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144E.16 Ambulance service requirements.

Subdivision 1. Drivers and attendants. No publicly or privately owned basic ambulance service shall be operated in the state unless its drivers and attendants possess a current emergency care course certificate authorized by rules adopted by the board according to chapter 14. Until August 1, 1997, a licensee may substitute a person currently certified by the American Red Cross in advanced first aid and emergency care or a person who has successfully completed the United States Department of Transportation first responder curriculum, and who has also been trained to use basic life support equipment as required by rules adopted by the board under subdivision 4 for one of the persons on a basic ambulance, provided that person will function as the driver while transporting a patient. The board may grant a variance to allow a licensed ambulance service to use attendants certified by the American Red Cross in advanced first aid and emergency care and, until August 1, 1997, to use attendants who have successfully completed the United States Department of Transportation first responder curriculum, and who have been trained to use basic life support equipment as required by rules adopted by the board under subdivision 4, in order to ensure 24-hour emergency ambulance coverage.

Subd. 2. Equipment and staff. (a) Every ambulance offering ambulance service shall be equipped as required by the board and carry at least the minimal equipment necessary for the type of service to be provided as determined by standards adopted by the board pursuant to subdivision 3.

(b) Each ambulance service shall offer service 24 hours per day every day of the year, unless otherwise authorized by the board.

(c) Each ambulance while transporting a patient shall be staffed by at least a driver and an attendant, according to subdivision 1. An ambulance service may substitute for the attendant a physician, osteopath, registered nurse, or physician's assistant who is qualified by training to use appropriate equipment in the ambulance. Advanced life support procedures including, but not limited to, intravenous fluid administration, drug administration, endotracheal intubation, cardioversion, defibrillation, and intravenous access may be performed by the physician, osteopath, registered nurse, or physician's assistant who has appropriate training and authorization, and who provides all of the equipment and supplies not normally carried on basic ambulances.

Subd. 3. Denial of service prohibited. An ambulance service shall not deny emergency ambulance service to any person needing emergency ambulance service because of inability to pay or due to source of payment for services if the need develops within the licensee's primary service area. Transport for the patient may be limited to the closest appropriate emergency medical facility.

Subd. 4. Types of services to be regulated. (a) The board may adopt rules needed to regulate ambulance services in the following areas:

(1) applications for licensure;

(2) personnel qualifications and staffing standards;

(3) quality of life support treatment;

(4) restricted treatments and procedures;

(5) equipment standards;

(6) ambulance standards;

(7) communication standards, equipment performance and maintenance, and radio frequency assignments;

(8) advertising;

(9) scheduled ambulance services;

(10) ambulance services in time of disaster;

(11) basic, intermediate, advanced, and refresher emergency care course programs;

(12) continuing education requirements;

(13) trip reports;

(14) license fees, vehicle fees, and expiration dates; and

(15) waivers and variances.

(b) These rules shall apply to the following types of ambulance service:

(1) basic ambulance service that provides a level of care to ensure that life-threatening situations and potentially serious injuries can be recognized, patients will be protected from additional hazards, basic treatment to reduce the seriousness of emergency situations will be administered, and patients will be transported to an appropriate medical facility for treatment;

(2) intermediate ambulance service that provides (i) basic ambulance service, and (ii) intravenous infusions or defibrillation or both;

(3) advanced ambulance service that provides (i) basic ambulance service, and (ii) advanced airway management, defibrillation, and administration of intravenous fluids and pharmaceuticals. Vehicles of advanced ambulance service licensees not equipped or staffed at the advanced ambulance service level shall not be identified to the public as capable of providing advanced ambulance service;

(4) specialized ambulance service that provides basic, intermediate, or advanced service as designated by the board, and is restricted by the board to (i) less than 24 hours of every day, (ii) designated segments of the population, or (iii) certain types of medical conditions; and

(5) air ambulance service, that includes fixed-wing and helicopter, and is specialized ambulance service.

Until rules are promulgated, the current provisions of Minnesota Rules shall govern these services.

Subd. 5. Local government's powers. (a) Local units of government may, with the approval of the board, establish standards for ambulance services which impose additional requirements upon such services. Local units of government intending to impose additional requirements shall consider whether any benefit accruing to the public health would outweigh the costs associated with the additional requirements.

(b) Local units of government that desire to impose additional requirements shall, prior to adoption of relevant ordinances, rules, or regulations, furnish the board with a copy of the proposed ordinances, rules, or regulations, along with information that affirmatively substantiates that the proposed ordinances, rules, or regulations:

(1) will in no way conflict with the relevant rules of the board;

(2) will establish additional requirements tending to protect the public health;

(3) will not diminish public access to ambulance services of acceptable quality; and

(4) will not interfere with the orderly development of regional systems of emergency medical care.

(c) The board shall base any decision to approve or disapprove local standards upon whether or not the local unit of government in question has affirmatively substantiated that the proposed ordinances, rules, or regulations meet the criteria specified in paragraph (b).

Subd. 6. Drivers. An ambulance service vehicle shall be staffed by a driver possessing a current Minnesota driver's license or equivalent and whose driving privileges are not under suspension or revocation by any state. If red lights and siren are used, the driver must also have completed training approved by the board in emergency driving techniques. An ambulance transporting patients must be staffed by at least two persons who are trained according to subdivision 1 or section 144E.25, one of whom may be the driver. A third person serving as driver shall be trained according to this subdivision.

HIST: 1997 c 199 s 11

Official Publication of the State of Minnesota
Revisor of Statutes