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South Carolina Senate Advances EMS Disclosure Bill

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COLUMBIA - The public should be able to learn about the performance of rescue teams that respond to sick or injured people, a legislative panel agreed Thursday.

After weeks of discussion, the Senate Medical Affairs Committee voted for a plan to open most emergency medical service records that were sealed last year following a state attorney general's opinion.

The unanimous vote sends the bill to the full Senate. A similar House bill is still in a committee.

Committee members agreed the public should have access to records of EMS responses. That would include incident reports and other information showing the response times to emergency calls, according to the Medical Affairs Committee.

But in voting for the bill, Senate committee members also agreed to keep secret the names of emergency medical service employees - unless a state investigative panel finds evidence of wrongdoing by the individuals. The S.C. Emergency Medical Services Association had asked for the exemption, saying emergency workers could be subjected to unfair criticism.

The names of EMS personnel could also be obtained by people who receive EMS care or -- if a patient dies -- by their families or representatives of their estates.

Read More, SC Senate panel advances EMS data disclosure bill

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