Simon applauds passage of bill to improve emergency medical services

House Bill 2778 heads to governor’s desk

SPRINGFIELD, IL – Continuing her work to improve rural health care, Illinois Lt. Governor Sheila Simon applauded the Illinois General Assembly for passing House Bill 2778. The legislation sponsored by Rep. Don Moffitt (R-Gilson) and Sen. Chapin Rose (R-Champaign) will enable emergency medical technicians (EMTs) to provide more patient services.

“Seconds can mean the difference between life and death in an emergency, and EMTs need to able to use all of their skills and training to aid patients,” said Simon, chair of the Governor’s Rural Affairs Council. “I would like to thank Rep. Moffitt and Sen. Rose for their leadership, and the EMS Task Force for its work on this important legislation, and I encourage the governor to sign this bill.”

The legislation is a result of recommendations released last by the House Emergency Medical Services Task Force. Simon testified in support of streamlining regulations for EMTs and recently hosted an EMS Summit in Springfield. A number of providers gathered to discuss ways to further improve EMS delivery in Illinois.

Rep. Moffitt co-chaired the House Emergency Medical Services Task Force and served as the House sponsor for HB 2778.

“This bill is the result of a lot of hard work, and I thank those who participated in the hearings our EMS Task Force held throughout the state,” said Moffitt. “This legislation is important because it allows the EMTs staffing the ambulance to perform medical treatment at the highest level for which they are licensed and trained, instead of being limited only to the basic skills of an ambulance licensed as a basic ambulance service.”

“This legislation can help save lives, and I hope the governor will sign it quickly,” said Sen. Rose, who sponsored the bill in the Senate. “The men and women staffing ambulances throughout the state should be able to use all of their skills, which can make all the difference in an emergency.

Ambulance services can be delivered at various levels, ranging from basic life support to advanced life support and specialty care transport. Currently, EMTs may provide services only at their assigned ambulance level, even though they may have training to provide a higher level of service.  Under HB 2778, a licensed EMT may perform medical services compliant with his or her level of education or training, regardless of the level of their ambulances.

Lt. Governor Simon is the chair of the Governor’s Rural Affairs Council, and enhancing emergency medical services is a part of the council’s strategic plan for rural Illinois. HB 2778 passed both chambers and now heads to the governor for signature.