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北卡罗来纳州法律扩大了对紧急医疗和消防人员的背景调查

过去,整个北卡罗来纳州的消防部门和紧急医疗服务部门只会对新申请人进行背景调查。然而,随着新的州法律在元旦生效,这些应急响应部门现在能够并且有望对所有员工和志愿者进行背景调查,而不仅仅是新员工。

此举对于分散在全州的各个消防部门和 EMS 单位以及整个公共安全来说都是一件好事。聘用前背景调查是雇主确保他们雇用优秀且值得信赖的人的好方法。然而,太多的实体仅仅依靠这些招聘前的筛选来验证其员工的素质。因此,一个人在工作期间犯下的罪行常常被忽视和未被讨论。

这种情况曾经发生在北卡罗来纳州的消防部门和 EMS 部门。可行的是,记录干净的人可能已经开始为这些应急响应部门之一工作,然后基本上获得了关于任何未来犯罪活动的“不问任何问题”的免费通行证。当然,在大多数不执行重复背景调查的企业中,有一个荣誉制度,要求员工(或在这种情况下,消防员和 EMS 工作人员)将任何刑事指控或定罪情况告知其主管。

显然,这样的系统并不理想,尤其是当生命处于危险之中时。如果一名消防员在工作期间因酒驾被判有罪,但因为他的主管不知道这项指控而被允许继续驾驶消防车怎么办?或者,如果紧急医疗工作者被指控非法销售从医院偷来的处方药和药物怎么办?这些是消防部门和 EMS 单位绝对必须了解的有关其员工或志愿者的信息,并且根据北卡罗来纳州的新州法律,他们将这样做。

不同的紧急服务部门将如何对其工作人员进行持续、重复的背景调查,这有点悬而未决。有些人可能会选择每年一次的定期检查。其他人可能更喜欢在一年中的不同时间随机检查不同的员工。如果与许多消防和 EMS 部门都喜欢运行的药物测试捆绑在一起,后一种模型可能会特别有效。不过,无论采用何种模式,毫无疑问,这项新法律将有助于使北卡罗来纳州的紧急服务分支机构更安全、更强大、更值得信赖。

all employees and volunteers, not just new hires.

The move is a good one, for individual fire departments and EMS units scattered throughout the state as well as for public safety as a whole. A pre-employment background check is a good way for an employer to make sure that they are hiring good and trustworthy people. However, too many entities rely solely on these pre-hiring screening to verify the quality of their staffs. As a result, crimes committed during a person's employment often go overlooked and un-discussed.

Such a situation used to be the case with North Carolina's fire departments and EMS units. Feasibly, someone with a clean record could have started working for one of these emergency response branches and then essentially been given a "no questions asked" free pass concerning any future criminal activity. Of course, in most businesses where repeat background checks are not enforced, there is an honor system in place asking employees (or in this case, firefighters and EMS workers) to inform their supervisors about any criminal charges or convictions.

Obviously, such a system is not ideal, especially when lives are at stake. What if a firefighter was convicted of drunk driving during his employment, but was allowed to keep driving the fire truck because his supervisor never knew about the charge? Or what if an emergency medical worker was charged with illegally selling prescription drugs and medications stolen from the hospital? These are pieces of information that fire departments and EMS units absolutely must know about their employees or volunteers, and under North Carolina's new state law, they will.

How different emergency services departments will implement ongoing, repeat background checks for their workers is a bit up in the air. Some will likely opt for annual scheduled checks. Others may prefer to randomly check different employees at different times throughout the year. The latter model could work especially well if bundled with a drug test, which many fire and EMS departments do like run. Regardless of the models adopted, though, there's no doubt that this new law will help to make North Carolina's emergency services branches safer, stronger, and more trustworthy.


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