"Pre-hospital medical care continues to evolve and change. The problem is Pinellas County fire departments that provide Emergency Medical Services (EMS) have no plan on how to begin providing community based healthcare services. This research project analyzed the factors affecting the ability of fire service EMS personnel to provide community based healthcare services. The purpose of the project was to create recommendations that Pinellas fire service leaders could follow to implement community based healthcare services. Descriptive and evaluative research methods were used to answer the following research questions: 1. Do any Florida fire service EMS providers currently provide or plan to provide Community Based Healthcare Services? 2. Are current policy makers in local government familiar with Community Based Healthcare Services? 3. Do those current policy makers in local government have opinions on who should provide Community Based Healthcare Services? 4. What laws exist today that would prohibit or allow Pinellas County fire service paramedics to provide Community Based Healthcare Services? Procedures utilized included: review of written material on community based healthcare services; review of Florida Statutes and local agreements; personal interviews; and surveys of local government officials and Florida fire service professionals. The findings of the research indicated that many of Pinellas County's government policy makers were familiar with community based healthcare services and had strong opinions on who should provide service. The Florida fire service EMS providers were also familiar with community based healthcare services and were already providing limited services. Florida statutes failed to provide clear answers on just who could provide services."
United States. Federal Emergency Management Agency, Learning Resource Center: http://www.lrc.fema.gov/