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CHAPTER 34-11

AMBULANCE SERVICE

34-11-1      Service provided by counties and municipalities--Agreements for service--Licensing and regulation.
34-11-2      Licensing of ambulance service--Definition of terms.
34-11-3      Unlicensed ambulance service prohibited.
34-11-4      Application for license--Fee--Issuance--Duration.
34-11-5      Promulgation of rules relating to operation of ambulance services .
34-11-5.1      Patient information received by ambulance service is confidential.
34-11-5.2      Certification of emergency medical responders.
34-11-6      Emergency care certification required for drivers and attendants.
34-11-6.1      Denial, suspension or revocation of certification--Gross incompetence, unprofessional conduct, dishonorable conduct to be defined--Acts occurring before July 1, 2006.
34-11-6.2      Appeal of denial, suspension or revocation.
34-11-6.3      Suspension of certification for mental incompetence--Restoration--Establishment of rules.
34-11-6.4      Reissuance of certification--Conditions.
34-11-7      Trip records required.
34-11-8      Vehicle equipment regulation unaffected.
34-11-9      Exemptions from license requirements.
34-11-10      Violation as misdemeanor--Suspension or revocation of license.
34-11-11      Development of quality assurance program for advanced life support providers--Requirements--Reviews--Reports.
34-11-12      Minimum personnel required on ambulance run.


     34-11-1.   Service provided by counties and municipalities--Agreements for service--Licensing and regulation. Any county or municipality may provide ambulance service and enter into agreements with other governmental subdivisions and with other persons for such services. Any county or municipality may appropriate funds for such purposes and may enter into an agreement with such other governmental subdivision or any competent person to furnish funds for such purposes on an annual basis as may mutually be agreed upon. The funds shall be paid to such person or political subdivision when a claim has been duly filed, audited, and allowed by the county or municipality. Any county or municipality may license and regulate persons providing such services.

Source: SL 1967, ch 23, § 1; SL 1968, ch 24, § 1; SL 1992, ch 240, § 1.


     34-11-2.   Licensing of ambulance service--Definition of terms. Terms used in §§ 34-11-2 to 34-11-10, inclusive, mean:
             (1)      "Air ambulance," an aircraft, fixed wing, or helicopter, that is designated or can be quickly modified to provide transportation of wounded, injured, sick, invalid, or incapacitated human beings or expectant mothers;
             (2)      "Ambulance," a vehicle for emergency care with a driver compartment and a patient compartment, carrying all equipment and supplies needed to provide emergency medical technician-basic level emergency care at the scene and enroute to an appropriate medical facility;
             (3)      "Ambulance service," any person or organization licensed to provide emergency medical services and patient transport;
             (4)      "Emergency medical responder," any person certified by the Department of Health trained to provide simple, noninvasive care focused on lifesaving interventions for critical patients. The emergency medical responder renders on site emergency care while awaiting additional emergency medical services response from an emergency medical technician or higher level personnel. An emergency medical responder may not make decisions independently regarding the appropriate disposition of a patient;
             (5)      "License," the permit to provide ambulance service;
             (6)      "Licensing agency," the Department of Health;
             (7)      "Operator," any person or entity who has a license from the licensing agency to provide ambulance service.

Source: SL 1974, ch 239, § 1; SL 1989, ch 287, § 1; SL 1992, ch 240, § 2; SL 2004, ch 17, § 199; SL 2015, ch 277 (Ex. Ord. 15-1), § 33, eff. Apr. 20, 2015; SL 2017, ch 148, § 1.


     34-11-3.   Unlicensed ambulance service prohibited. No ambulance service shall be operated in this state unless the ambulance service has a currently valid license from the licensing agency to provide such service.

Source: SL 1974, ch 239, § 3.


     34-11-4.   Application for license--Fee--Issuance--Duration. The licensing agency shall provide application forms for the providing of ambulance service. A fee of not more than twenty-five dollars shall accompany each application, except for applications from state agencies. The licensing agency shall issue a license to any ambulance service which makes application to the agency providing such service complies with §§ 34-11-2 to 34-11-10, inclusive. A license shall be valid for a period of not more than two years.

Source: SL 1974, ch 239, § 5.


     34-11-5.   Promulgation of rules relating to operation of ambulance services. The Department of Health may adopt rules, pursuant to chapter 1-26, relating to the operation of ambulance services including patient care, personnel, medical and maintenance equipment, sanitary conditions, and necessary supplies.

Source: SL 1974, ch 239, §§ 2, 4 (3); SL 1980, ch 238, § 3; SL 1992, ch 240, § 3; SL 2004, ch 17, § 200; SL 2015, ch 277 (Ex. Ord. 15-1), § 33, eff. Apr. 20, 2015; SL 2016, ch 170, § 2.


     34-11-5.1.   Patient information received by ambulance service is confidential. Any patient information identifying the patient's name, address, diagnosis, or treatment received by an ambulance service under the authority of this chapter is not a public record and is confidential, except for official purposes, and may not be published or disclosed without authorization from the patient or the patient's designee.

Source: SL 1999, ch 169, § 1.


     34-11-5.2.   Certification of emergency medical responders. No person may practice as an emergency medical responder or represent himself or herself as an emergency medical responder unless the person possesses a certification from the department. The department shall promulgate rules, pursuant to chapter 1-26, for the application, qualifications, issuance, and renewal of a certification of an emergency medical responder. A certification issued under this section shall be renewed every two years.

Source: SL 2017, ch 148, § 2.


     34-11-6.   Emergency care certification required for drivers and attendants. No operator may provide ambulance service unless both the driver of the ambulance and the attendant on duty in the ambulance possess certification of completing an emergency care course approved by the Department of Health.

Source: SL 1974, ch 239, § 4 (2); SL 1992, ch 240, § 4; SL 2004, ch 17, § 201; SL 2015, ch 277 (Ex. Ord. 15-1), § 33, eff. Apr. 20, 2015.


     34-11-6.1.   Denial, suspension or revocation of certification--Gross incompetence, unprofessional conduct, dishonorable conduct to be defined--Acts occurring before July 1, 2006. The Department of Health may deny the issuance or renewal of a certification or suspend or revoke the certification of any driver or attendant certified pursuant to § 34-11-6 upon satisfactory proof of the person's gross incompetence, or unprofessional or dishonorable conduct, including acts of gross incompetence, or unprofessional or dishonorable conduct occurring before July 1, 2006. For the purposes of this section, the Department of Health shall define, in rules pursuant to chapter 1-26, the terms, gross incompetence, unprofessional conduct, and dishonorable conduct.

Source: SL 2003, ch 178, § 1; SL 2004, ch 17, § 202; SL 2006, ch 178, § 1; SL 2015, ch 277 (Ex. Ord. 15-1), § 33, eff. Apr. 20, 2015.


     34-11-6.2.   Appeal of denial, suspension or revocation. Any party feeling aggrieved by any act, ruling, or decision of the Department of Health acting pursuant to § 34-11-6.1 may appeal such act, ruling, or decision under the provisions of chapter 1-26.

Source: SL 2003, ch 178, § 2; SL 2004, ch 17, § 203; SL 2015, ch 277 (Ex. Ord. 15-1), § 33, eff. Apr. 20, 2015.


     34-11-6.3.   Suspension of certification for mental incompetence--Restoration--Establishment of rules. If a person holding a certification pursuant to § 34-11-6 is adjudged to be mentally incompetent by final order or adjudication of a court of competent jurisdiction, the Department of Health shall suspend such person's certification pursuant to chapter 1-26. The suspension shall continue until the person holding the certification is found or adjudged by such court to be restored to reason. The Department of Health may establish, by rules promulgated pursuant to chapter 1-26, probationary conditions that it deems necessary for the best interest of the person holding the certification.

Source: SL 2003, ch 178, § 3; SL 2004, ch 17, § 204; SL 2015, ch 277 (Ex. Ord. 15-1), § 33, eff. Apr. 20, 2015.


     34-11-6.4.   Reissuance of certification--Conditions. Upon application, the Department of Health may reissue a certification issued pursuant to § 34-11-6 that has been cancelled, suspended, or revoked. A reissuance of a certification that has been cancelled, suspended, or revoked may not be made prior to one year after the cancellation, suspension, or revocation. The Department of Health may, by rules promulgated pursuant to chapter 1-26, provide for the manner, form, and condition for the reissuance of any certification pursuant to this section.

Source: SL 2003, ch 178, § 4; SL 2004, ch 17, § 205; SL 2015, ch 277 (Ex. Ord. 15-1), § 33, eff. Apr. 20, 2015.


     34-11-7.   Trip records required. Each operator shall record each trip on forms designated by the licensing agency and copies submitted to the department monthly. These records shall be maintained for a period of four years and upon request be made available to the department for inspection.

Source: SL 1974, ch 239, § 4 (1); SL 1992, ch 240, § 5.


     34-11-8.   Vehicle equipment regulation unaffected. No provision of §§ 34-11-2 to 34-11-10, inclusive, nor any regulation adopted pursuant to said sections shall be construed as limiting any other provision of law delegating to the Department of Health the authority to regulate and inspect the warning lights, siren, brakes, and mechanical adequacy and safety of ambulances.

Source: SL 1974, ch 239, § 2; SL 2004, ch 17, § 206; SL 2015, ch 277 (Ex. Ord. 15-1), § 33, eff. Apr. 20, 2015.


     34-11-9.   Exemptions from license requirements. The following are exempt from the provisions of §§ 34-11-2 to 34-11-10, inclusive:
             (1)      The occasional use of a privately owned vehicle or aircraft not ordinarily used in the business of ambulance service or operating under provisions of § 32-34-3;
             (2)      A vehicle rendering services as an ambulance in case of major catastrophe or emergency when ambulance services based in the localities of the catastrophe or emergency are insufficient or unavailable to render the services required;
             (3)      Ambulance services based outside the state, except that any such ambulance service receiving a patient within this state for transport to a location within this state shall comply with §§ 34-11-2 to 34-11-10, inclusive, unless such transport is a medical emergency;
             (4)      Vehicles owned and operated by rescue squads which are not regularly used as ambulances except as part of rescue operations;
             (5)      Ambulances owned and operated by agencies of the United States government;
             (6)      Coach services engaged by prior appointment in the transportation of infirm or disabled individuals not requiring emergency medical care in transit.

Source: SL 1974, ch 239, § 6; SL 1982, ch 259, § 33; SL 1989, ch 287, § 2; SL 1992, ch 240, § 6.


     34-11-10.   Violation as misdemeanor--Suspension or revocation of license. Any person violating the provisions of §§ 34-11-2 to 34-11-9, inclusive, or the regulations adopted pursuant thereto is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor. A violation is also grounds, upon hearing held pursuant to chapter 1-26, for suspension or revocation of any prior authorized license.

Source: SL 1974, ch 239, § 7; SL 1977, ch 190, § 13.


     34-11-11.   Development of quality assurance program for advanced life support providers--Requirements--Reviews--Reports. Any ambulance service that provides advanced life support shall conduct a quality assurance program. The quality assurance program shall include, at a minimum, a review of the appropriate use of oxygen therapy, the appropriate use of intravenous therapy, medication administration, and the appropriate use of cardiac monitors. The Department of Health shall develop a quality assurance program that meets the requirements of this section. The ambulance service may use the program developed by the department or the ambulance service may develop its own quality assurance program. The ambulance service shall compile the quality assurance reviews into an annual report, which shall be kept on file for at least three years and made available to the Department of Health upon request.

Source: SL 2003, ch 179, § 1; SL 2004, ch 17, § 207; SL 2015, ch 277 (Ex. Ord. 15-1), § 33, eff. Apr. 20, 2015.


     34-11-12.   Minimum personnel required on ambulance run. The minimum personnel required on each ambulance run includes:
             (1)      One emergency medical technician certified by the Department of Health or an advanced life support personnel licensed pursuant to chapter 36-4B; and
             (2)      One driver who meets the requirements established by the Department of Health pursuant to rules promulgated pursuant to § 34-11-5.

Source: SL 2016, ch 170, § 1.


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