VerticleOnline and published Oct 21, 2009
CAMTS accreditation has become double edged sword.
On one hand your HEMS program may not be able to live without it (either by regulatory requirement of your state, OR by lost revenue via third party insurers who require accreditation), but on the other it may be hard to live WITH it too! -recurring site visits, 3 year applications for reverification, continually updating standards etc.
One of the big problems with CAMTS accreditation is that in some circles it is legislatively mandated (see the 8 states that require it) and by definition, accreditation conflicts with "mandatory" -- so which is it? Mandatory or voluntary???
Personally I believe the original intent of CAMTS was good for the following reasons:
1) It's not governmental: for those of us who dislike big brother running everything. (This is a HUGE plus in my book)
2) Technically, it's still voluntary (debatable)
3) Nursing/carregivers: involvement with heavy focus on requirements for the medical crews, in my opinion, is good. I believe the industry is moving towards recognizing the medical crews as AIRCREWS. I think there will be needed discussion when/if this happens (I hope it does) because then there is more FAA oversight in that aspect.
4) CAMTS uses widespread representation. Argue if you like about how the pilots are not as strongly represented, but there are a few other "non-specific" seats on the CAMTS board of directors which could be occupied by qualified pilots as well.
---->NOTE: if the HEMS pilots do not feel they are represented adequately by CAMTS, then they should lobby their professional organizations to develop some type of accreditation program as well, OR, get their representative body to work more collaboratively and intertwined with CAMTS5) In my personal opinion, in what I have read and researched over the years, I feel CAMTS strives to stay "ahead of the curve" in as much as incorporating or leaning towards industry leading "best practices" as well as those practices which may be recommendations by federal investigative/review committees. I have always felt that CAMTS was dynamic and responsive to the HEMS community.
I realize there are more problems and concerns with CAMTS which I have not listed here; I will look for part two of this article to help stimulate more discussion.
My bottom line however, is directed towards the skeptics and nay-sayers.. and I say to those that are (1) unhappy, (2) dis-enfranchised or (3) mis-represented by CAMTS - "sorry", CAMTS has ONLY become so influential and powerful by the VOLUNTARY submission to it's program requirements and accreditation processes by programs across the US... The more programs that seek the CAMTS "Merit Badge", give the CAMTS machine more influence, power and presence....