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General Laws

Section 3. (a) It shall be the duty of the department to plan, guide, assist, coordinate and regulate the development of a unified statewide EMS system and to coordinate the system with similar systems in neighboring states.

(b) The department shall be the state lead agency for EMS in this state. The department shall have authority to:

(1) direct and coordinate a program for planning, developing, maintaining, expanding, improving and upgrading the state EMS system and its component elements;

(2) establish minimum standards and criteria for all elements of the EMS system, taking into consideration relevant standards and criteria developed or adopted by nationally recognized agencies or organizations, and the recommendations of interested parties that are part of the state’s EMS system, including, without limitation, the regional EMS councils;

(3) establish minimum standards for the examination and certification of appropriate EMS personnel, including, without limitation, EMS first responders and emergency medical technicians in accordance with section 9, but excluding physicians;

(4) establish minimum standards for, inspect and certify, as appropriate, EMS vehicles in accordance with section 7, but EMS vehicles operated under this section by fire departments may be primarily red in color with a secondary color of white.

(5) establish minimum standards for, inspect and license, as appropriate, emergency medical first response services and ambulance services in accordance with section 6;

(6) develop and implement a state EMS plan, in consultation with the regional councils, which plan shall address the distribution of all elements of the EMS system in the state, so that quality EMS shall be reasonably available to all residents of the commonwealth at the lowest aggregate reasonable cost and update said plan at least once every three years;

(7) establish minimum standards for and designate regional EMS councils in accordance with section 4;

(8) develop statewide coordinated trauma care systems, and establish minimum standards for and designate trauma centers, in accordance with section 11 and regulations promulgated pursuant to this chapter;

(9) integrate all designated trauma centers into the EMS system;

(10) investigate complaints related to the delivery of services by trauma centers, take appropriate action in accordance with this chapter and refer complaints to other agencies and organizations, as appropriate;

(11) collect and maintain data, including statistics on mortality and morbidity of trauma victims, including but not limited to, information needed to review access, availability, quality, cost and third party reimbursement for EMS, and coordinate and perform such data collection in conjunction with other data collection activities;

(12) establish standards for the design and implementation of studies of any aspect of the EMS system to be conducted by or on behalf of regional EMS councils;

(13) establish minimum standards for training, including, without limitation, pediatric training and other special population training, of EMS personnel, including, without limitation, medical communications system operators, call takers and dispatchers; provided, however, that standards for training of call takers and dispatchers shall be established in conjunction with the state 911 department;

(14) define and approve training programs and instructors and accredit course sponsors for EMS training of EMS personnel;

(15) require the collection and maintenance of standardized patient data and information by services licensed under section 6, which services shall ensure that the responding personnel will complete a summary for each call to which they respond containing such information and on such forms as prescribed by the department, and shall make such summaries available to receiving facilities, the appropriate regional EMS council and the department in a timely manner and in reasonable detail;

(16) establish standards and criteria governing the award and administration of contracts under this chapter;

(17) administer contracts authorized under this chapter and grants awarded pertaining to EMS;

(18) ensure that every service shall have access to qualified medical control and medical direction;

(19) provide technical assistance to local governments, EMS providers and other persons, for the purpose of ensuring effective planning and execution of programs under this chapter;

(20) maintain a continuous quality improvement program for all elements of the EMS system;

(21) establish fees for the issuance and renewal of certifications, licenses, certificates of inspection, designations and any other approvals issued under this chapter;

(22) inspect at any time any equipment, supplies, facilities and records maintained by or in connection with any EMS provider; provided, however, that a license, certificate, designation or other approval has been issued, or an application therefor has been filed, for such EMS provider;

(23) develop and implement a comprehensive statewide EMS communications plan and system, coordinating regional EMS councils regional plans and systems, in cooperation with other agencies having concurrent jurisdiction;

(24) subject to the provisions of section 6, promulgate rules and regulations regarding adequate insurance coverage for licensed services and for operators and attendants of certified emergency medical services vehicles;

(25) make rules, regulations, guidelines and orders, and delegate authority to its divisions, employees and agents, and to regional EMS councils, as may be necessary or appropriate to carry out the provisions of this chapter;

(26) take any other action consistent with its role as state lead agency for EMS.

(c) The board shall be provided a reasonable opportunity to review and make recommendations on all rules, regulations, guidelines, standards and criteria under this chapter before the department may establish such rules, regulations, guidelines, standards or criteria.

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