The Florida Association of Professional EMTs and Paramedics (FAPEP)


Author: Brittany Martinelli

The Florida Association of Professional EMTs and Paramedics (FAPEP) is a non-profit trade organization that was officially founded on April 3, 1992. It was created by eight Tallahassee paramedics who were motivated by their concern about the potential increase in EMT and paramedic recertification fees. The original goal of FAPEP was to make a difference in the EMS profession, from the EMT and paramedic level, as there existed no group to advocate for them. Through the hard work and dedication of the founding eight paramedics and the encouragement and membership of other Florida EMTs and paramedics, the organization has been successful in achieving its goal. It is now our desire to follow in the footsteps of our forefathers and continue to give to EMTs and paramedics a Professional Association that will continue to work on their behalf.

The Executive Board of FAPEP is made up of an: Executive Director (appointed by the Executive Board); President (appointed by the Executive Board); Immediate Past President; five District Vice-Presidents (elected by the general membership); Government Affairs Representative (appointed by the Executive Director and is a member of the Executive Board); Education Director (appointed by the Executive Director, member of the Executive Board); and a National Association of EMTs representative (appointed by the Executive Director and member of the Executive Board). All positions are held for two years. In addition the FAPEP office is staffed by a Membership Coordinator (hired by the executive director) and at times of heavy workloads has additional office staff that can be called upon as needed.

Throughout the years FAPEP has enjoyed success with the completion of several projects. Since FAPEP began in1992, the organization has been sending lobbyists to Washington DC and to the Florida Capitol to meet with members of legislature on issues related to EMS and which the membership feels is important. The Legislative Representative along with members of the executive board takes the time to make all lawmakers aware of the concerns within the EMS community. Starting in 1993, FAPEP has developed a variety of “position statements.” Issues such as “Big Trucks”, Associate Degree requirements for paramedic certification, and quality management practices required the Association to have a position. The formal process of having our voice heard is through the position statements process. Additionally, there have been other projects that did not require position statements but rather a lot of work. An example of such a project has been the six-year research of the history of “blood draw” laws in Florida. Paramedics were being asked by law enforcement to draw legal blood alcohols in the field but in addition in cases EMS units were actually being dispatched for this purpose. FAPEPs research has led to a law enforcement commitment to reduce unnecessary use of EMS in obtaining blood alcohol samples in the field. As we have the experience and knowledge on this issue, we have also been asked to participate on a national level on this same topic.

FAPEP’s activities are not just limited to the interests of the EMS professionals of today. FAPEP is committed to looking toward our future. In 1999, the FAPEP leadership developed the FAPEP Scholars Program. The focus of the Scholars Program is to have association participation of students in EMT and paramedic programs. The Scholars Program provides information to an instructor that is not only timely but also relative to EMS. FAPEP believes that the future of the Association lies with positive relationships from the beginning. FAPEP will also provide any assistance to a program wishing to start an EMT and paramedic leadership club. It is truly a win-win; FAPEP has students understanding the importance of a professional association prior to leaving school.

FAPEP’s involvement and commitment extends into the community and has participated in programs targeting bicycle helmets, safety belts, DUI, and other safety issues. In 1995 FAPEP became an official NAEMT Florida Affiliate to represent Florida EMTs and paramedic’s interests on a national level. FAPEP became a charter member of National Association of EMS Educators (NAEMSE) in 1997.

What does the future hold for FAPEP? We are currently focusing our efforts toward the enhancement of EMS education by supporting the development of Associate Degree requirements for paramedic certification and improving our profession by strengthening quality management practices. FAPEP is also working on professionally recognizing the advanced training that paramedics receive. FAPEP strives to encourage EMS providers and other allied health professionals to become actively involved in our professional association. The association has levels of membership that can be appealing to not only EMTs and paramedics but to corporations, schools, individuals and affiliates. We would like to encourage you to visit our website at www.fapep.org to learn more exciting information about FAPEP.

Brittany Martinelli
Broward Community College
ParamedicDistrict 4 - SE Florida
District Vice-President

District Covers: Broward, Dade, Monroe, and Palm Beach counties.

Brittany is originally from New York. She started in Fire-Rescue as an explorer almost 15 years ago and returned to make it a career 4 years ago. In addition to her National Registry and FL Paramedic certification, Brittany is also a registered respiratory therapist and teaches at Broward Community College. She is an instructor in BLS, ACLS, PALS, and BTLS. Outside of EMS Brittany’s interests include theater, music, mystery novels, football, baseball, and her dauschund Kristi. FAPEP and professional interests include education, recertification, and licensure.

Email: martinelli@fapep.org