Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) for BLS EMS Agencies

Bureau of EMS Policy Statement
Policy Statement # 15-02
Date April 29, 2015
Subject Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) for BLS EMS Agencies
Supercedes/Updates New

Based on the results of a demonstration project, at the September 9, 2014 meeting of the New York State Emergency Medical Service Advisory Council (SEMSCO), the use of Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) by Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT) in Basic Life Support (BLS) EMS agencies was approved. The SEMAC approval was granted with the specific condition that an EMS service wishing to use a CPAP device at the BLS level, be granted approval by their Regional Emergency Medical Advisory Committee (REMAC) and that each EMT complete an approved training program. The Commissioner of Health has approved the addition of CPAP as a part of the scope of practice for certified EMTs in New York State.


The SEMAC has approved a statewide protocol for the use of CPAP devices by EMT personnel for patients in respiratory distress. The REMAC must also adopt a single standardized training program, approved by the Department, which will be used by all agencies electing to utilize CPAP at the EMT level.

EMS Agencies wishing to be authorized to use CPAP devices must make a written request to their REMAC. The request should include, but may not be limited to the following:

  • A letter from the agency medical director supporting the request for use of CPAP, including the physician’s plan for quality assurance and appropriateness review of each utilization.
  • Written policies and procedures for the use of CPAP that are consistent with regional policies and protocols. This shall include the following:
    • Written policies and procedures requiring the approved training program, requirements for continuing education, maintenance of competencies and the documentation for authorized providers;
    • A description of the CPAP device being utilized by the EMS agency.

Once the EMS service has received written approval from the REMAC, the EMS Service must provide the Department with an updated Medical Director Verification Form (DOH-4362) indicating CPAP approval.