As amended by House Committee, S.B. 535 amends 16 of the statutes that make up the act under which various levels of emergency medical services personnel are certified, ambulance services are licensed, and certain persons are relieved of civil liability while conducting emergency medical services activities. The bill also repeals two existing statutes and creates a new criminal statute. Many of the amendments are technical and "clean up" in nature, but the bill does add to the types of emergency care some emergency medical services personnel may provide, create new categories of certification, add new grounds for disciplinary action, and authorize a physician's assistant to give directions to certified emergency service personnel when authorized to do so by the physician who is responsible for the actions of the physician's assistant. A new law that concerns the use of automatic external defibrillators is created by the bill.
The first three sections of the bill relate to the Emergency Medical Services Board. The amendments delete obsolete language that pertained to the creation of the Board and the transfer of responsibilities from a previous emergency medical services council. The substantive changes relate to giving the Board authority to set the qualifications of, approve training for, and establish fees applicable to training officers, a new category of personnel created by the bill, and providers of training, also a new category created by S.B. 535. Provision is made for filling the office of chairperson or vice-chairperson if the office is vacated before the end of a term.
Definitions of training officer, providers of training, physician's assistant, responsible physician, and professional nurse are added to the act through amendments to K.S.A. 1997 Supp. 65-6112 in Section 4 of S.B. 535. The definition of medical protocols is amended. Other definitions applicable to attendants (first responders, emergency medical technicians, emergency medical technicians-intermediate, emergency medical technicians-defibrillator, and mobile intensive care technicians) are amended to delete specific references to the training completed by such persons.
The statutory listing of specific functions that may be performed by mobile intensive care technicians (the highest level of attendant qualification) is deleted by amendments to K.S.A. 1997 Supp. 65-6119, with the exception of cardiopulmonary resuscitation and defibrillation, while new specified procedures are added to the listing of procedures an emergency medical technician-intermediate may perform (K.S.A. 1997 Supp. 65-6120) and to the procedures an emergency medical technician may perform (K.S.A. 1997 Supp. 65-6121).
Amendments in Sections 9, 10, 11, and 12 are technical, except for the addition in Section 11, paragraph (d) of language which makes the holder of a temporary certificate as an emergency medical technician ineligible to apply for a higher level of attendant certification, and the addition of references to physician's assistants and responsible physicians in the several statutes. Amendments in Section 13 are technical, except for the further restriction on the granting of an instructor-coordinator's certificate to an individual who has served as an attendant in the 12 months prior to application for the certificate rather than having had one year of experience as an attendant. Section 14 amends K.S.A. 65-6133 to give the Board new authority to refuse to renew a certificate and to expand the grounds for disciplinary action in paragraph (6) of subsection (a). Amendments in Sections 15 are technical, while those in Section 16 add authority to use an automated defibrillator to the activities a first responder may perform.
S.B. 535, in New Section 17, creates a statute that is applicable to training officers, the new category authorized to be certified by the Emergency Medical Services Board. The new statute sets out initial application procedures, qualifications for certification, renewal requirements, grounds for disciplinary action, and limitations on granting recertification for a person previously certified.
New Section 18 creates a new crime of unlawful interference with an emergency medical services attendant. Unlawful interference with an emergency medical services attendant is a class B person misdemeanor. The new statute is made supplemental to and a part of the Kansas Criminal Code.
New Section 19, added to S.B. 535 by the House Committee amendments, creates a new law relating to the use of automatic external defibrillators. Pursuant to the new section, any person who has obtained appropriate training, including a course in cardiopulmonary resuscitation or basic first aid that includes cardiopulmonary resuscitation training, may use an automatic external defibrillator for the purpose of saving the life of another person in cardiac arrest. Any person who uses such a device is required to activate the emergency medical services system as soon as possible. Persons or entities that possess an automatic external defibrillator are urged to register the existence and location of such equipment with the local emergency medical service. Any person who renders emergency care either by use of or the provision of an automated external defibrillator in good faith and without charge and without the objection of the individual for whom the care is provided is not to be held liable for any civil damages arising from the care rendered or any failure to provide or arrange for further medical treatment when the action is that which a reasonably prudent person would have taken in the same or similar circumstances.
S.B. 535 repeals K.S.A. 65-6148, a statute that defines automated defibrillator, semi-automatic defibrillator, and Board, and K.S.A. 1997 Supp. 65-6149, a statute that authorizes any certified first responder or attendant to be certified in the use of automated defibrillators and sets out the duties of the Board and local service providers in conjunction therewith.
S.B. 535 was introduced at the request of the Emergency Medical Services Board. A subcommittee of the Senate Committee worked with various parties having an interest in the bill to develop amendments to the original bill.
The House Committee amended the provisions of S.B. 243 relating to authority of physician's assistants and their responsible physicians to give directions to attendants into S.B. 535, which amends the same statutes. S.B. 243 was passed by the Senate in 1997.
The House Committee also amended the provisions of H.B. 2723 as it passed the House into S.B. 535 as New Section 19. H.B. 2723 is in Senate Committee.
The fiscal note on S.B. 535 as it was introduced indicated there was no fiscal impact associated with the bill.
1. *Supplemental notes are prepared by the Legislative Research Department and do not express legislative intent. The supplemental note and fiscal note for this bill may be accessed on the Internet at http://www.ink.org/public/legislative/fulltext-bill.html.