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New state law updates regulations of emergency medical services

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Gov. Phil Murphy has signed legislation sponsored by state Sen. Robert Singer (R-Monmouth, Ocean) into law.

According to a press release from Singer’s office, the law will bolster advanced life support services across New Jersey.

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Singer’s two-county legislative district includes Howell and Farmingdale.

The bill signed by Murphy, A-4107/S-2768, updates the state’s regulations of emergency medical services and will now permit a single paramedic who arrives at the scene of an emergency to begin treatment immediately, rather than waiting for a second medic to reach the scene, according to the press release.

“Too many paramedics find themselves in situations where people desperately need help, but their hands were tied by regulations that forced them to wait for support from another responder,” Singer was quoted as saying in the press release. “This critical new law will save lives and ensure a faster response when people need help.

“Now, as soon as a medic arrives on the scene, they can go to work helping the patient without a delay waiting for a partner. Every second is crucial in emergency situations. Paramedics are trained in life-sustaining skills and any time lost can mean the difference between life and death for a victim,” Singer said.

Ongoing staffing crises that began during the coronavirus pandemic highlighted the need for the new law. Supporters note hospitals have received similar accommodations that have worked well and had no negative impact on the quality of patient care, according to the press release.

“Nobody benefits from waiting around for one more paramedic. This law will help residents across the state, but it is especially important for rural areas where there are fewer medics and it takes longer for first responders to arrive,” Singer said.

In addition, Singer’s bill also creates the new State Emergency Medical Services Medical Director in the Department of Health to oversee clinical issues and implement scope of practice regulations for providers; requires paramedics to be licensed rather than certified to align with national standards; allows doctors, advanced practice nurses and physician assistants to serve as crew members on mobile intensive care units; and extends good-faith immunity to paid EMS agencies to provide parity with volunteers, according to the press release.

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