Use of Emergency Medical Services Personnel in Public Health Immunization Clinics

Since the 2009 outbreak of the Influenza A (H1N1) virus, local public health departments (LPHDs) have been encouraged to use resources such as local EMS personnel to participate in the vaccination process.

EMS services and individual providers will be able to assist local public health departments with vaccinations for seasonal flu using specific parameters. Therefore it is essential that EMS agencies and personnel work closely with their medical director and the tribal health director or local health officer.

There are two ways that a tribal or local public health agency may partner with EMS personnel to assist with the administration of seasonal flu vaccines. They are as follows:

  1. The EMS service director (or medical director) may coordinate with the tribal or local public health agency to use the EMS service resources, including personnel and vehicles. The EMS personnel would function under the EMS service's medical direction to participate in the administration of seasonal flu vaccine. EMS agencies will need to update their Operation Plan, and adopt the Wisconsin EMS protocol and procedure for vaccinations available below.  In addition to their protocol and procedure, EMS personnel will need to follow all public health guidelines. In this scenario, the authority for the Paramedic or EMT to vaccinate is shared between the EMS agency and the tribal or local public health agency.

  2. The tribal or local public health agency may request and use volunteers or paid contract employees to assist in the administration of seasonal flu vaccines as part of their local practices, and/or in accordance with the local Public Health Emergency Plan or Mass Clinic Plan.  Individual Paramedics and EMTs may volunteer or be paid as contract employees to assist the tribal or local public health agency with these vaccinations.  The Paramedics and/or EMTs would be working under the immediate direction of the tribal or local public health agency and can be provided with 'Just in Time' training, as appropriate. It is the responsibility of the tribal or local public health agency to verify the Paramedics' and/or EMTs' skill level and ability to administer vaccine. When an individual Paramedic or EMT is acting in this capacity, he/she would not be working under his/her EMS license, as he/she is not acting in conjunction with a recognized EMS agency or medical director at that point in time. In this scenario, the Paramedic or EMT is a volunteer or paid contract employee. Authority to vaccinate is from the tribal or local public health agency.

The seasonal flu vaccine will only be available for administration to local public health departments and registered clinical sites (such as hospitals and clinics) and will be distributed to these agencies through the Wisconsin Department of Health Services and should also be administered in cooperation with the local public health department.

In order to receive approval for vaccination administration, each service will need to complete and submit all appropriate "Medical Guideline and Procedure" documents below:

Submit completed Guidelines and Procedures to the appropriate Program Coordinator prior to deployment of this program by the EMS service.

Other influenza resources for EMS providers include:

For further information, contact our office by email at or by phone at 608-266-0471.

Last Revised: August 28, 2015