The Massachusetts Department of Public Health, Office of Emergency Medical Services (Department) has today issued an updated Administrative Requirement (AR) 2-270 Training Requirements for Police Dog (K9) Treatment for EMS. The AR pushes back the implementation deadline by 1 year, so ambulance services that do not have waivers must now ensure their EMTs complete the training by February 10, 2024. The updated AR also contains some revisions to the course instructor and resource requirements, as well as refresher training.
Note that the Police K9 Protocols are effective as of February 10, 2023, so that once ambulance services are equipped in accordance with AR 5-401K9 and whose EMS personnel are trained in accordance with AR 2-270 may begin providing treatment and transport to police dogs in accordance with the Police K9 Protocols. The Protocols, the AR 5-401K9 and the other requirements pertaining to Nero’s Law, including the point of entry plan and the AR 1-522G, have not changed.
Key changes to the updated AR 2-270 include the following:
It modifies the refresher training requirement to be only doing the didactic portion of this training every 2 years, not the whole 3 hour training.
It modifies who can be faculty for the practical portion only, to include vet techs with certain certification: credentialed as a Veterinary Technician Specialist (VTS) by the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America in Anesthesia, Surgery, Internal Medicine, or Emergency and Critical Care. Most vet techs do not hold this certification; no other vet techs are authorized to be faculty for the practical portion. A veterinarian remains required faculty for the didactic portion.
It modifies the practical portion resources to require a large dog who is not a police dog to be at the class, on which the EMTs would practice landmarking, as well as mannequins for backup. However, it continues to require a police K9 with its handler to be present, and clarifies their role in the training.
For ambulance services that have received waivers from Nero’s Law compliance from the Department: Your waivers are coterminous with your licensure period. Your ambulance service license expiration date is your deadline to meet the Department’s Nero’s Law requirements.