by the department;
(b) Certify under oath that he or she is not addicted to alcohol or any controlled substance;
(c) Certify under oath that he or she is free from any physical or mental defect or disease that might impair the applicant’s ability to perform his or her duties;
(d) Within 1 year after course completion have passed an examination developed or required by the department;
(e)1. For an emergency medical technician, hold either a current American Heart Association cardiopulmonary resuscitation course card or an American Red Cross cardiopulmonary resuscitation course card or its equivalent as defined by department rule;
2. For a paramedic, hold a certificate of successful course completion in advanced cardiac life support from the American Heart Association or its equivalent as defined by department rule;
(f) Submit the certification fee and the nonrefundable examination fee prescribed in s. 401.34, which examination fee will be required for each examination administered to an applicant; and
(g) Submit a completed application to the department, which application documents compliance with paragraphs (a), (b), (c), (e), (f), (g), and, if applicable, (d). The application must be submitted so as to be received by the department at least 30 calendar days before the next regularly scheduled examination for which the applicant desires to be scheduled.
(5) The certification examination must be offered monthly. The department shall issue an examination admission notice to the applicant advising him or her of the time and place of the examination for which he or she is scheduled. Individuals achieving a passing score on the certification examination may be issued a temporary certificate with their examination grade report. The department must issue an original certification within 45 days after the examination. Examination questions and answers are not subject to discovery but may be introduced into evidence and considered only in camera in any administrative proceeding under chapter 120. If an administrative hearing is held, the department shall provide challenged examination questions and answers to the administrative law judge. The department shall establish by rule the procedure by which an applicant, and the applicant’s attorney, may review examination questions and answers in accordance with s. 119.071(1)(a).
(6)(a) The department shall establish by rule a procedure for biennial renewal certification of emergency medical technicians. Such rules must require a United States Department of Transportation refresher training program of at least 30 hours as approved by the department every 2 years. The refresher program may be offered in multiple presentations spread over the 2-year period. The rules must also provide that the refresher course requirement may be satisfied by passing a challenge examination.
(b) The department shall establish by rule a procedure for biennial renewal certification of paramedics. Such rules must require candidates for renewal to have taken at least 30 hours of continuing education units during the 2-year period. The rules must provide that the continuing education requirement may be satisfied by passing a challenge examination.
(7) A physician, physician assistant, dentist, or registered nurse may be certified as a paramedic if the physician, physician assistant, dentist, or registered nurse is certified in this state as an emergency medical technician, has passed the required emergency medical technician curriculum, has successfully completed an advanced cardiac life support course, has passed the examination for certification as a paramedic, and has met other certification requirements specified by rule of the department. A physician, physician assistant, dentist, or registered nurse so certified must be recertified under this section.
(8) Each emergency medical technician certificate and each paramedic certificate will expire automatically and may be renewed if the holder meets the qualifications for renewal as established by the department. A certificate that is not renewed at the end of the 2-year period will automatically revert to an inactive status for a period not to exceed 180 days. Such certificate may be reactivated and renewed within the 180 days if the certificateholder meets all other qualifications for renewal and pays a $25 late fee. Reactivation shall be in a manner and on forms prescribed by department rule. The holder of a certificate that expired on December 1, 1996, has until September 30, 1997, to reactivate the certificate in accordance with this subsection.
(9) The department may suspend or revoke a certificate at any time if it determines that the holder does not meet the applicable qualifications.
(10) The department may provide by rule for physically disabled persons to take and be provided with the results of the written portion of the emergency medical technician certification examination or paramedic certification examination. However, such persons may not receive any special assistance in completing the examination. An individual who achieves a passing grade on the emergency medical technician certification examination or paramedic certification examination may be issued a limited emergency medical technician certificate or a limited paramedic certificate. An individual issued a limited certificate may not perform patient care or treatment activities.
(11)(a) A certificateholder may request that his or her emergency medical technician certificate or paramedic certificate be placed on inactive status by applying to the department before his or her current certification expires and paying a fee set by the department not to exceed $50.
(b)1. A certificateholder whose certificate has been on inactive status for 1 year or less following the date his or her emergency medical technician certificate or paramedic certificate expired may renew his or her certificate pursuant to the rules adopted by the department and upon payment of a late renewal fee set by the department not to exceed $100.
2. A certificateholder whose certificate has been on inactive status for more than 1 year may renew his or her certificate pursuant to rules adopted by the department. To renew, the certificateholder must pass the certification examination and complete continuing education requirements and a field internship.
(c) A certificate which has been inactive for more than 6 years automatically expires and may not be reinstated.
(12) An applicant for certification who is an out-of-state trained emergency medical technician or paramedic must provide proof of current emergency medical technician or paramedic certification or registration based upon successful completion of the United States Department of Transportation emergency medical technician or paramedic training curriculum and hold a current certificate of successful course completion in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) or advanced cardiac life support for emergency medical technicians or paramedics, respectively, to be eligible for the certification examination. The applicant must successfully complete the certification examination within 1 year after the date of the receipt of his or her application by the department. After 1 year, the applicant must submit a new application, meet all eligibility requirements, and submit all fees to reestablish eligibility to take the certification examination.
(13) The department shall adopt a standard state insignia for emergency medical technicians and paramedics. The department shall establish by rule the requirements to display the state emergency medical technician and paramedic insignia. The rules may not require a person to wear the standard insignia but must require that if a person wears any insignia that identifies the person as a certified emergency medical technician or paramedic in this state, the insignia must be the standard state insignia adopted under this section. The insignia must denote the individual’s level of certification at which he or she is functioning.