Bill to Overhaul N.J. EMS System Vetoed - Administration and Leadership - @ JEMS.com


Bill to Overhaul N.J. EMS System Vetoed

The bill might be dead, but the issues aren’t

 

 
 
 

| Tuesday, January 24, 2012


New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie conditionally vetoed a bill that would have overhauled the New Jersey EMS system. In the process, however, he’s asked the commissioner of Health and Senior Services to review the state’s EMS operations.

The hotly debated legislation, first introduced in February 2010, was the result of a report that labeled the state’s EMS system as broken. Heading into the holidays, the state’s Senate passed bill A2095, which, if approved by Christie, would set new standards on ambulance staffing, training and overall operational oversight throughout the state.

In releasing the veto, Christie says that while the bill was “well-intentioned,” but he had been advised it would cost the state and municipalities “millions of dollars.”

The legislation sharply divided EMS providers in the state.

Critics of the bill, led by the New Jersey State First Aid Council (NJSFAC), an organization representing 325 volunteer squads in the state, maintain it will cost tens of millions to implement the changes, add red tape and put volunteers out of business.

In a letter sent to newspapers, NJSFAC President Barbara Aras maintained that passing the bill would “spell disaster for the state’s EMS system.” She noted residents would end up paying for services they now get for free through volunteer squads.

Proponents, however, argued the legislation would bring much-needed change to the way EMS operates in New Jersey and ultimately help patients by implementing performance standards and requiring a minimum of one EMT on each ambulance.

“By issuing a conditional veto, I believe that he is acknowledging that there are indeed problems with the current delivery model of EMS in New Jersey,” says Michael Bascom, the emergency management coordinator for Neptune, NJ and Monmouth County. “The legislation passed both houses of the legislature and has made it into the press. Both the governor and commissioner have had this placed front and center on their respective desks. The need for a single standard of care is not going to diminish. The ever expanding EMS Scope of Practice for providers of all levels requires medical oversight and accountability to our patients.”
Bascom says the legislation will ultimately pass because it’s the right things for patients.

Christie asked the commissioner to “develop findings and recommendations” on how New Jersey can “effectively upgrade our EMS delivery system” and to report back within six months.

“Any changes to our emergency medical services system raise important issues that should be responsibly and carefully considered,” Christie said.

 




Connect: Have a thought or feedback about this? Add your comment now
Related Topics: Administration and Leadership, Operations and Protcols

 
What's Your Take? Comment Now ...

Buyer's Guide Featured Companies

Featured Careers & Jobs in EMS

Get JEMS in Your Inbox

 

Fire EMS Blogs


Blogger Browser

Today's Featured Posts

 

EMS Airway Clinic

Improving Survival from Cardiac Arrest Using ACD-CPR + ITD

Using active compression-decompression CPR with an ITD has been shown to improve 1-year survival from cardiac arrest by 33%.
More >

Multimedia Thumb

Over Half of Seattle Fire Stations Test Positive for MRSA

Surprisingly high results come from test kits based on earlier study.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

AMR Crew Rescues Mississippi Driver from Fiery Crash

Rescue during crash in Jackson is caught on video.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Tempe’s Drug Dilemma

Dealing with overdoses.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

I’m a Paramedic

Profile of a Northshore LIJ medic.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Nightwatch Series Premiere Party

JEMS Editor-in-Chief A.J. Heightman attends the series premiere of A&E's new reality show, "Nightwatch."
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Ottawa Chemical Investigation

Chemicals and suspicious package are probed at two locations
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Cincinnati Overpass Collapse

Fatal pancake collapse occurs during demolition.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Braun Ambulances' EZ Door Forward

Helps to create a safer ambulance module.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

LMA MAD Nasal™

Needle-free intranasal drug delivery.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

The AmbuBus®, Bus Stretcher Conversion Kit - EMS Today 2013

AmbuBus®, Bus Stretcher all-hazards preparedness & response tool
Watch It >


More Product Videos >