P.A. 103-0521 (HB 1595) – EMS Systems Dispute Resolution
This amendment to the Emergency Medical Services (EMS) System Act, amongst other requirements, provides that all specified Advisory Committees include at least one representative from the labor organization recognized as the exclusive representative of the specified entities’ employees. Additionally, an EMS Medical Director may now only suspend EMS personnel, including EMS Lead Instructor, individual, individual provider or other participant considered not to be meeting requirements of the Program Plan if the EMS Medical Director obtains an agreement from the Department of Public Health. In these situations, there is an allowance for arbitrations meeting certain specified requirements for alternative dispute resolution procedures from EMS System licensing. The amendments to the Act also provide that an individual interviewed or investigated by an EMS Director or the Department of Public Health shall have the right to a union representative or legal counsel of the individual’s choosing, present at any interview or investigation. Said union representative must comply with the requirements for confidentiality and protection of patient information with respect to anything presented during the proceeding.
Furthermore, members of a fire department or fire protection district’s collective bargaining unit will be eligible to work under a “silver spanner program” for another fire department EMS System that is not the full-time employer of the individual, for a time period that shall not exceed 12 months, without being required to test into the EMS System of that separate fire department or fire protection district. Under other circumstances, a member of a fire department or fire protection district’s collective bargaining unit shall be eligible to work under a “silver spanner program” for another fire department Ems System that is not the full-time employer of that individual for a period not to exceed two weeks (as opposed to 12 months), if that individual satisfied specified requirements.
All of these amendments to the Act will be effective on January 1, 2024.
P.A. 103-0052 (HB 3769) – Insurance – Firemen’s Continuance
Effective January 1, 2024, paramedics and EMT’s will not be included in the definition of “Firefighters” for purposes of continued insurance coverage.
P.A. 103-0220 (SB 1611) – Firefighter Training Leave of Absence
This legislation creates the Firefighter Training Leave of Absence Act and provides that a state employee shall be granted leave from their state employment for firefighter training in situations as follows:
(1) On one occasion, for up to 200 hours, to participate in training necessary to obtain Basic Operations firefighter certification from the State Fire Marshal while attending a State Fire Marshal-approved fire academy; and
(2) Special or advanced training annually, not to exceed 80 hours, after obtaining Basic Operations Firefighter certification from the State Fire Marshal for courses that will lead to additional certification by the State Fire Marshal.
Additionally provides that during leaves for basic, special or advanced training, the state employee shall continue to receive their compensation as a state employee, but, if the said state employee receives compensation for basic, special or advanced training, said state employee shall receive their regular compensation as a state employee, minus the amount of their compensation for such basic, special or advanced training.
All provisions shall be effective on January 1, 2024.
P.A. 103-0385 (SB 1707) – Fire Department Promotion
Effective January 1, 2024, for purposes of the Fire Department Promotion Act, the amendment shall modify the definition of “affected department” to include a fire department operated by a municipality with a population over 1,000,000.
P.A. 103-0226 (SB 1750) – Fire Protection District – EMT Training
Under this amendment to the Fire Protection District Act, the board of trustees of a fire protection district must now, subject to appropriation by the General Assembly, reimburse the mandatory training expenses of an EMT, EMT-I, A-EMT or paramedic employed by or under contract with said fire protection district. This amendment shall become effective January 1, 2024.