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Code of Virginia
Title 32.1. Health
Chapter 4. Health Care Planning
11/26/2022

Article 2.1. Statewide Emergency Medical Services System and Services.

§ 32.1-111.1. Definitions.

As used in this article:

"Advisory Board" means the State Emergency Medical Services Advisory Board.

"Automated external defibrillator" means a medical device which combines a heart monitor and defibrillator and (i) has been approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration, (ii) is capable of recognizing the presence or absence of ventricular fibrillation or rapid ventricular tachycardia, (iii) is capable of determining, without intervention by an operator, whether defibrillation should be performed, and (iv) automatically charges and requests delivery of an electrical impulse to an individual's heart, upon determining that defibrillation should be performed.

"Emergency medical services" or "EMS" means health care, public health, and public safety services used in the medical response to the real or perceived need for immediate medical assessment, care, or transportation and preventive care or transportation in order to prevent loss of life or aggravation of physiological or psychological illness or injury.

"Emergency medical services agency" or "EMS agency" means any person engaged in the business, service, or regular activity, whether for profit or not, of rendering immediate medical care and providing transportation to persons who are sick, injured, wounded, or otherwise incapacitated or helpless and that holds a valid license as an emergency medical services agency issued by the Commissioner in accordance with § 32.1-111.6.

"Emergency medical services personnel" or "EMS personnel" means individuals who are employed by or members of an emergency medical services agency and who provide emergency medical services pursuant to an emergency medical services agency license issued to that agency by the Commissioner and in accordance with the authorization of that agency's operational medical director.

"Emergency medical services physician" or "EMS physician" means a physician who holds a current endorsement from the Office of Emergency Medical Services (EMS) and may serve as an EMS agency operational medical director or training program physician course director.

"Emergency medical services provider" or "EMS provider" means any person who holds a valid certificate as an emergency medical services provider issued by the Commissioner.

"Emergency medical services system" or "EMS system" means the system of emergency medical services agencies, vehicles, equipment, and personnel; health care facilities; other health care and emergency services providers; and other components engaged in the planning, coordination, and delivery of emergency medical services in the Commonwealth, including individuals and facilities providing communication and other services necessary to facilitate the delivery of emergency medical services in the Commonwealth.

"Emergency medical services vehicle" means any vehicle, vessel, or aircraft that holds a valid emergency medical services vehicle permit issued by the Office of Emergency Medical Services that is equipped, maintained, or operated to provide emergency medical care or transportation of patients who are sick, injured, wounded, or otherwise incapacitated or helpless.

"Office of Emergency Medical Services" means the Office of Emergency Medical Services of the Department.

"Operational medical director" or "OMD" means an EMS physician, currently licensed to practice medicine or osteopathic medicine in the Commonwealth, who is formally recognized and responsible for providing medical direction, oversight, and quality improvement to an EMS agency.

1996, c. 899; 1999, c. 1000; 2000, c. 939; 2008, c. 118; 2015, cc. 502, 503.

§ 32.1-111.2. Exemptions from provisions of this article.

The following entities are exempted from the provisions of this article:

1. Emergency medical services agencies based outside the Commonwealth, except that any such agency receiving a person who is sick, injured, wounded, incapacitated, or helpless within the Commonwealth for transportation to a location within the Commonwealth shall comply with the provisions of this article;

2. Emergency medical services agencies operated by the United States government; and

3. Wheelchair interfacility transport services and wheelchair interfacility transport service vehicles that are engaged, whether or not for profit, in the business, service, or regular activity of and exclusively used for transporting wheelchair bound passengers between medical facilities in the Commonwealth when no ancillary medical care or oversight is necessary. However, such services and vehicles shall comply with Department of Medical Assistance Services regulations regarding the transportation of Medicaid recipients to covered services.

1996, c. 899; 2005, c. 778; 2015, cc. 502, 503.

§ 32.1-111.3. Statewide Emergency Medical Services Plan; Trauma Triage Plan; Stroke Triage Plan.

A. The Board of Health shall develop a Statewide Emergency Medical Services Plan that shall provide for a comprehensive, coordinated, emergency medical services system in the Commonwealth and shall review, update, and publish the Plan triennially, making such revisions as may be necessary to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the Commonwealth's emergency medical services system. The Plan shall incorporate the regional emergency medical services plans prepared by the regional emergency medical services councils pursuant to § 32.1-111.4:2. Publishing through electronic means and posting on the Department website shall satisfy the publication requirement. The objectives of such Plan and the emergency medical services system shall include the following:

1. Establishing a comprehensive statewide emergency medical services system, incorporating facilities, transportation, manpower, communications, and other components as integral parts of a unified system that will serve to improve the delivery of emergency medical services and thereby decrease morbidity, hospitalization, disability, and mortality;

2. Reducing the time period between the identification of an acutely ill or injured patient and the definitive treatment;

3. Increasing the accessibility of high quality emergency medical services to all citizens of Virginia;

4. Promoting continuing improvement in system components including ground, water, and air transportation; communications; hospital emergency departments and other emergency medical care facilities; health care provider training and health care service delivery; and consumer health information and education;

5. Ensuring performance improvement of the emergency medical services system and emergency medical services and care delivered on scene, in transit, in hospital emergency departments, and within the hospital environment;

6. Working with professional medical organizations, hospitals, and other public and private agencies in developing approaches whereby the many persons who are presently using the existing emergency department for routine, nonurgent, primary medical care will be served more appropriately and economically;

7. Conducting, promoting, and encouraging programs of education and training designed to upgrade the knowledge and skills of emergency medical services personnel, including expanding the availability of paramedic and advanced life support training throughout the Commonwealth with particular emphasis on regions underserved by emergency medical services personnel having such skills and training;

8. Consulting with and reviewing, with agencies and organizations, the development of applications to governmental or other sources for grants or other funding to support emergency medical services programs;

9. Establishing a statewide air medical evacuation system which shall be developed by the Department of Health in coordination with the Department of State Police and other appropriate state agencies;

10. Establishing and maintaining a process for designation of appropriate hospitals as trauma centers, certified stroke centers, and specialty care centers based on an applicable national evaluation system;

11. Maintaining a comprehensive emergency medical services patient care data collection and performance improvement system pursuant to Article 3.1 (§ 32.1-116.1 et seq.);

12. Collecting data and information and preparing reports for the sole purpose of the designation and verification of trauma centers and other specialty care centers pursuant to this section. All data and information collected shall remain confidential and shall be exempt from the provisions of the Virginia Freedom of Information Act (§ 2.2-3700 et seq.);

13. Establishing and maintaining a process for crisis intervention and peer support services for emergency medical services personnel and public safety personnel, including statewide availability and accreditation of critical incident stress management or peer support teams and personnel. Such accreditation standards shall include a requirement that a peer support team be headed by a Virginia-licensed clinical psychologist, Virginia-licensed psychiatrist, Virginia-licensed clinical social worker, or Virginia-licensed professional counselor, who has at least five years of experience as a mental health consultant working directly with emergency medical services personnel or public safety personnel;

14. Establishing a statewide program of emergency medical services for children to provide coordination and support for emergency pediatric care, availability of pediatric emergency medical care equipment, and pediatric training of health care providers;

15. Establishing and supporting a statewide system of health and medical emergency response teams, including emergency medical services disaster task forces, coordination teams, disaster medical assistance teams, and other support teams that shall assist local emergency medical services agencies at their request during mass casualty, disaster, or whenever local resources are overwhelmed;

16. Establishing and maintaining a program to improve dispatching of emergency medical services personnel and vehicles, including establishment of and support for emergency medical services dispatch training, accreditation of 911 dispatch centers, and public safety answering points;

17. Identifying and establishing best practices for managing and operating emergency medical services agencies, improving and managing emergency medical services response times, and disseminating such information to the appropriate persons and entities;

18. Ensuring that the Department of Criminal Justice Services and the Virginia Criminal Injuries Compensation Fund shall be contacted immediately to deploy assistance in the event there are victims as defined in § 19.2-11.01, and that the Department of Criminal Justice Services and the Virginia Criminal Injuries Compensation Fund become the lead coordinating agencies for those individuals determined to be victims; and

19. Maintaining current contact information for both the Department of Criminal Justice Services and the Virginia Criminal Injuries Compensation Fund.

B. The Board of Health shall also develop and maintain as a component of the Emergency Medical Services Plan a statewide prehospital and interhospital Trauma Triage Plan designed to promote rapid access for pediatric and adult trauma patients to appropriate, organized trauma care through the publication and regular updating of information on resources for trauma care and generally accepted criteria for trauma triage and appropriate transfer. The Trauma Triage Plan shall include:

1. A strategy for maintaining the statewide Trauma Triage Plan through development of regional trauma triage plans that take into account the region's geographic variations and trauma care capabilities and resources, including hospitals designated as trauma centers pursuant to subsection A and inclusion of such regional plans in the statewide Trauma Triage Plan. The regional trauma triage plans shall be reviewed triennially. Plans should ensure that the Department of Criminal Justice Services and the Virginia Criminal Injuries Compensation Fund shall be contacted immediately to deploy assistance in the event there are victims as defined in § 19.2-11.01, and that the Department of Criminal Justice Services and the Virginia Criminal Injuries Compensation Fund become the lead coordinating agencies for those individuals determined to be victims; and maintain current contact information for both the Department of Criminal Justice Services and the Virginia Criminal Injuries Compensation Fund.

2. A uniform set of proposed criteria for prehospital and interhospital triage and transport of trauma patients developed by the Advisory Board, in consultation with the Virginia Chapter of the American College of Surgeons, the Virginia College of Emergency Physicians, the Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association, and prehospital care providers. The Advisory Board may revise such criteria from time to time to incorporate accepted changes in medical practice or to respond to needs indicated by analyses of data on patient outcomes. Such criteria shall be used as a guide and resource for health care providers and are not intended to establish, in and of themselves, standards of care or to abrogate the requirements of § 8.01-581.20. A decision by a health care provider to deviate from the criteria shall not constitute negligence per se.

3. A performance improvement program for monitoring the quality of emergency medical services and trauma services, consistent with other components of the Emergency Medical Services Plan. The program shall provide for collection and analysis of data on emergency medical and trauma services from existing validated sources, including the emergency medical services patient care information system, pursuant to Article 3.1 (§ 32.1-116.1 et seq.), the Patient Level Data System, and mortality data. The Advisory Board shall review and analyze such data on a quarterly basis and report its findings to the Commissioner. The Advisory Board may execute these duties through a committee composed of persons having expertise in critical care issues and representatives of emergency medical services providers. The program for monitoring and reporting the results of emergency medical services and trauma services data analysis shall be the sole means of encouraging and promoting compliance with the trauma triage criteria.

The Commissioner shall report aggregate findings of the analysis annually to each regional emergency medical services council. The report shall be available to the public and shall identify, minimally, as defined in the statewide plan, the frequency of (i) incorrect triage in comparison to the total number of trauma patients delivered to a hospital prior to pronouncement of death and (ii) incorrect interfacility transfer for each region.

The Advisory Board or its designee shall ensure that each hospital director or emergency medical services agency chief is informed of any incorrect interfacility transfer or triage, as defined in the statewide Trauma Triage Plan, specific to the hospital or agency and shall give the hospital or agency an opportunity to correct any facts on which such determination is based, if the hospital or agency asserts that such facts are inaccurate. The findings of the report shall be used to improve the Trauma Triage Plan, including triage, and transport and trauma center designation criteria.

The Commissioner shall ensure the confidentiality of patient information, in accordance with § 32.1-116.2. Such data or information in the possession of or transmitted to the Commissioner, the Advisory Board, any committee acting on behalf of the Advisory Board, any hospital or prehospital care provider, any regional emergency medical services council, emergency medical services agency that holds a valid license issued by the Commissioner, or group or committee established to monitor the quality of emergency medical services or trauma services pursuant to this subdivision, or any other person shall be privileged and shall not be disclosed or obtained by legal discovery proceedings, unless a circuit court, after a hearing and for good cause shown arising from extraordinary circumstances, orders disclosure of such data.

C. The Board shall also develop and maintain as a component of the Statewide Emergency Medical Services Plan a statewide prehospital and interhospital Stroke Triage Plan designed to promote rapid access for stroke patients to appropriate, organized stroke care through the publication and regular updating of information on resources for stroke care and generally accepted criteria for stroke triage and appropriate transfer. The Stroke Triage Plan shall include:

1. A strategy for maintaining the statewide Stroke Triage Plan through development of regional stroke triage plans that take into account the region's geographic variations and stroke care capabilities and resources, including hospitals designated as comprehensive stroke centers, primary stroke centers, primary stroke centers with supplementary levels of stroke care distinction, and acute stroke-ready hospitals through certification by the Joint Commission, DNV Healthcare, the American Heart Association, or a comparable process consistent with the recommendations of the Brain Attack Coalition, and inclusion of such regional plans in the statewide Stroke Triage Plan. The regional stroke triage plans shall be reviewed triennially.

2. A uniform set of proposed criteria for prehospital and interhospital triage and transport of stroke patients developed by the Advisory Board, in consultation with the American Stroke Association, the Virginia College of Emergency Physicians, the Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association, and prehospital care providers. The Board may revise such criteria from time to time to incorporate accepted changes in medical practice or to respond to needs indicated by analyses of data on patient outcomes. Such criteria shall be used as a guide and resource for health care providers and are not intended to establish, in and of themselves, standards of care or to abrogate the requirements of § 8.01-581.20. A decision by a health care provider to deviate from the criteria shall not constitute negligence per se.

D. Whenever any state-owned aircraft, vehicle, or other form of conveyance is utilized under the provisions of this section, an appropriate amount not to exceed the actual costs of operation may be charged by the agency having administrative control of such aircraft, vehicle, or other form of conveyance.

1996, c. 899; 1997, c. 321; 1998, c. 317; 1999, c. 1000; 2005, cc. 632, 686; 2006, c. 412; 2007, c. 15; 2008, cc. 66, 567; 2009, cc. 222, 269; 2012, c. 418; 2014, c. 320; 2015, cc. 502, 503; 2017, c. 609; 2018, cc. 103, 109.

§ 32.1-111.4. Regulations; emergency medical services personnel and vehicles; response times; enforcement provisions; civil penalties.

A. The Board shall prescribe by regulation:

1. Requirements for recordkeeping, supplies, operating procedures, and other emergency medical services agency operations;

2. Requirements for the sanitation and maintenance of emergency medical services vehicles and their medical supplies and equipment;

3. Procedures, including the requirements for forms, to authorize qualified emergency medical services personnel to follow Do Not Resuscitate Orders pursuant to § 54.1-2987.1;

4. Requirements for the composition, administration, duties, and responsibilities of the Advisory Board;

5. Requirements, developed in consultation with the Advisory Board, governing the training, certification, and recertification of emergency medical services personnel;

6. Requirements for written notification to the Advisory Board, the Office of Emergency Medical Services, and the Financial Assistance and Review Committee of the Board's action, and the reasons therefor, on requests and recommendations of the Advisory Board, the Office of Emergency Medical Services, or the Financial Assistance and Review Committee, no later than five business days after reaching its decision, specifying whether the Board has approved, denied, or not acted on such requests and recommendations;

7. Authorization procedures, developed in consultation with the Advisory Board, that allow the possession and administration of epinephrine or a medically accepted equivalent for emergency cases of anaphylactic shock by certain levels of certified emergency medical services personnel as authorized by § 54.1-3408 and authorization procedures that allow the possession and administration of oxygen with the authority of the local operational medical director and an emergency medical services agency that holds a valid license issued by the Commissioner;

8. A uniform definition of "response time" and requirements, developed in consultation with the Advisory Board, for each emergency medical services agency to measure response times starting from the time a call for emergency medical services is received until the time (i) appropriate emergency medical services personnel are responding and (ii) appropriate emergency medical services personnel arrive on the scene, and requirements for emergency medical services agencies to collect and report such data to the Director of the Office of Emergency Medical Services, who shall compile such information and make it available to the public, upon request;

9. Enforcement provisions, including, but not limited to, civil penalties that the Commissioner may assess against any emergency medical services agency or other entity found to be in violation of any of the provisions of this article or any regulation promulgated under this article. All amounts paid as civil penalties for violations of this article or regulations promulgated pursuant thereto shall be paid into the state treasury and shall be deposited in the emergency medical services special fund established pursuant to § 46.2-694, to be used only for emergency medical services purposes; and

10. Procedures for when emergency medical services agencies in medically underserved areas as defined by the Board may transport patients to 24-hour urgent care facilities or appropriate medical care facilities other than hospitals. The regulations shall include provisions for what constitutes a medically underserved area, cases appropriate for transferring a patient to a medical facility other than a hospital, and other information deemed relevant by the Board.

B. The Board shall classify emergency medical services agencies and emergency medical services vehicles by type of service rendered and shall specify the medical equipment, the supplies, the vehicle specifications, and the emergency medical services personnel required for each classification.

C. In formulating its regulations, the Board shall consider the current Minimal Equipment List for Ambulances adopted by the Committee on Trauma of the American College of Surgeons.

1996, c. 899; 1997, c. 248; 1998, cc. 803, 854; 2001, c. 466; 2003, c. 1020; 2005, c. 921; 2006, c. 194; 2015, cc. 502, 503; 2020, c. 930.

§ 32.1-111.4:1. State Emergency Medical Services Advisory Board; purpose; membership; duties; reimbursement of expenses; staff support.

A. There is hereby created in the executive branch the State Emergency Medical Services Advisory Board for the purpose of advising the Board concerning the administration of the statewide emergency medical services system and emergency medical services vehicles maintained and operated to provide transportation to persons requiring emergency medical treatment and for reviewing and making recommendations on the Statewide Emergency Medical Services Plan. The Advisory Board shall be composed of 28 members appointed by the Governor as follows: one representative each from the Virginia Municipal League, Virginia Association of Counties, Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association, and each of the 11 regional emergency medical services councils; one member each from the Medical Society of Virginia, Virginia Chapter of the American College of Emergency Physicians, Virginia Chapter of the American College of Surgeons, Virginia Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, Emergency Nurses Association or the Virginia Nurses' Association, Virginia State Firefighters Association, Virginia Fire Chiefs Association, Virginia Ambulance Association, Virginia Association of Governmental Emergency Medical Services Administrators, and Virginia Association of Public Safety Communications Officials; two representatives of the Virginia Association of Volunteer Rescue Squads, Inc.; one Virginia professional firefighter; and one consumer who shall not be involved in or affiliated with emergency medical services in any capacity. Each organization and group shall submit three nominees from among which the Governor may make appointments. Of the three nominees submitted by each of the regional emergency medical services councils, at least one nominee shall be a representative of providers of prehospital care. Any person appointed to the Advisory Board shall be a member of the organization that he represents. To ensure diversity in the organizations and groups represented on the Advisory Board, the Governor may request additional nominees from the applicable organizations and groups. However, the Governor shall not be bound to make any appointment from among any nominees recommended by such organizations and groups.

The members of the Advisory Board shall not be eligible to receive compensation; however, the Department shall provide funding for the reimbursement of expenses incurred by members of the Advisory Board in the performance of their duties.

B. Appointments shall be staggered as follows: nine members for a term of two years, nine members for a term of three years, and 10 members for a term of four years. Thereafter, appointments shall be for terms of three years, except an appointment to fill a vacancy, which shall be for the unexpired term. Appointments shall be in a manner to preserve insofar as possible the representation of the specified groups. No member shall serve more than two successive terms. No person representing any organization or group named in subsection A who has served as a member of the Advisory Board for two or more successive terms for any period or for six or more consecutive years shall be nominated for appointment or appointed to the Advisory Board unless at least three consecutive years have elapsed since the person has served on the Advisory Board.

The chairman shall be elected from the membership of the Advisory Board for a term of one year and shall be eligible for reelection. The Advisory Board shall meet at least four times annually at the call of the chairman or the Commissioner.

C. The Advisory Board shall:

1. Advise the Board on the administration of this article;

2. Review and make recommendations for the Statewide Emergency Medical Services Plan and any revisions thereto; and

3. Review, on a schedule as it may determine, reports on the status of all aspects of the statewide emergency medical services system, including the Financial Assistance and Review Committee, the Rescue Squad Assistance Fund, the regional emergency medical services councils, and the emergency medical services vehicles, submitted by the Office of Emergency Medical Services.

D. The Advisory Board shall establish an Advisory Board Executive Committee to assist in the work of the Advisory Board. The Advisory Board Executive Committee shall, in addition to those duties of the Advisory Board Executive Committee established by the Advisory Board, review the annual financial report of the Virginia Association of Volunteer Rescue Squads, as required by § 32.1-111.13.

E. The Office of Emergency Medical Services shall provide staff support to the Advisory Board.

2015, cc. 502, 503.

§ 32.1-111.4:2. Regional emergency medical services councils.

The Board shall designate regional emergency medical services councils that shall be authorized to receive and disburse public funds. Each such council shall be charged with the development and implementation of an efficient and effective regional emergency medical services delivery system.

The Board shall review those agencies that were the designated regional emergency medical services councils. The Board shall, in accordance with the standards established in its regulations, review and may renew or deny applications for such designations every three years. In its discretion, the Board may establish conditions for renewal of such designations or may solicit applications for designation as a regional emergency medical services council.

Each regional emergency medical services council shall include, if available, representatives of the participating local governments, fire protection agencies, law-enforcement agencies, emergency medical services agencies, hospitals, licensed practicing physicians, emergency care nurses, mental health professionals, emergency medical services personnel, and other appropriate allied health professionals.

Each regional emergency medical services council shall adopt and revise as necessary a regional emergency medical services plan in cooperation with the Board.

The designated regional emergency services councils shall be required to match state funds with local funds obtained from private or public sources in the proportion specified in the regulations of the Board. Moneys received directly or indirectly from the Commonwealth shall not be used as matching funds. A local governing body may choose to appropriate funds for the purpose of providing matching grant funds for any designated regional emergency medical services council. However, this section shall not be construed to place any obligation on any local governing body to appropriate funds to any such council.

The Board shall promulgate, in cooperation with the Advisory Board, regulations to implement this section, which shall include, but not be limited to, requirements to ensure accountability for public funds, criteria for matching funds, and performance standards.

2015, cc. 502, 503.

§ 32.1-111.4:3. Provision of emergency medical services.

A. Any county, city, or town may provide emergency medical services to its citizens by (i) establishing an emergency medical services agency as a department of government pursuant to § 32.1-111.4:6 or (ii) contracting with or providing for the provision of emergency medical services by an emergency medical services agency established pursuant to § 32.1-111.4:7.

B. In cases in which a county, city, or town elects to contract with or provide for emergency medical services by an emergency medical services agency pursuant to clause (ii) of subsection A, the emergency medical services agency shall be deemed to be an instrumentality of the county, city, or town and, as such, exempt from suit for damages done incident to the provision of emergency medical services therein unless the emergency medical services agency is a private, for-profit emergency medical services agency.

2015, cc. 502, 503.

§ 32.1-111.4:4. Emergency medical services personnel and equipment may in emergencies go or be sent beyond territorial limits.

Whenever the necessity arises during any actual or potential emergency resulting from fire, personal injury, or other public disaster, the emergency medical services personnel of any county, city, or town may, together with all necessary equipment, lawfully go or be sent beyond the territorial limits of such county, city, or town to any point within or without the Commonwealth to assist in meeting such emergency.

In such event, the acts performed by such fire or emergency medical services personnel and the expenditures made for such purpose by such county, city, or town shall be deemed conclusively to be for a public and governmental purpose, and all of the immunities from liability enjoyed by a county, city, or town when acting through its emergency medical services personnel for a public or governmental purpose within its territorial limits shall be enjoyed by it to the same extent when such county, city, or town is so acting, under this section or under other lawful authority, beyond its territorial limits.

Emergency medical services personnel of any county, city, or town, when acting hereunder or under other lawful authority beyond the territorial limits of such county, city, or town, shall have all the immunities from liability and exemptions from laws, ordinances, and regulations and shall have all of the pension, relief, disability, workers' compensation, and other benefits enjoyed by them while performing their respective duties.

2015, cc. 502, 503.

§ 32.1-111.4:5. Contracts of counties, cities, and towns to furnish emergency medical services; public liability insurance to cover claims arising out of mutual aid agreements.

A. The governing body of any city or town may, in its discretion, authorize or require the emergency medical services agency thereof to render aid in cases of actual or potential medical emergencies occurring beyond its limits, may prescribe the conditions under which such aid may be rendered, and may enter into contracts with nearby, adjacent, or adjoining counties and cities, within or without the Commonwealth, including the District of Columbia, for rendering aid in the provision of emergency medical services in such counties, cities, or any district, or sanitary district thereof or in the District of Columbia, on such terms as may be agreed upon by such governing body and the governing body of the District of Columbia or of such counties and cities, or districts, including sanitary districts, provided that each of the parties to such agreement may contract as follows: (i) waive any and all claims against all the other parties thereto that may arise out of their activities outside their respective jurisdictions under such agreement; (ii) indemnify and save harmless the other parties to such agreement from all claims by third parties for property damage or personal injury that may arise out of the activities of the other parties to such agreement outside their respective jurisdictions under such agreement. When the emergency medical services agency of any city or town is operating under such permission or contracts on any call beyond the corporate limits of the city or town, it shall be deemed to be operating in a governmental capacity, and subject only to such liability for injuries as it would be if it were operating within the corporate limits of such city or town.

B. Any county, city, or town may contract with the federal or state government to provide emergency medical services to federal or state property located within or without the boundaries of the county, city, or town. In the absence of a written contract, any acts performed and all expenditures made by a county, city, or town in providing emergency medical services to property owned by the federal government shall be deemed conclusively to be for a public and governmental purpose, and all of the immunities from liability enjoyed by a county, city, or town when acting through its emergency medical services personnel for a public or governmental purpose within or without its territorial limits shall be enjoyed by it to the same extent when such county, city, or town is so acting, under the provisions of this section or under other lawful authority.

Emergency medical services personnel of any county, city, or town when acting hereunder, or under other lawful authority, shall have all of the immunities from liability and exemptions from laws, ordinances, and regulations and shall have all of the pension, relief, disability, workers' compensation, and other benefits enjoyed by them while performing their respective duties. The amount of compensation to the county, city, or town pursuant to the contract shall be a matter within the sole discretion of the governing body of the county, city, or town.

C. The governing body of any county adjoining or near any county, city, or town, within or without the Commonwealth, including the District of Columbia, having and maintaining emergency medical services equipment may contract with any such county, city, or town, upon such terms as such governing body may deem proper, for responding to medical emergencies in such county, city, or town and may prescribe the terms and conditions upon which such services may be provided on privately owned property in the county, city, or town and may raise funds with which to pay for such services, by levying and collecting annually, at such rates as such governing body may deem sufficient, a special tax upon the property in such county, or in any magisterial district thereof, subject to local taxation.

D. The governing body of any county, city, or town in the Commonwealth is authorized to procure or extend the necessary public liability insurance to cover claims arising out of mutual aid agreements executed with other counties, cities, or towns outside the Commonwealth, including the District of Columbia.

2015, cc. 502, 503.

§ 32.1-111.4:6. Establishment of an emergency medical services agency as a department of local government.

A. The governing body of any county, city, or town may establish an emergency medical services agency as a department of government and may designate it by any name consistent with the names of its other governmental units. The head of such emergency medical services agency shall be known as "the emergency medical services agency chief" or "EMS chief." As many other officers and employees may be employed in such emergency medical services agency as the governing body may approve.

B. An emergency medical services agency established pursuant to subsection A may consist of government-employed emergency medical services personnel, volunteer emergency medical services personnel, or both. If an emergency medical services agency established pursuant to this section includes volunteer emergency medical services personnel, such volunteer emergency medical services agency shall be deemed an instrumentality of the county, city, or town and, as such, exempt from suit for damages done incident to providing emergency medical services to the county, city, or town.

C. The governing body of any county, city, or town may empower an emergency medical services agency established therein pursuant to this section to make bylaws to promote its objects consistent with the laws of the Commonwealth and ordinances of the county, city, or town and may provide for the compensation of the officers and employees of such agency.

D. All check stubs or time cards purporting to be a record of time spent on the job by emergency medical services personnel employed by an emergency medical services agency established pursuant to this section shall record all hours of employment, regardless of how spent. All check stubs or pay records purporting to show the hourly compensation of emergency medical services personnel employed by an emergency medical services agency established pursuant to this section shall show the actual hourly wage to be paid. Nothing in this section shall require the showing of such information on check stubs, time cards, or pay records; however, if such information is shown, the information shall be in compliance with this section.

2015, cc. 502, 503.

§ 32.1-111.4:7. Establishment of an emergency medical services agency as a nongovernmental entity; dissolution.

A. Any number of persons wishing to provide emergency medical services may establish an emergency medical services agency by (i) recording a writing stating the formation of such company, with the names of the members thereof thereto subscribed in the court of the county or city wherein such agency shall be located, (ii) complying with such local ordinances as may exist related to establishment of an emergency medical services agency, and (iii) obtaining a valid emergency medical services agency license from the Office of Emergency Medical Services together with such emergency medical services vehicle permits from the Office of Emergency Medical Services as the Office of Emergency Medical Services may require. The principal officer of such emergency medical services agency shall be known as "the emergency medical services agency chief" or "EMS chief."

B. The members of an emergency medical services agency established pursuant to subsection A may make regulations for effecting its objects consistent with the laws of the Commonwealth; the ordinances of the county, city, or town; and the bylaws of the emergency medical services agency thereof.

C. In every county, city, or town in which an emergency medical services agency is established pursuant to this section, there shall be appointed, at such time and in such manner as the governing body of such county, city, or town in which the emergency medical services agency is located may prescribe, an emergency medical services agency chief and as many other officers of the emergency medical services agency as such governing body may direct.

D. An emergency medical services agency established pursuant to this section may be dissolved when the local governing body of the county, city, or town in which the emergency medical services agency is located determines that the emergency medical services agency has failed, for three months successively, to have or keep in good and serviceable condition emergency medical services vehicles and equipment and other proper implements, or when the governing body of the county, city, or town for any reason deems it advisable.

E. Upon dissolution of an emergency medical services agency established pursuant to this section, any property that was in the possession of such emergency medical services agency and that was purchased using public funds shall be offered to a city or county served by the emergency medical services agency to be used for the public good.

2015, cc. 502, 503; 2020, c. 946.

§ 32.1-111.4:8. Ordinances as to emergency medical services agencies.

The governing body of any county, city, or town in which an emergency medical services agency is established pursuant to § 32.1-111.4:6 or 32.1-111.4:7 may make such ordinances in relation to the powers and duties of emergency medical services agencies and emergency medical services agency chiefs or other officers of such emergency medical services agencies as it may deem proper.

2015, cc. 502, 503.

§ 32.1-111.5. Certification and recertification of emergency medical services providers; appeals process.

A. The Board shall prescribe by regulation the qualifications required for certification of emergency medical services providers, including those qualifications necessary for authorization to follow Do Not Resuscitate Orders pursuant to § 54.1-2987.1. Such regulations shall include criteria for determining whether an applicant's relevant practical experience and didactic and clinical components of education and training completed during his service as a member of any branch of the armed forces of the United States may be accepted by the Commissioner as evidence of satisfaction of the requirements for certification.

B. Each person desiring certification as an emergency medical services provider shall apply to the Commissioner upon a form prescribed by the Board. Upon receipt of such application, the Commissioner shall cause the applicant to be examined or otherwise determined to be qualified for certification. When determining whether an applicant is qualified for certification, the Commissioner shall consider and may accept relevant practical experience and didactic and clinical components of education and training completed by an applicant during his service as a member of any branch of the armed forces of the United States as evidence of satisfaction of the requirements for certification. If the Commissioner determines that the applicant meets the requirements for certification as an emergency medical services provider, he shall issue a certificate to the applicant. An emergency medical services provider certificate so issued shall be valid for a period required by law or prescribed by the Board. Any certificate so issued may be suspended at any time that the Commissioner determines that the holder no longer meets the qualifications prescribed for such emergency medical services provider. The Commissioner may temporarily suspend any certificate without notice, pending a hearing or informal fact-finding conference, if the Commissioner finds that there is a substantial danger to public health or safety. When the Commissioner has temporarily suspended a certificate pending a hearing, the Commissioner shall seek an expedited hearing in accordance with the Administrative Process Act (§ 2.2-4000 et seq.).

C. The Board shall prescribe by regulation procedures and the qualifications required for the recertification of emergency medical services providers.

D. The Commissioner may issue a temporary certificate when he finds that it is in the public interest. A temporary certificate shall be valid for a period not exceeding 90 days.

E. The Board shall require each person who, on or after July 1, 2013, applies to be a volunteer with or employee of an emergency medical services agency to submit fingerprints and provide personal descriptive information to be forwarded along with his fingerprints through the Central Criminal Records Exchange to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, for the purpose of obtaining his criminal history record information. The Central Criminal Records Exchange shall forward the results of the state and national records search to the Commissioner or his designee, who shall be a governmental entity. If an applicant is denied employment or service as a volunteer because of information appearing on his criminal history record and the applicant disputes the information upon which the denial was based, the Central Criminal Records Exchange shall, upon written request, furnish to the applicant the procedures for obtaining a copy of the criminal history record from the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

F. Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection E, an emergency medical services agency located in a locality having a local ordinance adopted in accordance with §§ 15.2-1503.1 and 19.2-389 shall require an applicant for employment or to serve as a volunteer to submit fingerprints and provide personal descriptive information to be provided directly to the Central Criminal Records Exchange to be forwarded to the Federal Bureau of Investigation for the purpose of obtaining criminal history records information for the applicant. The Central Criminal Records Exchange shall, upon receipt of an applicant's records or notification that no records exists, forward the results of the state and national records search to the county, city or town manager or chief law-enforcement officer for the locality in which the agency is located, or his designee, who shall be associated with a governmental entity. Upon receipt of the results of the state and national criminal history records search, the county, city or town manager or chief law-enforcement officer for the locality, or his designee, shall notify the Office of Emergency Medical Services regarding the applicant's eligibility for employment or to serve as a volunteer. Information provided to the Office of Emergency Medical Services shall be limited to notification as to whether the applicant is eligible for employment or to serve as a volunteer in accordance with requirements related to disqualifying offenses set forth in regulations of the Board and shall not include information regarding whether the applicant has been found ineligible for employment or to serve as a volunteer due to additional exclusionary criteria established by the locality. Whenever fingerprints are submitted to both authorities and it is deemed feasible and practical by the Central Criminal Records Exchange it shall forward the results of the fingerprint based state and national records search to the county, city or town manager or chief law enforcement officer for the locality in which the agency is located, or his designee, who shall be associated with a governmental entity, and to the Office of Emergency Medical Services.

1996, c. 899; 1997, c. 248; 1998, cc. 803, 854; 2008, c. 660; 2011, c. 497; 2013, cc. 72, 176, 331, 407; 2015, cc. 362, 502, 503.

§ 32.1-111.5:1. Emergency medical services personnel mental health awareness training.

A. Each emergency medical services agency shall develop curricula for mental health awareness training for its personnel, which shall include training regarding the following:

1. Understanding signs and symptoms of cumulative stress, depression, anxiety, exposure to acute and chronic trauma, compulsive behaviors, and addiction;

2. Combating and overcoming stigmas;

3. Responding appropriately to aggressive behaviors such as domestic violence and harassment; and

4. Accessing available mental health treatment and resources.

B. Any emergency medical services agency may develop the mental health awareness training curricula in conjunction with other emergency medical services agencies or emergency medical services personnel stakeholder groups or may use any training program, developed by any entity, that satisfies the criteria set forth in subsection A.

C. Emergency medical services personnel who receive mental health awareness training in accordance with this section shall receive appropriate continuing education credits from the Office of Emergency Medical Services.

2018, cc. 456, 658.

§ 32.1-111.6. Emergency medical services agency license; emergency medical services vehicle permits.

A. No person shall operate, conduct, maintain, or profess to be an emergency medical services agency without a valid license issued by the Commissioner for such emergency medical services agency and a valid permit for each emergency medical services vehicle used by such emergency medical services agency.

B. The Commissioner shall issue an original or renewal license for an emergency medical services agency or renewal permit for an emergency medical services vehicle that meets all requirements set forth in this article and in the regulations of the Board, upon application, on forms and according to procedures established by the Board. Licenses and permits shall be valid for a period specified by the Board, not to exceed two years.

C. The Commissioner may issue (i) temporary licenses for emergency medical services agencies not meeting required standards, valid for a period not to exceed 60 days, and (ii) temporary permits for emergency medical services vehicles not meeting required standards, valid for a period of 90 days from the end of the month of issue, when the public interest will be served thereby.

D. The issuance of a license or permit in accordance with this section shall not be construed to authorize any emergency medical services agency to operate any emergency medical services vehicle without a franchise, license, or permit in any county or municipality that has enacted an ordinance pursuant to § 32.1-111.14 making it unlawful to do so.

E. The word "ambulance" shall not appear on any vehicle, vessel, or aircraft that does not hold a valid permit as an emergency medical services vehicle.

1996, c. 899; 2015, cc. 502, 503; 2018, c. 279.

§ 32.1-111.6:1. Commissioner to issue certain emergency medical services licenses or permits.

The Commissioner of Health shall issue licenses to emergency medical services agencies and permits for emergency medical services vehicles as needed to ensure compliance with federal regulations relating to reimbursement of emergency medical services vehicle transportation services pursuant to Medicare and Medicaid.

2004, c. 139; 2015, cc. 502, 503.

§ 32.1-111.7. Inspections.

Each emergency medical services agency for which a license has been issued and emergency medical services vehicle for which a permit has been issued shall be inspected as often as the Commissioner deems necessary and a record thereof shall be maintained. However, no emergency medical services agency or vehicle shall receive additional inspections until every other emergency medical services agency or vehicle in the Commonwealth has been inspected, unless the additional inspections are (i) necessary to follow up on a preoperational inspection or one or more violations, (ii) required by a uniformly applied risk-based schedule established by the Department, (iii) necessary to investigate a complaint regarding the emergency medical services agency or vehicle, or (iv) otherwise deemed necessary by the Commissioner or his designee to protect the health and safety of the public. Each such emergency medical services agency or emergency medical services vehicle, its medical supplies and equipment, and the records of its maintenance and operation shall be available at all reasonable times for inspection.

1996, c. 899; 2015, cc. 502, 503; 2017, c. 465.

§ 32.1-111.8. Revocation and suspension of licenses and permits.

Whenever an emergency medical services agency or emergency medical services vehicle owned or operated by an emergency medical services agency is in violation of any provision of this article or any applicable regulation, the Commissioner shall have power to revoke or suspend such emergency medical services agency's license and the permits of all emergency medical services vehicles owned or operated by the emergency medical services agency. The Commissioner may temporarily suspend any license for an emergency medical services agency or permit for an emergency medical services vehicle without notice, pending a hearing or informal fact-finding conference, if the Commissioner finds that there is a substantial danger to public health or safety. When the Commissioner has temporarily suspended a license or permit pending a hearing, the Commissioner shall seek an expedited hearing in accordance with the Administrative Process Act (§ 2.2-4000 et seq.).

1996, c. 899; 2008, c. 660; 2015, cc. 502, 503.

§ 32.1-111.9. Applications for variances or exemptions.

A. Prior to the submission of (i) an application for a variance to the Commissioner or (ii) an application for an exemption from any regulations promulgated pursuant to this chapter to the Board by an emergency medical services agency that holds a valid license issued by the Commissioner, the application shall be reviewed by the governing body or chief administrative officer of the jurisdiction in which the principal office of the emergency medical services agency is located. The recommendation of the governing body or chief administrative officer of the jurisdiction regarding the variance or exemption shall be submitted with the application, and the Commissioner or Board, whichever is appropriate, shall consider that recommendation for the purposes of granting or denying the variance or exemption.

B. An individual who meets the definition of "emergency medical services personnel" in § 32.1-111.1 who is certified as an emergency medical services provider or is a candidate for certification by the Office of Emergency Medical Services shall not be required to submit an application for a variance or exemption to the local governing body or chief administrative officer of the jurisdiction for review, but shall submit the application for a variance or exemption to the Operational Medical Director and the emergency medical services agency chief with which he is affiliated, and shall include the recommendations of such Operational Medical Director and the emergency medical services agency chief together with the application for a variance or exemption. The recommendation of the Operational Medical Director and the emergency medical services agency chief with which the emergency medical services personnel is affiliated regarding the variance or exemption shall be submitted with the application and the Commissioner or Board, whichever is appropriate, shall consider that recommendation for the purposes of granting or denying the variance or exemption.

C. An emergency medical services provider who is not affiliated with an emergency medical services agency shall submit an application for a variance or exemption to the Commissioner or Board, whichever is appropriate, and the Commissioner or Board, whichever is appropriate, shall consider the application for the purposes of granting or denying the variance or exemption. The Commissioner or Board, whichever is appropriate, may require an emergency medical services provider who is not affiliated with an emergency medical services agency to submit additional case-specific endorsements or supporting documentation as part of an application for a variance or exemption.

D. The applicant shall have the right to appeal any denial by the Commissioner or Board of an application for a variance or exemption pursuant to the Administrative Process Act (§ 2.2-4000 et seq.).

1996, c. 899; 2008, c. 61; 2011, c. 90; 2015, cc. 502, 503.

§ 32.1-111.9:1. Out-of-state emergency medical services providers.

A. Notwithstanding the provisions of this article or any other law or regulation to the contrary, an emergency medical services provider who holds a valid license or certification in a state that borders the Commonwealth may provide emergency medical services in the Commonwealth if (i) such services are provided at a widely attended event open to the public; (ii) due to the expected number of attendees, the anticipated need for emergency medical services at the event is beyond the capacity of local emergency medical services providers; (iii) the organizers of the event notify the Commissioner at least 10 business days prior to the event that out-of-state emergency medical services providers will be onsite at the event; and (iv) the out-of-state medical services providers provide to the Commissioner relevant licensure or certification information and any other information deemed necessary by the Commissioner.

B. The provisions of this section shall not be construed to supersede or affect the provisions of Chapter 18 (§ 32.1-371) or any other interstate agreement regarding emergency medical services providers. Any out-of-state emergency medical services provider who holds a license or certification in a state that has entered into an interstate compact of which the Commonwealth is a member or any other interstate agreement with the Commonwealth regarding emergency medical services providers shall be governed by the provisions of such compact or agreement.

2018, c. 196.

§ 32.1-111.10. Repealed.

Repealed by Acts 2015, cc. 502 and 503, cl. 2.

§ 32.1-111.12. Virginia Rescue Squads Assistance Fund; disbursements.

A. For the purpose of providing financial assistance to emergency medical services organizations in the Commonwealth, of providing the requisite training for emergency medical services personnel, and of purchasing equipment needed by such organizations, there is hereby created in the Department of the Treasury a special nonreverting fund that shall be known as the Virginia Rescue Squads Assistance Fund. The Fund shall be established on the books of the Comptroller, and any moneys remaining in such Fund at the end of each fiscal year shall not revert to the general fund but shall remain in the Fund. Interest earned on such moneys shall remain in the Fund and be credited to it. The Fund shall consist of any moneys appropriated for this purpose by the General Assembly and any other moneys received for such purpose by the Board. On and after July 1, 1996, any such moneys unexpended at the end of a fiscal biennium shall remain in the Fund and shall not revert to the general fund.

B. In accordance with regulations of the Board, the Commissioner shall disburse and expend the moneys in the Virginia Rescue Squads Assistance Fund. No moneys shall be disbursed directly to any emergency medical services organization unless such organization operates on a nonprofit basis exclusively for the benefit of the general public.

1996, c. 899; 2015, cc. 502, 503.

§ 32.1-111.12:01. Financial Assistance and Review Committee; appointment; terms; duties.

A. For the purposes of administering the Virginia Rescue Squads Assistance Fund as provided in § 32.1-111.12, there is hereby established the Financial Assistance and Review Committee. The Committee shall be composed of six members who shall be representatives of the regions encompassed by the emergency medical services councils and appointed by the State Emergency Medical Services Advisory Board. To ensure that each regional emergency medical services council is provided an opportunity to serve on the Committee, the Board of Health shall promulgate by regulation, after receiving the Advisory Board's recommendation, a cycle which provides for rotating geographic representation among the councils.

B. Members serving on the Financial Assistance and Review Committee on January 1, 1996, shall complete their current terms of office. Thereafter, appointments shall be made for terms of three years or the unexpired portions thereof in a manner to preserve, insofar as possible, the representation of the emergency medical services councils. No member may serve more than two successive terms. The chairman shall be elected from the membership of the Committee for a term of one year and shall be eligible for reelection. The Committee shall meet at least four times annually at the call of the chairman or the Commissioner.

C. The Financial Assistance and Review Committee shall:

1. Administer the Rescue Squads Assistance Fund in accordance with the rules and regulations of the State Board of Health as shall be established for the Fund;

2. Review the Rescue Squads Assistance Fund grant applications from eligible emergency medical services agencies and make recommendations on the funding of such grant applications to the Commissioner of Health; and

3. Report biannually, after each funding cycle, the number of grant applications received, the total costs of grant applications funded, the number of grant applications denied funding, the total costs of grant applications denied funding, and the nature of the denied requests and the reasons for denying funding, to the State Emergency Medical Services Advisory Board and the Commissioner.

1996, c. 998.

§ 32.1-111.13. Annual financial reports.

The Virginia Association of Volunteer Rescue Squads shall submit an annual financial report on the use of funds received from the special emergency medical services fund to the Advisory Board Executive Committee on such forms and providing such information as may be required by the Advisory Board Executive Committee for such purpose.

1996, c. 899; 2013, c. 517; 2015, cc. 502, 503.

§ 32.1-111.14. Powers of governing bodies of counties, cities, and towns.

A. Upon finding as fact, after notice and public hearing, that exercise of the powers enumerated below is necessary to assure the provision of adequate and continuing emergency medical services and to preserve, protect and promote the public health, safety and general welfare, the governing body of any county or city is empowered to:

1. Enact an ordinance making it unlawful to operate any emergency medical services vehicle or class thereof established by the Board in such county or city without having been granted a franchise, license or permit to do so;

2. Grant franchises, licenses or permits to emergency medical services agencies based within or outside the county or city; however, any emergency medical services agency in operation in any county or city on June 28, 1968, that continues to operate as such, up to and including the effective date of any ordinance adopted pursuant to this section, and that submits to the governing body of the county or city satisfactory evidence of such continuing operation, shall be granted a franchise, license or permit by such governing body to serve at least that part of the county or city in which the agency has continuously operated if all other requirements of this article are met;

3. Limit the number of emergency medical services vehicles to be operated within the county or city and by any emergency medical services agency;

4. Determine and prescribe areas of franchised, licensed or permitted service within the county or city;

5. Fix and change from time to time reasonable charges for franchised, licensed or permitted services;

6. Set minimum limits of liability insurance coverage for emergency medical services vehicles;

7. Contract with franchised, licensed or permitted emergency medical services agencies for emergency medical services vehicle transportation services to be rendered upon call of a county or municipal agency or department and for transportation of bona fide indigents or persons certified by the local board of social services to be public assistance or social services recipients; and

8. Establish other necessary regulations consistent with statutes or regulations of the Board relating to operation of emergency medical services vehicles.

B. In addition to the powers set forth above, the governing body of any county or city is authorized to provide, or cause to be provided, services of emergency medical services vehicles; to own, operate and maintain emergency medical services vehicles; to make reasonable charges for use of emergency medical services vehicles, including charging insurers for emergency medical services vehicle transportation services as authorized by § 38.2-3407.9; and to contract with any emergency medical services agency for the services of its emergency medical services vehicles.

C. Any incorporated town may exercise, within its corporate limits only, all those powers enumerated in subsections A and B either upon the request of a town to the governing body of the county wherein the town lies and upon the adoption by the county governing body of a resolution permitting such exercise, or after 180 days' written notice to the governing body of the county if the county is not exercising such powers at the end of such 180-day period.

D. No county ordinance enacted, or other county action taken, pursuant to powers granted herein shall be effective within an incorporated town in such county which is at the time exercising such powers until 180 days after written notice to the governing body of the town.

E. Nothing herein shall be construed to authorize any county to regulate in any manner emergency medical services vehicles owned and operated by a town or to authorize any town to regulate in any manner emergency medical services vehicles owned and operated by a county.

F. Emergency medical services vehicles operated by a county, city, or town under authority of this section shall be subject to the provisions of this article and to the regulations of the Board.

1996, c. 899; 2002, c. 747; 2005, c. 182; 2015, cc. 502, 503.

§ 32.1-111.14:1. Repealed.

Repealed by Acts 2003, c. 978, cl. 2, effective April 2, 2003.

§ 32.1-111.14:2. Establishment of emergency medical services zones or districts; tax levies.

The governing bodies of the several counties or cities of the Commonwealth may create and establish, by designation on a map of the county or city showing current, official parcel boundaries, or by any other description that is legally sufficient for the conveyance of property or the creation of parcels, emergency medical services zones or districts in such counties or cities within which may be located and established one or more emergency medical services agencies for providing emergency medical services within such zones or districts.

In the event of the creation of such zones or districts in any county or city, the county or city governing body may acquire, in the name of the county or city, real or personal property to be devoted to the uses aforesaid and shall prescribe rules and regulations for the proper management, control, and conduct thereof. Such governing body shall also have authority to contract with, or secure the services of, any individual corporation, organization, or municipal corporation or any volunteer emergency medical services agency or emergency medical services provider for such emergency medical services as may be required.

To raise funds for the purposes aforesaid, the governing body of any county or city in which such zones or districts are established may levy annually a tax on the assessed value of all property, real and personal, within such zones or districts, subject to local taxation, which tax shall be extended and collected as other county or city taxes are extended and collected. However, any property located in Augusta County that has qualified for an agricultural or forestal use-value assessment pursuant to Article 4 (§ 58.1-3229 et seq.) of Chapter 32 of Title 58.1 may not be included within such a zone or district and may not be subject to such tax. In any county or city having a population between 25,000 and 25,500, the maximum rate of tax under this section shall be $0.30 on $100 of assessed value.

The amount realized from such levy shall be kept separate from all other moneys of the county or city and shall be applied to no other purpose than the maintenance and operation of the emergency medical services agencies established pursuant to this section.

2015, cc. 502, 503.

§ 32.1-111.14:3. Exclusion of certain areas from emergency medical services zones or districts and exemption of such areas from certain levies.

The governing body of any county or city having an emergency medical services zone or district created under the provisions of § 32.1-111.14:2, prior to June 1 of any calendar year, may alter the boundaries of such emergency medical services zone or district for the purpose of excluding an area of any such emergency medical services zone or district that is also within the boundaries of a sanitary district providing emergency medical services or under contract to a sanitary district providing emergency medical services.

Any area excluded from an emergency medical services zone or district as provided by this section shall not be subject to the levy set forth in § 32.1-111.14:2 for the year such area is excluded.

2015, cc. 502, 503.

§ 32.1-111.14:4. Advances by county or city to emergency medical services zone or district; reimbursement; validation of prior advances.

A. The governing body of any county or city in the Commonwealth may advance funds, not otherwise specifically allocated or obligated, from the general fund to an emergency medical services zone or district to assist the emergency medical services zone or district to exercise the powers set forth in § 32.1-111.14:2.

B. Notwithstanding the provisions of any other law, the governing body shall direct the treasurer to reimburse the general fund of the county or city from the proceeds of any funds to the credit of the emergency medical services zone or district, not otherwise specifically allocated or obligated, to the extent that the county or city has made advances to the emergency medical services zone or district from such general fund to assist the emergency medical services zone or district to exercise the powers set forth in § 32.1-111.14:2.

C. The advancement of any funds heretofore advanced from the general fund by the governing body of any county or city in the Commonwealth for the benefit of an emergency medical services zone or district in exercising the lawful powers of such emergency medical services zone or district is hereby validated and confirmed.

2015, cc. 502, 503.

§ 32.1-111.14:5. Authority of emergency medical services agency incident commander when operating at an emergency incident; penalty for refusal to obey orders.

Except as provided in § 32.1-111.14:6, while any emergency medical services personnel are in the process of operating at an emergency incident where there is imminent danger and when emergency medical services personnel are returning to the emergency medical services agency, the incident commander of such emergency medical services agency at that time shall have the authority to (i) maintain order at such emergency incident or its vicinity, (ii) direct the actions of emergency medical services personnel at the incident, (iii) notwithstanding the provisions of §§ 46.2-888 through 46.2-891, keep bystanders or other persons at a safe distance from the incident and emergency equipment, (iv) facilitate the speedy movement and operation of emergency equipment and emergency medical services personnel, and (v) until the arrival of a police officer, direct and control traffic in person or by deputy and facilitate the movement of traffic. The emergency medical services agency incident commander shall display his emergency medical services personnel's badge or other proper means of identification. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, this authority shall extend to the activation of traffic control signals designed to facilitate the safe egress and ingress of emergency equipment at an emergency medical services agency. Any person refusing to obey the orders of the emergency medical services incident commander at that time is guilty of a Class 4 misdemeanor. The authority granted under the provisions of this section may not be exercised to inhibit or obstruct members of law-enforcement agencies or fire departments or fire companies from performing their normal duties when operating at such emergency incident, nor to conflict with or diminish the lawful authority, duties, and responsibilities of forest wardens, including but not limited to the provisions of Chapter 11 (§ 10.1-1100 et seq.) of Title 10.1. Personnel from the news media, such as the press, radio, and television, when gathering the news may enter at their own risk into the incident area only when the incident commander has deemed the area safe and only into those areas of the incident that do not, in the opinion of the incident commander, interfere with the emergency medical services personnel dealing with such emergencies, in which case the emergency medical services incident commander may order such person from the scene of the emergency incident.

2015, cc. 502, 503.

§ 32.1-111.14:6. Supervision and control of joint services of emergency medical services agencies.

Whenever two or more emergency medical services agencies are called to provide joint services in any district or political subdivision, the incident commander of the first agency to arrive shall have general supervision and control of all such participating agencies until an officer of such district or political subdivision who is otherwise authorized by law to do so shall assume such general supervision and control.

2015, cc. 502, 503.

§ 32.1-111.14:7. Penalty for disobeying emergency medical services agency chief or other officer in command.

If any person at a fire or medical emergency refuses or neglects to obey any order duly given by the individual having command of the incident in accordance with § 32.1-111.14:5 or 32.1-111.14:6, he shall, upon conviction of such offense, be fined not to exceed $100.

2015, cc. 502, 503.

§ 32.1-111.14:8. Purchase, maintenance, etc., of equipment; donated equipment.

A. The governing body of every county, city, or town shall have power to provide for the purchase, operation, staffing, and maintenance of suitable equipment for providing emergency medical services in or upon the property of the county, city, or town and of its inhabitants and to prescribe the terms and conditions upon which the same will be used for providing emergency medical services in or upon privately owned property.

B. Any emergency medical services agency donating equipment for providing emergency medical services to any other emergency medical services agency, which equipment met existing engineering and safety standards at the time of its purchase by the donating entity, shall be immune from civil liability unless the donating entity acted with gross negligence or willful misconduct.

C. A safety inspection must be completed by a certified emergency medical services vehicle service center and a report designating any deficiencies shall be provided prior to the change in ownership of the donated emergency medical services vehicle.

2015, cc. 502, 503.

§ 32.1-111.14:9. Entry of buildings and premises adjoining during a medical emergency.

A. The incident commander at a medical emergency, and his subordinates, upon his order or direction, shall have the right at any time of the day or night to enter any building or upon any premises where a medical emergency is in progress, or any building or premises adjacent thereto for the purpose of providing emergency medical services.

B. The incident commander at a medical emergency, and his subordinates upon his order or direction, shall have the right to remain at the scene of a medical emergency, including remaining in any building or house, for purposes of protecting the property and preventing the public from entry into the premises, until such reasonable time as the owner may resume responsibility for the protection of the property.

2015, cc. 502, 503.

§ 32.1-111.15. Statewide poison control system established.

From such funds as may be appropriated for this purpose and from such gifts, donations, grants, bequests, and other funds as may be received, the Board shall establish a statewide poison control system. The funding mechanism for the system and its services shall be as provided in the appropriation act.

The Board shall establish poison control centers that meet national certification standards promulgated by the American Association of Poison Control Centers. If such national certification standards are eliminated, the Board shall establish minimum standards for the designation and operation of these poison control centers. The poison control centers established by the Board shall report to the Board by October 1 of each year regarding program operations; expenditures; revenues, including in-kind contributions; financial status; future needs; and summaries of human poison exposure cases for the most recent calendar year.

The statewide system shall provide, at a minimum, (i) consultation, by free, 24-hour emergency telephone or other means of communication, to the public and to health care providers regarding the ingestion or application of substances, including determinations of emergency treatment, coordination of referrals to emergency treatment facilities, and provision of appropriate information to the staffs of such facilities; (ii) prevention education and information about poison control services; (iii) training for health care providers in toxicology and medical management of poison exposure cases; and (iv) poison control surveillance through the collection and analysis of data from reported poison exposures to identify poisoning hazards, prevent poisonings, and improve treatment of poisoned patients.

1996, c. 899; 2015, cc. 502, 503.

§ 32.1-111.15:1. Department responsible for stroke care quality improvement; sharing of data and information.

A. The Department shall be responsible for stroke care quality improvement initiatives in the Commonwealth. Such initiatives shall include:

1. Implementing systems to collect data and information about stroke care in the Commonwealth in accordance with subsection B;

2. Facilitating information and data sharing and collaboration among hospitals and health care providers to improve the quality of stroke care in the Commonwealth;

3. Requiring the application of evidence-based treatment guidelines for transitioning patients to community-based follow-up care following acute treatment for stroke; and

4. Establishing a process for continuous quality improvement for the delivery of stroke care by the statewide system for stroke response and treatment in accordance with subsection C.

B. The Department shall implement systems to collect data and information related to stroke care (i) that are nationally recognized data set platforms with confidentiality standards approved by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services or consistent with the Get With The Guidelines-Stroke registry platform from hospitals designated as comprehensive stroke centers, primary stroke centers, or acute stroke-ready hospitals and emergency medical services agencies in the Commonwealth and (ii) from every primary stroke center with supplementary levels of stroke care distinction in the Commonwealth. Every hospital designated as a comprehensive stroke center, primary stroke center, or primary stroke center with supplementary levels of stroke care distinction shall report data and information described in clauses (i) and (ii) to the Department. The Department shall take steps to encourage hospitals designated as acute stroke-ready hospitals and emergency medical services agencies to report data and information described in clause (i) to the Department.

C. The Department shall develop a process for continuous quality improvement for the delivery of stroke care provided by the statewide system for stroke response and treatment, which shall include:

1. Collection and analysis of data related to stroke care in the Commonwealth;

2. Identification of potential interventions to improve stroke care in specific geographic areas of the Commonwealth; and

3. Development of recommendations for improvement of stroke care throughout the Commonwealth.

D. The Department shall make information contained in the systems established pursuant to subsection B and data and information collected pursuant to subsection C available to licensed hospitals and the Virginia Stroke Systems Task Force, and, upon request, to emergency medical services agencies, regional emergency medical services councils, the State Emergency Medical Services Advisory Board, and other entities engaged in the delivery of emergency medical services in the Commonwealth to facilitate the evaluation and improvement of stroke care in the Commonwealth.

E. The Department shall report to the Governor and the General Assembly annually on July 1 on stroke care improvement initiatives undertaken in accordance with this section. Such report shall include a summary report of the data collected pursuant to this section.

F. Nothing in this article shall require or authorize the disclosure of confidential information in violation of state or federal law or regulations, including the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, 42 U.S.C. § 1320d et seq.

2018, cc. 198, 276.