2004 Regular Session
To: Public Health and Human Services; Transportation
By: Representative Howell
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 41-59-3, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO DEFINE CERTAIN TERMS UNDER THE EMERGENCY MEDICAL SERVICES LAW; TO CREATE NEW SECTION 41-59-85, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO PRESCRIBE CERTAIN REQUIREMENTS REGARDING THE OPERATION OF AMBULANCES AND SPECIAL USE EMERGENCY MEDICAL SERVICE VEHICLES; TO AMEND SECTION 63-3-103, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO REVISE THE DEFINITION OF "AUTHORIZED EMERGENCY VEHICLE" UNDER THE LAWS APPLICABLE TO TRAFFIC REGULATION; TO AMEND SECTION 63-3-621, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO PROVIDE THE MINIMUM DISTANCES FROM AMBULANCES THAT OTHER VEHICLES MUST MAINTAIN IN CERTAIN SITUATIONS; TO AMEND SECTION 63-7-19, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO SPECIFY THE COLOR OF LIGHTS WITH WHICH AMBULANCES AND 911 EMERGENCY COMMUNICATIONS DISTRICT VEHICLES MAY BE MARKED; 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) "Auto-injector" means a spring-loaded needle and syringe with a single dose of medicine that will automatically release and inject the medicine;
(c) "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;
(d) "License" shall mean an authorization to any person, firm, corporation, or governmental division or agency to provide ambulance services in the State of Mississippi;
(e) "Emergency medical technician" shall mean an individual who possesses a valid emergency medical technician's certificate issued pursuant to the provisions of this chapter;
(f) "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;
(g) "Board" shall mean the State Board of Health;
(h) "Department" means the Mississippi State Department of Health, Division of Emergency Medical Services;
(i) "Executive officer" shall mean the Executive Officer of the State Board of Health, or his designated representative;
(j) "First Responder" means a person who uses a limited amount of equipment to perform the initial assessment of and intervention with sick, wounded or otherwise incapacitated persons, who (i) is trained to assist other EMS personnel by successfully completing, within the previous two (2) years, an approved "First Responder: National Standard Curriculum" training program, as developed and promulgated by the United States Department of Transportation, (ii) is nationally registered as a First Responder by the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians; and (iii) is certified as a First Responder by the Mississippi State Department of Health, Division of Emergency Medical Services;
(k) "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;
(l) "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;
(m) "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;
(n) "Trauma care facility" or "trauma center" means a hospital located in the State of Mississippi or a Level I trauma care facility or center located in a state contiguous to the State of Mississippi 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;
(o) "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;
(p) "Emergency medical condition" means a medical condition manifesting itself by acute symptoms of sufficient severity, including severe pain, psychiatric disturbances and/or symptoms of substance abuse, such that a prudent layperson who possesses an average knowledge of health and medicine could reasonably expect the absence of immediate medical attention to result in placing the health of the individual (or, with respect to a pregnant woman, the health of the woman or her unborn child) in serious jeopardy, serious impairment to bodily functions, or serious dysfunction of any bodily organ or part;
(q) "Emergency medical call" means a situation that is presumptively classified at time of dispatch to have a high index of probability that an emergency medical condition or other situation exists that requires medical intervention as soon as possible to reduce the seriousness of the situation, or when the exact circumstances are unknown, but the nature of the request is suggestive of a true emergency where a patient may be at risk;
(r) "Emergency response" means responding immediately at the basic life support or advanced life support level of service to an emergency medical call. An immediate response is one in which the ambulance supplier begins as quickly as possible to take the steps necessary to respond to the call;
(s) "Emergency mode" means an ambulance or special use EMS vehicle operating with emergency lights and warning siren (or warning siren and air horn) while engaged in an emergency medical call.
SECTION 2. The following shall be codified as Section 41-59-85, Mississippi Code of 1972:
41-59-85. (1) The driver of any vehicle other than an official emergency vehicle shall not follow any moving ambulance that is engaged in an emergency medical call closer than five hundred (500) feet, or park the vehicle within two hundred (200) feet where the ambulance has stopped and a patient is either being loaded or unloaded.
(2) Every ambulance and special use EMS vehicle shall be marked with red lights front and back and also may be marked with white and amber lights in addition to red lights.
(3) Drivers of ambulances and special use EMS vehicles shall operate in the emergency mode with warning lights and siren at all times while engaged in an emergency medical call and operating the emergency vehicle in a manner to take exceptions to the traffic laws and regulations as provided in Section 63-3-1 et seq., so as to warn other drivers of nonemergency vehicles to yield the right-of-way of the authorized emergency vehicle. Ambulances and special use EMS vehicles may use emergency warning lights only if they are engaged in an emergency medical call and they are stopped or parked, or if they are moving and operating the vehicle in a manner so as to abide by all traffic laws and regulations as provided in Section 63-3-1 et seq. No driver of any ambulance or special use EMS vehicle shall assume any special privilege from traffic laws and regulations except when the emergency vehicle is operated in the emergency mode, with warning lights and siren, while engaged in an emergency medical call.
SECTION 3. Section 63-3-103, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
63-3-103. (a) "Vehicle" means every device in, upon or by which any person or property is or may be transported or drawn upon a highway, except devices used exclusively upon stationary rails or tracks.
(b) "Motor vehicle" means every vehicle which is self-propelled and every vehicle which is propelled by electric power obtained from overhead trolley wires, but not operated upon rails. The term "motor vehicle" shall not include electric personal assistive mobility devices.
(c) "Motorcycle" means every motor vehicle having a saddle for the use of the rider and designed to travel on not more than three (3) wheels in contact with the ground but excluding a tractor.
(d) "Authorized emergency vehicle" means every vehicle of the fire department (fire patrol), every police vehicle, every 911 Emergency Communications District vehicle, every such ambulance and special use EMS vehicle as defined in Section 41-59-3, and every emergency vehicle of municipal departments or public service corporations as is designated or authorized by the commission or the chief of police of an incorporated city.
(e) "School bus" means every motor vehicle operated for the transportation of children to or from any school, provided same is plainly marked "School Bus" on the front and rear thereof and meets the requirements of the State Board of Education as authorized under Section 37-41-1.
(f) "Recreational vehicle" means a vehicular type unit primarily designed as temporary living quarters for recreational, camping or travel use, which either has its own motive power or is mounted on or drawn by another vehicle and includes travel trailers, fifth wheel trailers, camping trailers, truck campers and motor homes.
(g) "Motor home" means a motor vehicle that is designed and constructed primarily to provide temporary living quarters for recreational, camping or travel use.
(h) "Electric assistive mobility device" means a self-balancing two-tandem wheeled device, designed to transport only one (1) person, with an electric propulsion system that limits the maximum speed of the device to fifteen (15) miles per hour.
SECTION 4. Section 63-3-621, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
63-3-621. The driver of any vehicle other than one on official business shall not follow any fire apparatus traveling in response to a fire alarm closer than five hundred (500) feet or drive into or park such vehicle within the block where fire apparatus has stopped in answer to a fire alarm. The driver of any vehicle other than an official emergency vehicle shall not follow any moving ambulance that is engaged in an emergency medical call closer than five hundred (500) feet, or park the vehicle within two hundred (200) feet where the ambulance has stopped to pick up or deliver a patient or otherwise render care at the scene of an ambulance call.
SECTION 5. Section 63-7-19, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
63-7-19. (1) Except as otherwise provided for unmarked vehicles under Section 19-25-15 and Section 25-1-87, every police vehicle shall be marked with blue lights. Every ambulance and special use EMS vehicle as defined in Section 41-59-3 shall be marked with red lights front and back and also may be marked with white and amber lights in addition to red lights. Every emergency management/civil defense vehicle, including emergency response vehicles of the Department of Environmental Quality, shall be marked with blinking, rotating or oscillating red lights. Official vehicles of a 911 Emergency Communications District may be marked with red and white lights. Every wrecker or other vehicle used for emergency work, except vehicles authorized to use blue or red lights, shall be marked with blinking, oscillating or rotating amber colored lights to warn other vehicles to yield the right-of-way, as provided in Section 63-3-809. Only police vehicles used for emergency work may be marked with blinking, oscillating or rotating blue lights to warn other vehicles to yield the right-of-way. Only law enforcement vehicles, fire vehicles, private or department-owned vehicles used by firemen of volunteer fire departments which receive funds pursuant to Section 83-1-39 when responding to calls, emergency management/civil defense vehicles, emergency response vehicles of the Department of Environmental Quality, ambulances used for emergency work, and 911 Emergency Communications District vehicles may be marked with blinking, oscillating or rotating red lights to warn other vehicles to yield the right-of-way. This section shall not apply to school buses carrying lighting devices in accordance with Section 63-7-23.
(2) Any vehicle referred to in subsection (1) of this section also shall be authorized to use alternating flashing headlights when responding to any emergency.
(3) Any vehicle operated by a United States rural mail carrier for the purpose of delivering United States mail may be marked with two (2) amber colored lights on front top of the vehicle and two (2) red colored lights on rear top of the vehicle so as to warn approaching travelers to decrease their speed because of danger of colliding with the mail carrier as he stops and starts along the edge of the road, street or highway.SECTION 6. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2004.