Senator Robert Singer’s legislation bolstering advanced life support services across the state is on its way to the Governor’s desk for consideration after passing both the Senate and Assembly this week.
The bill, A-4107/S-2768, updates the State’s regulations of emergency medical services, including allowing a single paramedic who arrives at the scene of an emergency to begin treatment immediately, rather than waiting for a second medic.
“This is a critical piece of legislation that will save lives,” said Singer (R-30). “We have heard the frustrations of paramedics who found themselves in situations where people desperately needed help, but their hands were tied by regulations that forced them to wait for support from another authorized responder.
“Seconds and minutes are crucial in these situations. Paramedics are trained in life-sustaining skills, and a delay can mean the difference between life and death for a victim,” Singer said. “Under this bill, as soon as a medic arrives on the scene, they can go to work helping the patient.”
The need for the bill was acerbated by continuing staffing crises that began during the pandemic. Supporters note that hospitals have received similar accommodations that have worked well without negatively impacting the quality of patient care.
“Nobody benefits from waiting around for one more paramedic,” Singer said. “This legislation will help residents across the state, but it is especially important for rural areas where there are fewer medics and it takes longer for first responders to arrive.”
In addition, Singer’s bill also creates the new State Emergency Medical Services Medical Director in Department of Health to oversee clinical issues and implement scope of practice regulations for providers; requires paramedics to be licensed rather than certified to align with national standards; allows doctors, advanced practice nurses, and physician assistants to serve as crewmembers on mobile intensive care units; and extends good-faith immunity to paid EMS agencies to provide parity with volunteers.