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SECTION 3003
Regional emergency medical services councils
Public Health (PBH) CHAPTER 45, ARTICLE 30
§ 3003. Regional emergency medical services councils. 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.