2000 Regular Session
To: Public Health and Welfare; Appropriations
By: Representative Gadd
House Bill 232
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 41-59-3, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO ADD THE DEFINITION OF "FIRST RESPONDER" TO THE EMERGENCY MEDICAL SERVICES ACT; TO AMEND SECTION 41-59-5, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO DIRECT THE STATE BOARD OF HEALTH TO PRESCRIBE TRAINING REQUIREMENTS FOR FIRST RESPONDERS IN ORDER FOR THEM TO BE ELIGIBLE TO RECEIVE FUNDS FROM THE EMERGENCY MEDICAL SERVICES OPERATING FUND; TO AMEND SECTION 41-59-61, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO PROVIDE THAT IN ANY COUNTY THAT DOES NOT HAVE AN AMBULANCE SERVICE IN OPERATION, THE COUNTY MAY USE FUNDS RECEIVED FROM THE EMERGENCY MEDICAL SERVICES OPERATING FUND TO PAY FOR EQUIPMENT AND SUPPLIES USED BY TRAINED FIRST RESPONDERS; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. Section 41-59-3, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
41-59-3. As used in this chapter, unless the context otherwise requires, the term:
(a) "Ambulance" shall mean any privately or publicly owned land or air vehicle that is especially designed, constructed, modified or equipped to be used, maintained and operated upon the streets, highways or airways of this state to assist persons who are sick, injured, wounded, or otherwise incapacitated or helpless;
(b) "Permit" shall mean an authorization issued for an ambulance vehicle and/or a special use EMS vehicle as meeting the standards adopted pursuant to this chapter;
(c) "License" shall mean an authorization to any person, firm, corporation, or governmental division or agency to provide ambulance services in the State of Mississippi;
(d) "Emergency medical technician" shall mean an individual who possesses a valid emergency medical technician's certificate issued pursuant to the provisions of this chapter;
(e) "Certificate" shall mean official acknowledgment that an individual has successfully completed the recommended basic emergency medical technician training course referred to in this chapter which entitles that individual to perform the functions and duties of an emergency medical technician;
(f) "Board" shall mean the State Board of Health;
(g) "Department" means the Mississippi State Department of Health, Division of Emergency Medical Services;
(h) "Executive officer" shall mean the Executive Officer of the State Board of Health or his designated representative;
(i) "Invalid vehicle" shall mean any privately or publicly owned land or air vehicle which is maintained, operated and used only to transport persons routinely who are convalescent or otherwise nonambulatory and do not require the service of an emergency medical technician while in transit;
(j) "Special use EMS vehicle" means any privately or publicly owned land, water or air emergency vehicle used to support the provision of emergency medical services. These vehicles shall not be used routinely to transport patients;
(k) "Trauma care system" or "trauma system" means a formally organized arrangement of health care resources that has been designated by the department by which major trauma victims are triaged, transported to and treated at trauma care facilities;
(l) "Trauma care facility" or "trauma center" means a hospital that has been designated by the department to perform specified trauma care services within a trauma care system pursuant to standards adopted by the department. Participation in this designation by each hospital is voluntary;
(m) "Trauma registry" means a collection of data on patients who receive hospital care for certain types of injuries. Such data are primarily designed to ensure quality trauma care and outcomes in individual institutions and trauma systems, but have the secondary purpose of providing useful data for the surveillance of injury morbidity and mortality;
(n) "First responder" means a person who provides first responder services to sick, injured, wounded or otherwise incapacitated persons until a higher trained individual arrives at the scene, and who has met the training requirements prescribed by the board.
SECTION 2. Section 41-59-5, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
41-59-5. (1) The State Board of Health shall establish and maintain a program for the improvement and regulation of emergency medical services (hereinafter EMS) in the State of Mississippi. The responsibility for implementation and conduct of this program shall be vested in the State Health Officer of the State Board of Health along with such other officers and boards as may be specified by law or regulation.
(2) The board shall provide for the regulation and licensing of public and private ambulance service, inspection and issuance of permits for ambulance vehicles, training and certification of EMS personnel, including drivers and attendants, the development and maintenance of a statewide EMS records program, development and adoption of EMS regulations, the coordination of an EMS communications system, and other related EMS activities. In addition, the board shall prescribe training requirements for first responders in order for them to be eligible to receive funds from the Emergency Medical Services Operating Fund under Section 41-59-61.
(3) The board is authorized to promulgate and enforce such rules, regulations and minimum standards as needed to carry out the provisions of this chapter.
(4) The board is authorized to receive any funds appropriated to the board from the Emergency Medical Services Operating Fund created in Section 41-59-61 and is further authorized, with the Emergency Medical Services Advisory Council acting in an advisory capacity, to administer the disbursement of such funds to the counties, municipalities and organized emergency medical service districts and the utilization of such funds by the same, as provided in Section 41-59-61.
(5) The department acting as the lead agency, in consultation with and having solicited advice from the EMS Advisory Council, shall develop a uniform nonfragmented inclusive statewide trauma care system that provides excellent patient care. It is the intent of the Legislature that the purpose of this system is to reduce death and disability resulting from traumatic injury, and in order to accomplish this goal it is necessary to assign additional responsibilities to the department. The department is assigned the responsibility for creating, implementing and managing the statewide trauma care system. The department shall be designated as the lead agency for trauma care systems development. The department shall develop and administer trauma regulations that include, but are not limited to, the Mississippi Trauma Care System Plan, trauma system standards, trauma center designations, field triage, interfacility trauma transfer, EMS aero medical transportation, trauma data collection, trauma care system evaluation and management of state trauma systems funding. The department shall take the necessary steps to develop, adopt and implement the Mississippi Trauma Care System Plan and all associated trauma care system regulations necessary to implement the Mississippi trauma care system. The department shall cause the implementation of both professional and lay trauma education programs. These trauma educational programs shall include both clinical trauma education and injury prevention. As it is recognized that rehabilitation services are essential for traumatized individuals to be returned to active, productive lives, the department shall coordinate the development of the inclusive trauma system with the Mississippi Department of Rehabilitation Services and all other appropriate rehabilitation systems.
(6) The State Board of Health is authorized to receive any funds appropriated to the board from the Mississippi Trauma Care System Fund created in Section 41-59-75. It is further authorized, with the Emergency Medical Services Advisory Council and the Mississippi Trauma Advisory Committee acting in advisory capacities, to administer the disbursements of such funds according to adopted trauma care system regulations.
SECTION 3. Section 41-59-61, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
41-59-61. (1) Such assessments as are collected under subsections (1) and (2) of Section 99-17-33 shall be deposited in a special fund that is created in the State Treasury to be designated the "Emergency Medical Services Operating Fund." The Legislature may make appropriations from the Emergency Medical Services Operating Fund to the State Board of Health for the purpose of defraying costs of administration of the Emergency Medical Services program and for redistribution of such funds to the counties, municipalities and organized medical service districts (hereinafter referred to as "governmental units") for the support of the emergency medical services programs. The State Board of Health, with the Emergency Medical Services Advisory Council acting in an advisory capacity, shall administer the disbursement to such governmental units of any funds appropriated to the board from the Emergency Medical Services Operating Fund and the utilization of such funds by the governmental units.
(2) Funds appropriated from the Emergency Medical Services Operating Fund to the State Board of Health shall be made available to all such governmental units to support the emergency medical services programs therein, and such funds shall be distributed to each governmental unit based upon its general population relative to the total population of the state. Disbursement of such funds shall be made on an annual basis at the end of the fiscal year upon the request of each governmental unit. Funds distributed to such governmental units shall be used in addition to existing annual emergency medical services budgets of the governmental units, and no such funds shall be used for the payment of any attorney's fees. The Director of the Emergency Medical Services program or his appointed designee is * * * authorized to require financial reports from the governmental units utilizing these funds in order to provide satisfactory proof of the maintenance of the funding effort by the governmental units.
(3) In any county that does not have an ambulance service in operation, the county may use funds received from the Emergency Medical Services Operating Fund to pay for equipment and supplies used by first responders who have met the training requirements prescribed by the State Board of Health.
SECTION 4. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2000.