CHAPTER 177

FORMERLY HOUSE BILL NO. 485

AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 16, DELAWARE CODE, BY CREATING A NEW CHAPTER TO BE DESIGNATED AS CHAPTER 76 TO PROVIDE FOR THE REGULATION OF AND STANDARDS FOR AMBULANCE SERVICE BY THE STATE FIRE PREVENTION COMMISSION, AND TO PROVIDE AN APPROPRIATION THEREFOR, AND TO GRANT IMMUNITY FROM SUIT UNDER CERTAIN CIRCUMSTANCES.

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Delaware:

Section 1. It is hereby declared as a matter of State Policy:

(a) That, in order to preserve, protect, and promote the public health, safety, and general welfare, adequate and continuing ambulance services should be available to every citizen of Delaware.

(b) That uniform minimum standards of adequacy should be prescribed and enforced by and through appropriate State and local agencies in order to assure safe, sanitary, and competent ambulance services.

Section 2. Title 16, Delaware Code, is amended by adding a new Chapter thereto to be designated as Chapter 76 to read as follows:

"CHAPTER 76. AMBULANCES

§ 7601. Definitions

"Ambulance" includes any privately or publicly owned vehicle that is specially designed, constructed, or modified and equipped and is intended to be used for and is maintained or operated for the transportation upon the streets and highways in this State of persons who are sick, injured, wounded or otherwise incapacitated or helpless. Vehicles designed primarily for rescue

operations and which do not ordinarily but may transport persons upon the streets and highways are excluded.

§ 7602. Permit required to operate ambulances

(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 under emergency conditions upon the streets or highways in the State of Delaware unless he holds a currently valid permit for each ambulance used in such business or service, issued by the State Fire Prevention Commission or a duly authorized representative thereof.

(b) Before a permit may be issued for a vehicle to operate as an ambulance, its registered owner must apply to the Fire Prevention Commission for an ambulance permit. Application shall be made upon forms and according to procedures established by the Commission. Prior to _ctuari an original or renewal permit for an ambulance, the Commission or a duly authorized _ctuarialtative thereof 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 Chapter, and the regulations of the Commission. Permits issued for ambulances shall be valid for a period specified by the Commission, not to exceed one year.

(c) Duly authorized representatives of the Commission may issue temporary permits for vehicles not meeting required standards valid for a period not to exceed ninety (90) days, when it determines the public interest will be served thereby. Any temporary permit issued hereunder shall not be renewed.

(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 Commission at all reasonable times.

() 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

ambulance without compliance with all ordiances and regulations enacted or promulgated by any county or municipal government concerning ambulances.

§ 7603. Advisory Committee on Ambulance Service

(a) For the purpose of assisting the Fire Prevention Commission in developing standards for use in the administration of this Chapter, there is hereby created the Advisory Committee on Ambulance Service. The Committee shall be composed of ten (10) members; whose names shall be submitted to the Commission by resolution of the respective organizations. Six representatives, two from each County, shall be members of the Delaware Volunteer Fireman’s Association; one representative from the American Legion Ambulance Committee, one representative of the V.F.W. Ambulance Committee; one representative from the New Castle County Government Ambulance Committee; and one representative of the City of Dover Ambulance Committee. Each representative shall serve at the pleasure of the organization which he is representing and his successor shall be chosen in like manner. The Chairman of the Fire Prevention Commission shall call the Advisory Committee to its first meeting. The Committee shall choose its own chairman and shall meet thereafter at the call of the Chairman or the Chairman of the Fire Prevention Commission.

(b) The Advisory Committee shall provide technical assistance for the establishment of regulations for ambulance services and make recommendations to the Commission.

§ 7604. Establishment of operational standards

(a) Powers of the State Fire Prevention Commission

1. The Commission or its duly authorized representative shall inspect equipment and supplies required of ambulances when it deems such inspection is necessary and maintain a record thereof. Upon determination, based upon an inspection, that requires supplies or equipment fail to meet the requirements of this Chapter or regulations adopted pursuant hereto, the Commission may suspend the permit for the ambulance concerned, until such requirements are met.

2. Every ambulance shall be equipped with equipment and supplies specified by the State Fire Prevention Commission.

3. The Commission shall adopt regulations setting forth the qualifications required for the certification of ambulance attendants.

(1) Emergency Ambulance Licensing and Certification

1. The State Fire Prevention Commission or its duly authorized representative, under the supervision of the Commission shall carry out the licensing and certification activities assumed by the State under this Chapter, and perform all inspections required by this Chapter, filing all records required by law. The Chairman may issue a temporary certificate and/or permit with or without inspection, when he finds that such will be in the public interest. A temporary certificate and/or permit shall be valid for a period not to exceed ninety (90) days. All renewals must be authorized by the Commission.

2. The Commission shall adopt regulations specifying operational 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 and sufficient quantities at all times.

3. Every ambulance, except those specifically excluded from the operation of this Chapter, when operated on an emergency mission in this State shall be occupied by at least one person who possesses a valid Ambulance ATTENDANT’S CERTIFICATE from the State Prevention Commission.

4. Persons desiring certification as ambulance attendants shall apply to the State Fire Prevention Commission using forms prescribed by the Commission. Upon receipt of such applications, the duly authorized representative of the Commission shall examine the applicant and if it determines the applicant meets the requirements of its regulations duly adopted pursuant to this article, with the approval of the Chairman, he shall issue a certificate to the applicant. Ambulance Attendant’s Certificates so issued shall be valid for a period not to exceed three (3) years and may be renewed after reexamination if the holder meets the requirements set forth in the regulations of the Commission. The

Commission 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.

§ 7605. Immunity from suit under certain circumstances

From and after the effective date of this Chapter, no civil action may be brought against a person licensed as an "Ambulance Attendant" under the provisions of this Chapter, in the State of Delaware, who has gratuitously rendered first aid or emergency care at the scene of an accident, casualty, or disaster to a person injured therein, for the recovery of civil damages as a result of any act or omission by the said person in the rendering of such first aid or emergency care. This immunity does not apply to acts or omissions constituting gross negligence of willful or wan ton misconduct.

§ 7606. Exemptions

The following are exempted from the operation of the provisions of this Chapter:

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 the State rendering service 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.

4. Ambulances owned and operated by an agency of the United States Government.

5. Ambulances based outside the State engaged in interstate transportation.

§ 7607. Violations and penalties

It shall be the duty of the registered owner of the vehicle concerned to see that the provisions of this Chapter and all regulations adopted hereunder are compiled with. Upon the violation of any regulation adopted under the authority of this Chapter, the State Fire Prevention Commission shall have power to revoke or suspend the permits of all vehicles owned or operated by the violator.

Section 2. All ambulance services, regulations of, and standards of, shall be in compliance with the provisions of this Act on or before July 1, 1972.

Section 3. The sum of $19,294 is hereby appropriated to

the State Fire Prevention Commission for the State Fire School for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1972, for the purpose of implementing this Act, to be allocated as follows:

Salaries and wages:

Training Officer (1)

$ 8,136

Clerk-Typist II (1)

4,308

Travel

500

Contractual Services

1,500

Supplies and Materials

700

Capital Outlay

4,150

Total

$19,294

This is a supplementary appropriation and shall be paid out of General Fund monies not otherwise appropriated. Any funds hereby appropriated which remain unexpended on June 30, 1972, shall revert to the General Fund.

Section 4. If any section, subsection, sentence, clause, phrase or portion of this chapter is held invalid or unconstitutional by any Court of competent jurisdiction, such portion shall be deemed a separate, distinct and independent provision and such holding shall not affect the validity of the remaining portions hereof.

Approved June 30, 1971.