CHICAGO - August 21, 2010. Governor Pat Quinn today signed legislation to ensure the highest quality of emergency medical transportation for Illinoisans who are critically ill. The new law will establish minimum standards for ambulance services that provide advanced critical care transportation.
“When critically ill patients are being transported to receive the care they need, we must do everything possible to ensure they receive the highest quality of care,” said Governor Quinn. “This new law will ensure that the staffs in advanced critical care ambulances are properly educated, trained and licensed.”
Under the new law, the Illinois Department of Public Health will establish standards to ensure that those who provide advanced critical care transport have the advanced staffing and equipment needed to properly care for critically ill patients. The standards will include staffing, licensure, education, medical equipment, vehicle standards, and treatment and transport protocols.
The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) will also have the ability to license “reserve” ambulances. This makes it possible for ambulance providers to quickly replace any ambulances taken out of service, and continue to provide emergency medical care. The law also allows IDPH to continue to administer the Illinois’ emergency medical technician (EMT) exam, instead of requiring EMTs to take the more expensive national exam.
House Bill 5183 was sponsored by Rep. Donald L. Moffitt (R-Gilsen) and Sen. David Koehler (D-Peoria) and takes effect Jan. 1, 2011.
“This law will ensure that people are given the best care possible by trained emergency medical staff when critical care ambulance transport is needed,” said Rep. Moffitt.
This legislation further amends the Emergency Medical Service Systems Act to authorize IDPH to suspend, revoke or refuse to issue or renew the license of an emergency medical service professional who has been convicted, pled guilty or pled no-contest to certain felonies. Currently, IDPH can only revoke the license of a felon if the crime was committed while the person was providing emergency medical services.
“I’m thankful that the Governor signed this important law that will ensure the safety and well-being of critically ill patients,” said Sen. Koehler.