Delaware County’s Emergency Medical Services Department today announced that its national accreditation has been renewed. After a recent site visit from the Commission on Accreditation of Ambulance Services (CAAS), DCEMS has been notified that it has passed a comprehensive review that assesses EMS performance on more than 200 stringent standards. The accreditation is good for three years.

“To put it into perspective, there are well over 12,000 EMS agencies nationally,” said DCEMS Director Jeff Fishel, “but only around 250 have achieved CAAS accreditation. In Ohio, there are over 1,000 EMS agencies and only six have achieved CAAS accreditation.”

Seeking CAAS accreditation is a voluntary process. The Commission, established in 1990, is a non-profit organization designed to encourage and promote quality patient care in the nation’s EMS systems. Each time an agency is reviewed, inspectors are flown in from around the U.S. and inspect a service provider’s operations thoroughly. They then take their findings back to the CAAS board, which reviews and then votes. The process costs an agency $3,500 for the accreditation fee and up to $5,000 to cover the costs of the onsite inspection.

Delaware County EMS first achieved accreditation in 2012 and was renewed in 2015. After a 2018 review, its accreditation was suspended provisionally.

“We were in the process of implementing a Continuous Quality Improvement program,” said Delaware County Administrator Michael Frommer, “and our documentation was not where it needed to be. With input and encouragement from CAAS, we were able to quickly course-correct and get the accreditation back within months.”

In the Central Ohio region, only one other EMS provider is accredited — Genesis Community Ambulance in Zanesville.

Dr. Ashish Panchal, DCEMS’s Medical Director, said: “We are so proud of our EMS crews who have made high quality care a priority. The external verification through accreditation truly demonstrates their commitment to caring for our community.”

Added Fishel: “It is important to note that being CAAS accredited means putting yourself out there for external review by the most stringent national accrediting agency. There is no higher achievement in EMS, and I am extremely proud of our staff for committing themselves to this task of proving that we have achieved excellence in EMS.”

For more information about DCEMS, visit their website at: