SB 0917 Emergency Services
LR Number:S3435.01I Fiscal Note:3435-01
Committee:Public Health and Welfare
Last Action:04/22/96 - Voted Do Pass w/SCAs 1 & 2 S Public Health & Welfare Commi
Effective Date:August 28, 1996
Full Bill Text | All Actions | Senate Home Page | List of 1996 Senate Bills
Current Bill Summary

SB 917 - This act shall be known as the "Comprehensive Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Act". The act makes minor changes to the ambulance district law (Sections 190.005-190.090), and major changes to the ambulance service personnel and treatment (Sections 190.093-190.190) and the trauma centers (Sections 190.235-190-237) sections of the law. This act changes current law by licensing ambulance services rather than ambulances themselves.

This act creates a State Council on Emergency Medical Services to make recommendations to the Governor and the General Assembly. This council replaces the Advisory Council of the same name, and assumes the same responsibilities, with these changes:

(1) The new council is appointed by the Director of Health instead of the Governor and does not include advice and consent of the Senate;

(2) The new council would be responsible for designating and approving trauma centers. This responsibility now rests with the Director of the Department of Health (DOH).

DOH will divide the state up into designated regions and appoint a committee in each region to develop policies, standards, and protocols to improve EMS in the region. The Director also appoints a physician, with expertise in EMS, to serve as the regional EMS medical director to advise the Department. In addition, each ambulance service in the region would have to appoint a local physician to be their medical director. The local medical director has the responsibility to ensure that the personnel are meeting the standards of the DOH.

This act eliminates in statute the specific listing of requirements for EMS personnel and the listing of the services they can provide, and replaces it with general language, with the specifics to be filled in through rules and regulations. Also, currently when ambulance services are faced with a severely injured patient, they are supposed to take the patient to the nearest hospital or trauma center. Under this act, the ambulance service would take the patient to a trauma center, unless the center is too far as to risk patient harm or death. If this is the case, they can transport to another facility that is closer until the patient is stabilized, upon which time they must transport to the trauma center.

This act contains a provision that allows any political subdivision to levy a sales tax to support an ambulance service upon a vote of the people in the subdivision. As it stands now, county commissions can put a measure on the ballot to raise the sales tax to provide for 911 services. This act would require a petition to be signed by 10% of those in the subdivision that voted in the last gubernatorial election.

The act also makes the following changes to the ambulance district law:

(1) The assessed valuation of the area to be included in a petition for an ambulance district is raised from $2,500,000 to $10,000,000;

(2) Ambulance boards should engage in educational programs;

(3) Multicounty districts may no longer be divided into separate ambulance districts.