Bad EMS Bill Stopped in Health Committee
June 30, 2022
Earlier this week, Senate Bill 443 (Hertzberg) – which sought to overturn an extensive statutory and case law record that has repeatedly affirmed county responsibility for medical control as the means to ensure an equitable and transparent local emergency medical service system – failed to move forward after the author requested to pull the bill from the Assembly Health Committee’s last hearing of the year. CSAC, in concert with the Urban Counties of California (UCC), the Rural County Representatives of California (RCRC), and the County Health Executives Association of California (CHEAC), strongly opposed this bill (link).
The author and sponsors asserted the measure intended to clarify the intent of SB 438 (Chapter 389, Statutes of 2019), which allows fire departments more dispatching control in the operation of public safety answering points (PSAPs), including 9-1-1 Emergency Medical Services (EMS) dispatch centers. They also said it was not intended to undermine local emergency medical services agency (LEMSA) medical control, but as recently amended SB 443 would have allowed any agency that holds “201 rights” to determine their own patient safety standards, thereby creating a fragmented, inequitable patchwork of EMS medical practices.
We appreciate the many counties who mobilized quickly to oppose this bill. CSAC will continue to advocate for the preservation of LEMSA medical control to ensure all residents receive equitable and high-quality local emergency medical services regardless of where they live.