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  • PART I ADMINISTRATION OF THE GOVERNMENT
  • TITLE XVI PUBLIC HEALTH
  • CHAPTER 111C EMERGENCY MEDICAL SERVICES SYSTEM
  • Section 1 Definitions

Section 1. (a) For the purpose of this chapter the following words shall, unless the context requires otherwise, have the following meaning:—

“Ambulance”, any aircraft, boat, motor vehicle or any other means of transportation, however named, whether privately or publicly owned, which is intended to be used for, and is maintained and operated for, the response to and the transportation of sick or injured individuals.

“Ambulance service”, the business or regular activity, whether for profit or not, of providing emergency medical services, emergency response, primary ambulance response, pre-hospital emergency medical care, with or without transportation, of sick or injured individuals by ambulance.

“Board”, the emergency medical services system advisory board established under section 13.

“Commissioner”, the commissioner of public health.

“Department”, the department of public health.

“Emergency”, a condition or situation in which an individual has a need for immediate medical attention, or where the potential for such need is perceived by the individual, a bystander or an emergency medical services provider.

“Emergency medical services”, the pre-hospital assessment and treatment and other services utilized in responding to an emergency or provided during the transport of patients to appropriate health care facilities as defined in regulations promulgated by the department.

“EMS”, emergency medical services.

“EMS first responder”, a person who has, at a minimum, successfully completed a course in emergency medical care approved by the department pursuant to section 201 of chapter 111 and who provides emergency medical care through employment by or in association with an EMS first response service.

“EMS first response”, the dispatch and response of the closest, most appropriate EMS personnel or EMS vehicle in the shortest practicable amount of time by a qualified EMS first response service.

“EMS first response service”, the business or regular activity, whether for profit or not, by a qualified EMS provider, designated as a service zone provider for the purpose of providing rapid response and EMS.

“EMS first response vehicle”, any aircraft, boat, motor vehicle or any other means of transportation, whether privately or publicly owned, which is intended and is maintained and operated for the rapid response of EMS personnel, equipment and supplies to emergencies by an EMS first response service or by an ambulance service and is not utilized for patient transport.

“EMS personnel”, EMS first responders and emergency medical technicians.

“EMS plan”, a plan that includes an inventory and assessment of EMS resources and a plan for the optimal maintenance, coordination and utilization of those resources (i) to improve the EMS system and its component elements, and (ii) to coordinate with all state and municipal public safety agencies’ mass casualty and other public emergency plans.

“EMS provider”, an EMS first response service, an ambulance service, a hospital including, without limitation, a trauma center or any individual associated with an EMS first response service, an ambulance service or a hospital engaged in providing EMS, including, without limitation, an EMS first responder, a medical communications system operator, an emergency medical technician and a medical control physician, to the extent such physician provides EMS.

“EMS system”, all EMS providers including, without limitation, personnel, EMS first response services, ambulance services, hospitals, including, without limitation, trauma center and equipment; communications systems linking them to each other; training and education programs; the regional EMS councils and all of their operations; EMS plans, protocols, statutes, regulations and guidelines; and all other components of such system, and their interaction with each other and with patients, providing equally for all patients to quality care, operating under the leadership and direction of the department, as more specifically described in section 2.

“EMS vehicle”, an EMS first response vehicle or an ambulance.

“Emergency medical technician” or “EMT”, a person who has successfully completed a course in emergency medical care, approved by the department or offered by an accredited course sponsor, and who is certified by the department. The term “emergency medical technician” shall include EMT-Basic, EMT-Intermediate and EMT-Paramedic.

“Emergency response”, the dispatch and response of the closest appropriate ambulance, EMS personnel and other EMS vehicle to an emergency in the shortest practicable amount of time in conformance with the service zone plan.

“Hospital”, a hospital licensed or certified by the department pursuant to section 51 of chapter 111 or other applicable law, with an emergency department, and the teaching hospital of the University of Massachusetts Medical School.

“Local jurisdiction”, an entity empowered by the legislative body within a city, town, fire district or water district to select service zone providers, including, but not limited to, a city council, board of selectmen, board of aldermen, mayor, or town manager.

“Medical control”, the clinical oversight by a qualified physician to all components of the EMS system, including, without limitation, treatment protocols, medical direction, training of and authorization to practice for EMS personnel, quality assurance and continuous quality improvement.

“Medical direction”, the authorization for treatment established in statewide EMS treatment protocols provided by a qualified medical control physician to EMS personnel whether on-line, via direct communication or telecommunication, or off-line via standing orders.

“Person”, an individual, an entity or an agency or political subdivision of the commonwealth.

“Primary ambulance response”, first line ambulance response, pre-hospital treatment and transportation by an ambulance service selected and designated by a local jurisdiction as a service zone provider pursuant to section 10.

“Primary ambulance service”, the business or regular activity, whether for profit or not, by a qualified ambulance service, designated by a local jurisdiction for the purpose of providing rapid response and pre-hospital EMS, including, without limitation, patient assessment, patient treatment, patient preparation for transport and patient transport to appropriate health care facilities, in conformance with the service zone plan as defined in section 10.

“Region”, a geographic area of the state defined by the department in regulation as an EMS planning area.

“Regional EMS council”, an entity created under section 4.

“Service”, an EMS first response service or an ambulance service.

“Service zone”, a geographic area defined by and comprised of one or more local jurisdictions, in which a local jurisdiction may select and the department shall designate an EMS first response service and an ambulance service to provide EMS first response and primary ambulance response to the public within that defined geographic area, pursuant to section 10.

“Service zone provider”, EMS provider, selected by a local jurisdiction and designated by the department to provide primary ambulance service or EMS first response, or both, to the public within a service zone, pursuant to section 10. A service zone provider shall be staffed and equipped to be available for primary ambulance service or EMS first response 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

“Special population”, any person or group of persons with unique medical, physical or social problems that require other than customary emergency medical care.

(b) The department shall promulgate rules and regulations to carry out the provisions of this chapter and may further define in such rules and regulations any term used in this chapter; provided, however, that such definition is not contrary to a provision of the General Laws.