The Vermont Statutes Online
§ 901. Policy
It is the policy of the State of Vermont that all persons who suffer sudden and unexpected illness or injury should have access to the emergency medical services system in order to prevent loss of life or the aggravation of the illness or injury, and to alleviate suffering. The system should include competent emergency medical care provided by adequately trained, licensed, credentialed, and equipped personnel acting under appropriate medical control. Persons involved in the delivery of emergency medical care should be encouraged to maintain and advance their levels of training and licensure, and to upgrade the quality of their vehicles and equipment. (Added 1981, No. 61; amended 2011, No. 155 (Adj. Sess.), § 32.)
§ 902. Definitions
As used in this chapter, unless the context requires otherwise words and phrases shall have the meaning given in 24 V.S.A. § 2651. (Added 1981, No. 61; amended 1983, No. 226 (Adj. Sess.), § 15.)
§ 903. Authorization for provision of emergency medical services
Notwithstanding any other provision of law, including provisions of 26 V.S.A. chapter 23, persons who are licensed and credentialed to provide emergency medical care pursuant to the requirements of this chapter and implementing regulations are hereby authorized to provide such care without further certification, registration, or licensing. (Added 1981, No. 61; amended 2011, No. 155 (Adj. Sess.), § 33.)
§ 904. Administrative provisions
(a) In order to carry out the purposes and responsibilities of this chapter, the Department of Health may contract for the provision of specific services.
(b) The Secretary of Human Services, upon the recommendation of the Commissioner of Health, may issue regulations to carry out the purposes and responsibilities of this chapter. (Added 1981, No. 61; amended 2011, No. 155 (Adj. Sess.), § 34.)
§ 905. Repealed. 1983, No. 226 (Adj. Sess.), § 16.
§ 906. Emergency Medical Services Division; responsibilities
To implement the policy of section 901 of this title, the Department of Health shall be responsible for:
(1) Developing and implementing minimum standards for training emergency medical personnel in basic life support and advanced life support, and licensing emergency medical personnel according to their level of training and competence.
(2) Developing and implementing minimum standards for vehicles used in providing emergency medical care, designating the types and quantities of equipment that must be carried by these vehicles, and registering those vehicles according to appropriate classifications.
(3) Developing a statewide system of emergency medical services, including planning, organizing, coordinating, improving, expanding, monitoring, and evaluating emergency medical services.
(4) Establishing by rule minimum standards for the credentialing of emergency medical personnel by their affiliated agency, which shall be required in addition to the licensing requirements of this chapter in order for a person to practice as an emergency medical provider. Credentialing shall consist of the minimum and appropriate requirements necessary to ensure that an emergency medical provider can demonstrate the competence and minimum skills necessary to practice within his or her scope of licensure. Any rule shall balance the need for documenting competency against the burden placed on rural or smaller volunteer squads with little or no administrative staff.
(5) Developing volunteer and career response time standards for urban and rural requests for emergency services.
(6) Training, or assisting in the training of, emergency medical personnel.
(7) Assisting hospitals in the development of programs which will improve the quality of in-hospital services for persons requiring emergency medical care.
(8) Developing and implementing procedures to ensure that emergency medical services are rendered only with appropriate medical control. For the provision of advanced life support, appropriate medical control shall include at a minimum:
(A) written protocols between the appropriate officials of receiving hospitals and emergency medical services districts defining their operational procedures;
(B) where necessary and practicable, direct communication between emergency medical personnel and a physician or person acting under the direct supervision of a physician;
(C) when such communication has been established, a specific order from the physician or person acting under the direct supervision of the physician to employ a certain medical procedure;
(D) use of advanced life support, when appropriate, only by emergency medical personnel who are certified by the Department of Health to employ advanced life support procedures.
(9) Establishing requirements for the collection of data by emergency medical personnel and hospitals as may be necessary to evaluate emergency medical care.
(10) Establishing, by rule, license levels for emergency medical personnel. The Commissioner shall use the guidelines established by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in the U.S. Department of Transportation as a standard or other comparable standards, except that a felony conviction shall not necessarily disqualify an applicant. The rules shall also provide that:
(A) An individual may apply for and obtain one or more additional licenses, including licensure as an advanced emergency medical technician or as a paramedic.
(B) An individual licensed by the Commissioner as an emergency medical technician, advanced emergency medical technician, or a paramedic, who is credentialed by an affiliated agency, shall be able to practice fully within the scope of practice for such level of licensure as defined by NHTSA's National EMS Scope of Practice Model consistent with the license level of the affiliated agency, and subject to the medical direction of the emergency medical services district medical advisor.
(C) Unless otherwise provided under this section, an individual seeking any level of licensure shall be required to pass an examination approved by the Commissioner for that level of licensure. Written and practical examinations shall not be required for relicensure; however, to maintain licensure, all individuals shall complete a specified number of hours of continuing education as established by rule by the Commissioner. The Commissioner shall ensure that continuing education classes are available online and provided on a regional basis to accommodate the needs of volunteers and part-time individuals, including those in rural areas of the State.
(D) If there is a hardship imposed on any applicant for a license under this section because of unusual circumstances, the applicant may apply to the Commissioner for a temporary or permanent waiver of one or more of the licensure requirements, which the Commissioner may grant for good cause.
(E) An applicant who has served as a hospital corpsman or a medic in the U.S. Armed Forces, or who is licensed as a registered nurse or a physician assistant shall be granted a permanent waiver of the training requirements to become a licensed emergency medical technician, an advanced emergency medical technician, or a paramedic, provided the applicant passes the applicable examination approved by the Commissioner for that level of licensure and further provided that the applicant is credentialed by an affiliated agency.
(F) An applicant who is registered on the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians as an emergency medical technician, an advanced emergency medical technician, or a paramedic shall be granted licensure as a Vermont emergency medical technician, an advanced emergency medical technician, or a paramedic without the need for further testing, provided he or she is credentialed by an affiliated agency or is serving as a medic with the Vermont National Guard.
(G) [Repealed.] (Added 1981, No. 61; amended 2009, No. 78 (Adj. Sess.), § 10e, eff. April 15, 2010; 2009, No. 142 (Adj. Sess.), § 18, eff. June 1, 2010; 2011, No. 155 (Adj. Sess.), § 35; 2015, No. 97 (Adj. Sess.), § 46a.)
§ 906a. Relicensure; grace period
A person certified or licensed as an emergency medical provider shall have six months after his or her certification or license has expired to resubmit the necessary information for renewal of the certificate or license. (Added 2011, No. 155 (Adj. Sess.), § 36.)
§ 906b. Transitional provision; certification to licensure
Every person certified as an emergency medical provider shall have his or her certification converted to the comparable level of licensure. Until such time as the Department of Health issues licenses in lieu of certificates, each certified emergency medical provider shall have the right to practice in accordance with his or her level of certification. (Added 2011, No. 155 (Adj. Sess.), § 37.)
§ 906c. Veterans and service members returning from deployment; prior positions
(a) As used in this section:
(1) "Service member" means an individual who is an active duty member of:
(A) the U.S. Armed Forces;
(B) a reserve component of the U.S. Armed Forces;
(C) the U.S. Coast Guard; or
(D) the National Guard of any state.
(2) "Veteran" means a former service member who received an honorable discharge or a general discharge under honorable conditions from active duty.
(b)(1) A veteran or service member who held a position as an emergency medical provider prior to his or her most recent military deployment but whose license or certification lapsed as a direct result of that deployment shall be permitted to return to that same position at the same rate of compensation upon his or her return from deployment once licensure is renewed, so long as all other requirements for employment are met.
(2) The provisions of subdivision (1) of this subsection shall apply to such a veteran or service member until the expiration of six months after his or her return from deployment or the renewal cycle during which he or she returns from deployment, whichever is later. (Added 2013, No. 177 (Adj. Sess.), § 2.)
§ 907. Automated external defibrillators
(a) As used in this section:
(1) "Automated external defibrillator (AED)" means a medical device approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, that:
(A) is capable of recognizing the presence or absence of ventricular fibrillation or rapid ventricular tachycardia;
(B) is capable of determining whether defibrillation should be performed on an individual;
(C) upon determination that defibrillation should be performed, automatically charges and requests delivery of an electrical impulse to an individual's heart; and
(D) then, upon action by an operator, delivers an appropriate electrical impulse to the patient's heart to perform defibrillation.
(c) Any person who owns or leases an AED, or to whom an AED is donated, shall:
(1) notify the Department and the person's regional ambulance service or first responder service of the existence, location, and type of device the person possesses; and
(2) maintain and test the device in accordance with the applicable standards of the manufacturer.
(d)(1) Any person, other than a person defined as a health care provider by subdivision 9432(9) of this title or as emergency medical personnel by 24 V.S.A. § 2651(6) acting in the normal course of his or her duties as a health care provider or as emergency medical personnel, who acts in good faith and who renders emergency care by the use of an AED, acquires an AED, owns a premises on which an AED is located, or provides a training course in the operation of an AED shall not be liable for civil damages for that person's acts or omissions with respect to such use, ownership, or training in the operation of an AED unless those acts or omissions were grossly negligent or willful and wanton. As used in this subdivision (d)(1), "ownership" shall not include the maintenance and testing of the device in accordance with the applicable standards of the manufacturer as required by subdivision (c)(2) of this section.
(2) This subsection shall not relieve an AED manufacturer, designer, developer, distributor, installer, or seller of any liability under any applicable statute or rule of law.
(e) This section shall not be construed to create a duty to act under 12 V.S.A. § 519 for any person. (Added 1999, No. 136 (Adj. Sess.), § 2; amended 2009, No. 7, § 1, eff. May 1, 2009; 2017, No. 8, § 1, eff. April 25, 2017.)
§ 908. Emergency Medical Services Special Fund
(a) The Emergency Medical Services Fund is established pursuant to 32 V.S.A. chapter 7, subchapter 5 comprising revenues received by the Department from the Fire Safety Special Fund, pursuant to 32 V.S.A. § 8557(a), that are designated for this Special Fund and public and private sources as gifts, grants, and donations together with additions and interest accruing to the Fund. The Commissioner of Health shall administer the Fund to the extent funds are available to support online and regional training programs, data collection and analysis, and other activities relating to the training of emergency medical personnel and delivery of emergency medical services and ambulance services in Vermont, as determined by the Commissioner, after consulting with the EMS Advisory Committee established under section 909 of this title. Any balance at the end of the fiscal year shall be carried forward in the Fund.
(b) From the funds in the Emergency Medical Services Special Fund, the Commissioner of Health shall develop and implement by September 1, 2012 online training opportunities and offer regional classes to enable individuals to comply with the requirements of subdivision 906(10)(C) of this title. (Added 2011, No. 155 (Adj. Sess.), § 38; amended 2013, No. 73, § 3, eff. June 5, 2013.)
§ 909. EMS Advisory Committee
(a) The Commissioner shall establish an advisory committee to advise on matters relating to the delivery of emergency medical services (EMS) in Vermont.
(b) The Advisory Committee shall be chaired by the Commissioner or his or her designee and shall include the following 14 other members:
(1) Four representatives of EMS districts. The representatives shall be selected by the EMS districts in four regions of the State. Those four regions shall correspond with the geographic lines used by the public safety districts pursuant to 20 V.S.A. § 5. For purposes of this subdivision, an EMS district located in more than one public safety district shall be deemed to be located in the public safety district in which it serves the greatest number of people.
(2) A representative from the Vermont Ambulance Association or designee.
(3) A representative from the initiative for rural emergency medical services program at the University of Vermont or designee.
(4) A representative from the Professional Firefighters of Vermont or designee.
(5) A representative from the Vermont Career Fire Chiefs Association or designee.
(6) A representative from the Vermont State Firefighters' Association or designee.
(7) An emergency department director of a Vermont hospital appointed by the Vermont Association of Emergency Department Directors or designee.
(8) An emergency department nurse manager of a Vermont hospital appointed by the Vermont Association of Emergency Department Nurse Managers or designee.
(9) A representative from the Vermont State Firefighters' Association who serves on a first response or FAST squad.
(10) A representative from the Vermont Association of Hospitals and Health Systems or designee.
(11) A local government member not affiliated with emergency medical services, firefighter services, or hospital services, appointed by the Vermont League of Cities and Towns.
(c) The Committee shall meet not less than quarterly in the first year and not less than twice annually each subsequent year and may be convened at any time by the Commissioner or his or her designee or at the request of seven Committee members.
(d) Beginning on January 1, 2014 and for the ensuing two years, the Committee shall report annually on the emergency medical services system to the House Committees on Commerce and Economic Development and on Human Services and to the Senate Committees on Economic Development, Housing and General Affairs and on Health and Welfare. The Committee's initial and ensuing reports shall include each EMS district's response times to 911 emergencies in the previous year based on information collected from the Vermont Department of Health's Division of Emergency Medical Services and recommendations on the following:
(1) whether Vermont EMS districts should be consolidated such as along the geographic lines used by the four public safety districts established under 20 V.S.A. § 5;
(2) whether every Vermont municipality should be required to have in effect an emergency medical services plan providing for timely and competent emergency responses; and
(3) whether the State should establish directives addressing when an agency can respond to a nonemergency request for transportation of a patient if doing so will leave the service area unattended or unable to respond to an emergency call in a timely fashion. (Added 2011, No. 155 (Adj. Sess.), § 39.)