Delaware EMS Protocols

The Delaware Legislature delegated to the Division of Public Health of the Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS) the power to establish statewide standard treatment protocols in prehospital emergency environments. With this power, DHSS established the Office of Emergency Medical Services (OEMS) and the necessary protocols to govern such, in accordance with provisions with Title 16 (Health & Social Services) of the Delaware Administrative Code.

Basic Life Support Protocols

The emergency medical technician-basic (EMT-B) is licensed by OEMS to perform primarily palliative care, which is known as basic life support, on prehospital patients with their full consent. The statewide standard treatment protocols empower the EMT-B to manage the signs and symptoms of the patient until the patient can be transported to the most appropriate hospital facility.



The EMT-B is directed by the protocols to perform the following duties, as needed: Assess the patient; obtain vital signs; control the patient's airway; immobilize/stabilize the patient's spine; perform Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR); control bleeding; splint fractures and dislocations; administer oxygen, nitroglycerin; vaginally delivery children; use tourniquets and chest compression devices; assist patient with self-administration of prescribed medications; and monitor intravenous (IV) fluids.

Advanced Life Support Protocols

The paramedic is licensed by OEMS to perform primarily restorative care, which is known as advanced life support, on prehospital patients with their full consent. The statewide standard treatment protocols give the paramedic full access to a large scope of permissible medical interventions to use to improve the patient's condition in transit to the most appropriate hospital facility.



In addition to all of the powers of the EMT-B, the paramedic is additionally empowered by the protocols to perform the following duties to delay cardiac or respiratory arrest: intubation for respiratory distress; monitoring of the patient's heart using synchronized cardioversion and cardiac pacing; IV insertion; and drug therapy.

Do Not Resuscitate Protocols

Whenever a patient has a Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) that has been properly brought to the attention of the EMT-B or the paramedic, Delaware Statewide Standard Treatment Protocols strictly forbid the OEMS personnel from providing any type of treatment to the patient whatsoever.