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CHAPTER 343 AN ACT TO ASSURE ADEQUATE AND CONTINUING AMBULANCE SERVICES TO THE CITIZENS OF NORTH CAROLINA. The General Assembly of North Carolina do enact:
Chapter 130 of the North Carolina General Statutes is hereby amended by adding thereto a new Article to be designated Article 26 Regulation of Ambulance Services and to read as follows: Article 26 Regulation of Ambulance Services G. S. 180-230. Permit Required to Operate Ambulance. (a) No person, firm, corporation, or association, either as owner, agent, or otherwise, shall hereafter furnish, operate, conduct, maintain, advertise, or otherwise engage in or profess to be engaged in the business or service of transporting patients upon the streets or highways in North Carolina unless he holds a currently valid permit for each ambulance used in such business or service, issued by the State Board of Health or a duly authorized representative thereof. (b) Before a permit may be issued for a vehicle to be operated as an ambulance, its registered owner must apply to the Board for an ambulance permit. Application shall be made upon forms and according to procedures established by the Board. Prior to issuing an original or renewal permit for an ambulance, the Board shall determine that the vehicle for which the permit is issued meets all requirements as to medical equipment and supplies and sanitation as set forth in this Article and in the regulations of the Board. Permits issued for ambulances shall be valid for a period specified by the Board, not to exceed one year. (c) Duly authorized representatives of the Board may issue temporary permits for vehicles not meeting required standards valid for a period not to exceed 60 days, when it determines the public interest will be served thereby. (d) When a permit has been issued for an ambulance as specified herein, the vehicle for which issued, and records relating to maintenance and operation of such vehicle shall be open to inspection by duly authorized representatives of the Board at all reasonable times. (e) The issuance of a permit hereunder shall not be construed so as to authorize any person, firm, corporation, or association to provide ambulance services or to operate any ambulances without a franchise in any county or municipality which has enacted an ordinance pursuant to G. S. 153-9(58) making it unlawful to do so. 368 G. S. 1380-231. Advisory Committee on Ambulance Service Created. For the purpose of assisting the State Board of Health in developing standards for use in the administration of this Article, there is hereby created the Advisory Committee on Ambulance Service. Such Committee shall be composed of nine members, one each designated by the North Carolina Funeral Directors Association, Inc., the Funeral Directors and Morticians Association of North Carolina, Inc., the North Carolina Ambulance Association, Inc., the Medical Society of the State of North Carolina, the North Carolina Hospital Association, the American National Red Cross, the North Carolina State Association of Rescue Squads, Inc., the North Carolina Association of County Commissioners, and the North Carolina League of Municipalities. Each member shall serve at the pleasure of the organization which designated him, and his successor shall be designated in the same manner. The Committee shall choose its own chairman, and shall meet at the call of the chairman or at the call of the State Health Director. G. S. 130-232. State Board of Health to Adopt Standards for Equipment; Inspection of Medical Equipment and Supplies Required for Ambulances. (a) The Board shall adopt regulations specifying sanitation standards for ambulances. Regulations so adopted shall also require that the interior of the ambulance and the equipment within the ambulance be sanitary and maintained in good working order at all times. (b) Every ambulance shall be equipped with the medical equipment and supplies specified by the Minimal Equipment List For Ambulances and Dual Purpose Vehicles Serving as Ambulances as approved by the Committee on Trauma of the American College of Surgeons on January 14, 1961; provided, however, the State Board of Health, with the approval of the Advisory Committee on Ambulance Service, may require additional equipment or supplies to be aboard ambulances or may delete items of medical equipment or supplies from the required Minimal Equipment List adopted herein by reference. (c) The Board shall inspect medical equipment and supplies required of ambulances when it deems such inspection is necessary and maintain a record thereof. Upon a determination, based upon an inspection, that required medical supplies or equipment fail to meet the requirements of this Article or regulations adopted pursuant hereto, the Board shall suspend the permit for the ambulance concerned, until such requirements are met. G. S. 130-233. Certified Ambulance Attendant Required. (a) Every ambulance, except those specifically excluded from the operation of this Article, when operated on an emergency mission in this State shall be occupied by at least one person who possesses a valid Ambulance Attendants Certificate from the Board. This Section shall not be construed to require a person other than the driver to be aboard if the driver is properly certified by the Board as an ambulance attendant. (b) The Board shall adopt regulations setting forth the qualifications required for certification of ambulance attendants. Such regulations shall be effective when approved by the Advisory Committee on Ambulance Service. 369 (c) Persons desiring certification as ambulance attendants shall apply to the Board using forms prescribed by that agency. Upon receipt of such application the Board shall examine the applicant and if it determines the applicant meets the requirements of its regulations duly adopted pursuant to this Article, it shall issue a certificate to the applicant. Ambulance Attendants Certificates so issued shall be valid for a period not to exceed two years and may be renewed after re-examination if the holder meets the requirements set forth in the regulations of the Board. The Board is authorized to cancel a certificate so issued at any time it determines that the holder no longer meets the qualifications prescribed for ambulance attendants. (d) Duly authorized representatives of the Board may issue temporary certificates with or without examination when it finds that such will be in the public interest. Temporary certificates shall be valid for a period not exceeding 90 days. G. S. 130-234. Exemptions. (a) The following are exempted from the operation of the provisions of this Article: (1) Privately owned vehicles not ordinarily used in the business of transporting persons who are sick, injured, wounded or otherwise incapacitated or helpless; (2) A vehicle rendering service as an ambulance in case of a major catastrophe or emergency when the ambulances with permits and based in the locality of the catastrophe or emergency are insufficient to render the services required; (3) Ambulances based outside this State, except that any such ambulance receiving a patient within this State for transportation to a location within this State shall comply with the provisions of this Article; (4) Ambulances owned and operated by an agency of the United States Government. G. S. 130-235. Violation Declared Misdemeanor. It shall be the duty of the registered owner of the vehicle concerned to see that the provisions of this Article and all regulations adopted hereunder are complied with. Upon the violation of any regulation adopted under authority of this Article, the State Board of Health shall have power to revoke or suspend the permits of all vehicles owned or operated by the violator. The operation of an ambulance without a valid permit therefor, or the operation thereof after any permit has been suspended or revoked, or the operation thereof without having a certified attendant aboard as required by G. S. 130-233, shall constitute a misdemeanor punishable by a fine or imprisonment or both in the discretion of the court.