SENATE, No. 371

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

217th LEGISLATURE

 

PRE-FILED FOR INTRODUCTION IN THE 2016 SESSION

 


 

Sponsored by:

Senator  RICHARD J. CODEY

District 27 (Essex and Morris)

Senator  DAWN MARIE ADDIEGO

District 8 (Atlantic, Burlington and Camden)

 

Co-Sponsored by:

Senators A.R.Bucco, T.Kean, Bateman, Turner, Oroho, Whelan, Rice, B.Smith, Sarlo, Diegnan and Stack

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Revises requirements and training standards for first responders under New Jersey Highway Traffic Safety Act of 1987.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     Introduced Pending Technical Review by Legislative Counsel.

  


An Act concerning first responders, amending P.L.2013, c.101, and amending and supplementing P.L.1987, c.284.

 

     Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

     1.    Section 1 of P.L.2013, c.101 (C.26:2K-65) is amended to read as follows:

     1.    The Commissioner of Health [and Senior Services], with the approval of the State Board of Medical Examiners, shall establish written standards which a person shall successfully complete in order to be certified as an EMT-Basic, which shall comply with the uniform standards promulgated by the United States Secretary of Transportation in accordance with the "U.S. Highway Safety Act of 1966," Pub.L. 89-564 (23 U.S.C. ss. 401-404), and any acts amendatory or supplementary thereto.

     Applicants for EMT-Basic certification, who have equivalent military training or experience in any branch of the active duty or reserve component of the Armed Forces of the United States or the National Guard of any state, shall be certified by the commissioner if the commissioner determines that the applicant's military training and experience exceed or are equivalent to the certification standards established by the commissioner.

(cf: P.L.2013, c.101, s.1)

 

     2.    Section 3 of P.L.1987, c.284 (C.27:5F-20) is amended to read as follows:

     3.    As used in this act:

     a.     "State highway traffic safety program" means all highway traffic safety programs conducted by the State, political subdivisions of the State, and qualifying nonprofit organizations.

     b.    "Local highway traffic safety program" means a highway traffic safety program established or submitted to the Governor by a political subdivision and qualifying nonprofit organizations pursuant to the provisions of this act.

     c.     "Political subdivision" means any local political subdivision of this State, including but not limited to a municipality, a county, a township, a district, or a special district.

     d.    "Governor" means the Governor of the State of New Jersey.

     e.     "Director" shall mean the Director of the Office of Highway Traffic Safety of the State of New Jersey.

     f.     "Volunteer first aid, rescue, and ambulance squad" means a [first aid, rescue and ambulance squad which provides emergency medical services without receiving payment for those] not-for-profit basic life support services provider 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.

     g.    "Nonvolunteer first aid, rescue, and ambulance squad" means [a first aid, rescue and ambulance squad which provides emergency medical services on a paid basis] all other basic life support services organizations that do not qualify as a volunteer first aid, rescue, and ambulance squad as defined in subsection f. of this section.

     h.    "Nonprofit organization" means a nonprofit organization which provides services throughout the State and is tax exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the federal Internal Revenue Code (26 U.S.C. s.501(c)(3)), and is not a private foundation as defined in section 509(a) of the federal Internal Revenue Code (26 U.S.C. s.509(a)).

     i.     “Basic life support” means 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.

(cf: P.L.2007, c.84, s.1)

 

     3.    Section 4 of P.L.1987, c.284 (C.27:5F-21) is amended to read as follows:

     4.    a.  The Governor shall coordinate the highway traffic safety activities of State and local agencies, other public and private agencies, nonprofit organizations, and interested organizations and individuals and shall be the official of this State having the ultimate responsibility of dealing with the federal government with respect to the State highway traffic safety program.  In order to effectuate the purposes of this act he shall:

     (1)   Prepare for this State, the New Jersey Highway Traffic Safety Program which shall consist of a comprehensive plan in conformity with the laws of this State to reduce traffic accidents and deaths, injuries, and property damage resulting therefrom.

     (2)   Promulgate rules and regulations establishing standards and procedures relating to the content, coordination, submission, and approval of local highway traffic safety programs.

     (3)   Contract and do all things necessary or convenient on behalf of the State in order to insure that all departments of State government, local political subdivisions and nonprofit organizations, to the extent that nonprofit organizations qualify for highway traffic safety grants pursuant to the provisions of section 12 of P.L.1987, c.284 (C.27:5F-29) as amended by section 6 of P.L.2007, c.84, secure the full benefits available under the "U.S. Highway Safety Act of 1966," Pub.L. 89-564 (23 U.S.C. ss. 401-404), and any acts amendatory or supplementary thereto.

     (4)   Adopt training programs, guidelines and standards for members of nonvolunteer first aid, rescue and ambulance squads providing emergency medical service programs, which shall comply with the written standards promulgated by the Commissioner of Health pursuant to section 1 of P.L.2013, c.101 (C.26:2K-65) for certification as an EMT-Basic.

     b.    The New Jersey Highway Traffic Safety Program, and rules and regulations, training programs, guidelines, and standards shall comply with uniform standards promulgated by the United States Secretary of Transportation in accordance with the "U.S. Highway Safety Act of 1966," Pub.L. 89-564 (23 U.S.C. ss. 401-404), and any acts amendatory or supplementary thereto.

(cf: P.L.2007, c.84, s.2)

 

     4.    Section 5 of P.L.1987, c.284 (C.27:5F-22) is amended to read as follows:

     5.    The New Jersey Highway Traffic Safety Program shall, in addition to other provisions, include training programs for groups such as but not limited to police, teachers, students, and public employees, which programs shall comply with the uniform standards promulgated by the United States Secretary of Transportation in accordance with the "U.S. Highway Safety Act of 1966," Pub.L. 89-564 (23 U.S.C. [s.s.] ss. 401-404), and any acts amendatory or supplementary thereto.

     In addition, the New Jersey Highway Traffic Safety Program shall include the training program for members of volunteer first aid, rescue, and ambulance squads, adopted by the New Jersey State First Aid Council, which shall comply with the written standards promulgated by the Commissioner of Health pursuant to section 1 of P.L.2013, c.101 (C.26:2K-65) for certification as an EMT-Basic and with the uniform standards promulgated by the United States Secretary of Transportation in accordance with the "U.S. Highway Safety Act of 1966," Pub.L. 89-564 (23 U.S.C. [s.s.] ss. 401-404) and any amendments or supplements to it.  The New Jersey State First Aid Council and the Department of Health shall take into consideration the national curriculum for emergency medical technicians and other emergency medical responders when adopting the training program, and shall 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.

(cf: P.L.1987, c.284, s.5)

 

     5.    Section 10 of P.L.1987, c.284 (C.27:5F-27) is amended to read as follows:

     10.  The officers of each volunteer and nonvolunteer first aid, rescue, and ambulance squad providing emergency medical service programs shall be responsible for the training of its members and shall notify the governing body of the political subdivision in which the squad is located, or the person designated for this purpose by the governing body, that particular applicants for membership (qualified under sections 5 and 4 of [this act] P.L.1987, c.284 (C.27:5F-22 and C.27:5F-21), respectively), ambulances, and ambulance equipment meet the standards required by [this act] P.L.1987, c.284 (C.27:5F-18 et seq.) and by section 1 of P.L.2013, c.101 (C.26:2K-65).  The governing body or person designated shall annually receive from each volunteer and nonvolunteer squad a list of its members along with the training certifications and expiration dates of the certifications for each member, as well as a copy of the proof of inspection, as required by this section.  Upon receipt of such [notification] documentation the governing body or person designated shall [certify] authorize the applicant, ambulances, and ambulance equipment as being qualified for emergency medical service programs, and shall issue a certificate to that effect at no charge.  Each member and piece of equipment of a volunteer and nonvolunteer first aid, rescue, and ambulance squad shall comply with the requirements for [certification] authorization annually.  Any person who is a member of a volunteer and nonvolunteer first aid, rescue, and ambulance squad providing emergency medical service programs on the effective date of [this act] P.L.1987, c.284 (C.27:5F-18 et seq.) shall, if application is made to the appropriate municipality within 90 days of the effective date, be certified by the governing body or designated person as being qualified for emergency medical service programs for a period of two years.  At the end of that period, the person shall comply with the requirements for [certification] authorization annually.

     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.

(cf: P.L.1987, c.284, s.10)

 

     6.    (New section)  a.  Each volunteer or nonvolunteer first aid, rescue, and ambulance squad shall include, at a minimum, one certified emergency medical technician who shall attend to the patient and shall be responsible for patient care at the scene of the emergency and in the patient compartment while transporting the patient. 

     b.    In all cases when an ambulance is transporting a patient, the driver shall 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 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 driver shall be familiar with the ambulance and its contents.

 

     7.    This act shall take effect on the first day of the seventh month next following enactment, except that the Office of Emergency Medical Services in the Department of Health may take any anticipatory administrative action in advance as shall be necessary for the implementation of this act.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

     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.