The world of Irish Pre-Hospital Practice has developed significantly over this past number of years. With the advent of Regulation in 2001 and the introduction of a Register and all of the associated changes as a consequence, came vast improvements to the structure, standards and education, in pre-hospital care. Whilst improvements are evident among the practitioner group the public know little or nothing of our role and function.
Other Countries like the USA have fragmented associations and certification. Australia has professional representative organisations but no regulation. The United Kingdom has Regulation of some pre-hospital practitioners, but not all and has a professional body representing paramedics. Ireland, however, has a national Pre-Hospital Regulatory Body – The Pre-Hospital Emergency Care Council (PHECC) but does not have one national non-discriminatory professional representative body.
To date this void has been filled by various organisations and bodies without a national, multi-dimensional voice. It is now time to form a national and all-inclusive professional body to represent all registered pre-hospital practitioners in Ireland. The primary purpose of such a body would be to promote the profession and continue the thrust towards a stand-alone profession recognised in its own right and not dependent on the crutch of other related professions, not driven by other professions but by ourselves.
A growing number of registrants nationally are interested in forming such a body, now it is our time to establish a professional body akin to other national and international professional bodies.
This idea has sprouted from my recent research into Continuous Professional Competence for Pre-Hospital Practitioners and it is my intention to propagate and encourage the formation of this professional body. The organisation will only grow through the commitment of its membership who are interested in promoting our profession through education, research, engagement and publicity.
This proposed professional body will encourage individual membership from ALL organisations irrespective of uniform, rank or geographical position. It’s main function is not to replace recognised unions but simply to promote the profession and the professionalism of our practice.
I propose the initial name of the organisation as the ‘Irish College of Paramedics’ (ICoP) until a governing committee decide to reaffirm or change this name. I would encourage and ask every registered practitioner from EMT, paramedic or advanced paramedic to consider joining and supporting the continued development of our profession through this proposed body. All registrants are welcomed from all organisations who provide emergency care in the pre-hospital field.
I represent no organisation or association in relation to this proposed body, I am a registered practitioner of pre-hospital care and look forward to your support for our professional body.