Ill. bill would ease staffing requirements for volunteer ambulance services
The legislation aims to address staffing and response time challenges in rural areas
By Laura French
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — An Illinois state lawmaker is sponsoring a bill that would lessen staffing requirements for some volunteer ambulances services.
State Rep. CD Davidsmeyer introduced House Bill 0628, which would allow some services to staff ambulances with one EMT and one EMR driver instead of the minimum of two EMTs currently required by state law, according to WLDS.
Davidsmeyer said the bill aims to help rural services that struggle to meet the current requirements, which can lead to longer response times. Davidsmeyer said he has been working with the Waverly Volunteer Fire and Rescue Squad to help them address ambulance staffing concerns.
"Especially in rural populations where you have an aging population, the biggest concern of theirs was strokes and heart attacks. We all know how important it is for emergency personnel to respond as quickly as possible specifically to those things and the myriad of other issues," Davidsmeyer told WLDS. "So what this bill does is it says that as long as you have one EMT, that person can be the medical person in the vehicle, and you can have a volunteer firefighter to drive the vehicle."
Volunteer ambulances services in rural or semi-rural areas with a population of 10,000 or fewer residents would be able to apply for an alternate staffing authorization from the Department of Public Health if the bill becomes law. The bill, which was first filed in February, was approved by the state legislature's Police & Fire Committee last week.