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  • NJ A543
  • Revises requirements and training standards for first responders under New Jersey Highway Traffic Safety Act of 1987.
Introduced
(1/27/2016)
In Committee
(1/27/2016)
Crossed OverPassedSignedDead/Failed/Vetoed
2016-2017 Regular Session
This bill would revise the standards and requirements for volunteer and nonvolunteer first aid, rescue, and ambulance squads under the New Jersey Highway Traffic Safety Act of 1987. Specifically, the bill would revise the definition of a "volunteer first aid, rescue, and ambulance squad" to mean any not-for-profit basic life support services organization whereby: (1) at least 51 percent of coverage time is provided by crews comprised of volunteers; or (2) the provider is a nonprofit organization or a political subdivision that does not bill its patients for providing basic life support services. Under current law, the term is defined to mean a squad that does not receive payment for providing emergency medical services. The bill would also revise the definition of "nonvolunteer first aid, rescue, and ambulance squad" to mean any organization that provides basic life support services that does not qualify as a voluntary first aid, rescue, and ambulance squad. The term is currently defined to mean a squad that provides emergency medical services on a paid basis. The bill would define "basic life support," which is not currently defined in the New Jersey Highway Traffic Safety Act of 1987, to mean a basic level of pre-hospital care which includes patient stabilization, airway clearance, cardiopulmonary resuscitation, hemorrhage control, initial wound care and fracture stabilization and other techniques and procedures authorized by the Commissioner of Health. Currently, the New Jersey State First Aid Council is required to adopt a training program for members of volunteer first aid, rescue, and ambulance squads. This bill would require that, when adopting a training program, the Council and the Department of Health must take into consideration the national curriculum for emergency medical technicians and other emergency medical responders. In addition, the bill would require that the impact on recruitment and retention of volunteers be considered before adopting and implementing any new or revised training requirements or curricula related to training materials, minimum class hours, training hours, or the availability of training programs. The bill would also clarify that the training standards for both volunteer and nonvolunteer squads must also comply with the written training standards for EMT-Basics promulgated by the Commissioner of Health, which in turn must comply with the uniform standards promulgated by the United States Secretary of Transportation in accordance with the "U.S. Highway Safety Act of 1966." Under current law, the officers of each volunteer and nonvolunteer first aid, rescue, and ambulance squad are responsible for the training of its members, and must notify the governing body of the political subdivision in which the squad is located that the applicants, ambulances, and equipment meet the statutory requirements for certification. The bill would require that the officers additionally notify the governing body of the training certifications and certification expiration dates for each member, along with proofs of inspection for equipment. The bill additionally specifies that no volunteer or nonvolunteer first aid, rescue, or ambulance squad may provide basic life support services unless that squad is inspected and certified or otherwise authorized to do so by the Office of Emergency Medical Services in the Department of Health, or is inspected and certified as a member in good standing of the New Jersey State First Aid Council. The bill would additionally provide that each volunteer or nonvolunteer first aid, rescue, and ambulance squad include, at a minimum, one certified emergency medical technician who would attend to the patient and be responsible for patient care at the scene of the emergency and in the patient compartment while transporting the patient. Current regulations require that each basic life support ambulance be staffed with at least two certified emergency medical technicians. The bill would also require that, in all cases when an ambulance is transporting a patient, the driver be at least 18 years of age, hold a valid driver's license, have passed a CPR/AED course for professional rescuers and health care providers approved by the Office of Emergency Medical Services in the Department of Health or by the New Jersey State First Aid Council, and have successfully completed a course in certified emergency vehicle operations or defensive driving for emergency vehicles approved by the Office of Emergency Medical Services in the Department of Health or the New Jersey State First Aid Council. In addition, the bill would require that driver be familiar with the ambulance and its contents.
Homeland Security and State Preparedness
Introduced, Referred to Assembly Homeland Security and State Preparedness Committee  (on 1/27/2016)
 
 

Date Chamber Action Description
1/27/2016 A Introduced, Referred to Assembly Homeland Security and State Preparedness Committee
Date Motion Yea Nay Other
None specified