1. The Laws of New York
  2. Consolidated Laws
  3. Public Health
  4. Article 30: Emergency Medical Services


Section 3003 Regional emergency medical services councils

Public Health (PBH)

1. The commissioner, with the approval of the state council, shall designate regional emergency medical services councils on or before January first, nineteen hundred seventy-eight but in no event shall the number of regional councils exceed eighteen. Such regional councils shall be established on the basis of application for designation as regional councils submitted by local organizations, the members of which are knowledgeable in various aspects of emergency medical services. Such application shall describe the geographic area to be served and contain a list of nominees for appointment to membership on such regional councils and a statement as to the proposed method of operation in such detail as the commissioner, with the approval of the state council, shall prescribe.

  2. Each regional council shall be comprised of at least fifteen but not more than thirty members to be initially appointed by the commissioner, with the approval of the state council, from nominations submitted by local organizations applying for establishment as the regional council. Not less than one-third of the membership of the regional councils shall be representatives of ambulance services and the remaining membership of the regional councils shall consist of, but not be limited to, representatives of existing local emergency medical care committees, physicians, nurses, hospitals, health planning agencies, fire department emergency and rescue squads, public health officers and the general public. The county EMS coordinator, established pursuant to section two hundred twenty-three-b of the county law, of any county within the region shall serve as an ex officio member of the regional council; provided, however, nothing in this subdivision shall prevent a county EMS coordinator from serving as a voting member of a regional council. Members of each regional council shall be residents living within the geographic area to be served by the regional council. The presence of a majority of members shall constitute a quorum.

  3. Each regional council shall have the power to:

  (a) have a seal and alter the same at pleasure;

  (b) acquire, lease, hold, and dispose of real and personal property or any interest therein for its purposes;

  (c) make and alter by-laws for its organization and internal management, and rules and regulations governing the exercise of its powers and the fulfillment of its purposes under this article; such rules and regulations must be filed with the secretary of state and the state EMS council;

  (d) enter into contracts for employment of such officers and employees as it may require for the performance of its duties; and to fix and determine their qualifications, duties, and compensation, and to retain and employ such personnel as may be required for its purposes; and private consultants on a contract basis or otherwise, for the rendering of professional or technical services and advice;

  (e) enter into contracts, leases, and subleases and to execute all instruments necessary or convenient for the conduct of its business, including contracts with the commissioner and any state agency or municipal entity; and contracts with hospitals and physicians for the purposes of carrying out its powers under this article;

  (f) undertake or cause to be undertaken plans, surveys, analyses and studies necessary, convenient or desirable for the effectuation of its purposes and powers, and to prepare recommendations and reports in regard thereto;

  (g) fix and collect reasonable fees, rents, and other charges for the use of its equipment and the provision of its services;

  (h) contract for and to accept any gifts or grants, subsidies, or loans of funds or property, or financial or other aid in any form from the federal or state government or any agency or instrumentality thereof; or from any other source, public or private, and to comply, subject to the provisions of this article, with the terms and conditions thereof; provided, however, that the councils may contract for payment of debt evidenced by bonds or notes or other evidence of indebtedness, either directly or through a lease purchase agreement;

  (i) recommend to the department approval of training course sponsors within its region, and to develop, promulgate and implement annually an EMS training plan which addresses the needs of its region;

  (j) enter into contracts or memoranda of agreement with other regional councils to provide services in a joint or cooperative manner; and to enter into contracts or memoranda of agreement with an EMS program agency to carry out one or more of its responsibilities under this article;

  (k) procure insurance against any loss or liability in connection with the use, management, maintenance, and operation of its equipment and facilities, in such amounts and from such insurers as it reasonably deems necessary;

  (l) approve regional medical advisory committee nominees;

  (m) provide focused technical assistance and support to those voluntary ambulance services operating under exemptions, to assist such services in progressing toward the uniform standards established pursuant to this section. Such assistance and support shall include, but not be limited to, volunteer recruitment and management training; and

  (n) do all things necessary, convenient and desirable to carry out its purposes and for the exercise of the powers granted in this article.

  4. Each regional council shall have the responsibility to coordinate emergency medical services programs within its region, including but not limited to, the establishment of emergency medical technician courses and the issuance of uniform emergency medical technician insignia and certificates. Such training courses shall be made available by video or computer to the maximum extent possible.

  5. The regional council shall have the responsibility to make determinations of public need for the establishment of additional emergency medical services and ambulance services and to make the determinations of public need as provided in section three thousand eight. The regional council shall make such determination by an affirmative vote of a majority of all of those members consisting of voting members.

  5-a. The regional emergency medical services council is authorized to grant an exemption from the staffing standards set forth in section three thousand five-a of this article to a voluntary ambulance service operating solely with enrolled members or paid emergency medical technicians which has demonstrated a good faith effort to meet the standards and is unable to meet such standards because of factors deemed appropriate by the regional council. An exemption shall be for a period not to exceed two years and shall be conditioned on the participation by the voluntary service in a program to achieve compliance which shall include technical assistance and support from the regional council tailored to the needs and resources at the local level, as provided by paragraph (m) of subdivision three of this section, to be funded by the New York state emergency medical services training account established pursuant to section ninety-seven-q of the state finance law, such account as funded by a chapter of the laws of nineteen hundred ninety-three. Nothing shall prevent the regional council from issuing subsequent exemptions. Such exemptions shall have no effect whatsoever on the insurability of the organization receiving such exemption and such exemption shall not be used as a basis for increasing insurance rates or premiums related thereto, notwithstanding any other provision of law, rule, regulation, or commissioner's ruling or advisory to the contrary. Prior to issuing an exemption, the regional council shall provide written notice by certified mail to the chief executive officers of all general hospitals and municipalities in the county or counties within which the service requesting an exemption operates. Such notice shall provide opportunity for comment on the issuance of the exemption. Notice of the determination of the regional council shall be provided within ten days of the determination to the applicant, the department, and any party receiving notification of the application who requests notice of the determination. The applicant, the department, or any concerned party may appeal the determination of the regional council to the state council within thirty days after the regional council makes its determination.

  6. The term of office of members of the regional council shall be four years, except that of those members first appointed, at least one-half but not more than two-thirds shall be for terms not to exceed two years.

  7. Each regional council shall meet as frequently as its business may require.

  8. The commissioner, upon request of the regional council, may designate an officer or employee of the department to act as secretary of the regional council, and may assign from time to time such other employees as the regional council may require.

  9. No civil action shall be brought in any court against any member, officer or employee of any designated regional council for any act done, failure to act, or statement or opinion made, while discharging his duties as a member, officer or employee of the regional council, without leave from a justice of the supreme court, first had and obtained. In any event such member, officer or employee shall not be liable for damages in any such action if he shall have acted in good faith, with reasonable care and upon probable cause.

  10. (a) The department shall provide each regional council with the funds necessary to enable such regional council to carry out its responsibilities as mandated under this section within amounts appropriated therefor.

  (b) Such funds shall be provided upon approval by the department of an application submitted by a regional council. The application shall contain such information and be in such form as the commissioner shall require pursuant to rules and regulations which he shall promulgate after consultation with the state council in order to effect the purposes and provisions of this subdivision.