Online EMS Biz Sues Certifying Board

     SAN DIEGO (CN) –, which offers online EMS courses, sued the Continuing Education Coordinating Board For Emergency Medical Services in Federal Court, claiming the Board is illegally revoking its accreditation in states where TargetSafety does not need the defendant’s accreditation to operate.

     TargetSafety, based in San Diego, says the defendant charges it 25 cents every time a student completes a CECBEMS-certified course. But TargetSafety says some states do not require such certification. TargetSafety says the defendant has not accused it of any improprieties, and that it has committed none.
     The complaint states: “CECBEMS’ ability to accredit online continuing education courses is unique in that no other private organization has the authority to determine the state accreditation standards for the online continuing education of EMS professionals. In 16 states, the state Emergency Medical Service licensing agency automatically accepts online course accreditation from CECBEMS. In these states, CECBEMS accreditation is tantamount to state accreditation. In 12 additional states, online course accreditation is delegated to regional/local medical directors who oftentimes simply rely on CECBEMS accreditation in their determination as to whether TargetSafety can offer online continuing education courses to firefighters and EMTs in their region. TargetSafety is informed and believes that at least one medical director has told TargetSafety that he will not permit TargetSafety to offer courses unless the courses are CECBEMS accredited. TargetSafety believes additional medical directors will similarly require CECBEMS accreditation. By threatening to revoke its accreditation unless TargetSafety offers CECBEMS accredited courses in states that do not require CECBEMS, CECBEMS is essentially leveraging its unique authority to accredit online continuing education courses in some states in an effort to generate fees in other states that do not require CECBEMS. CECBEMS realizes that if it revokes TargetSafety’s accreditation, TargetSafety will suffer harm and therefore is using this threat and its position of dominance in an effort to generate more fees in states where CECBEMS-accredited courses are not offered nor required to be offered. This practice is unfair and contrary to the unfair competition laws. This practice also violates the parties’ contractual relationship and deprives TargetSafety of the unique accreditation that only CECBEMS can provide in 16 states.”
     TargetSafety demands compensatory damages, declaratory judgment, a restraining order and costs. It is represented by Frank Tobin with Procopio, Cory, Hargreaves & Savitch.

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