City of Buffalo, NY
Erie County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Derived from Art. XIX of Ch. XXV of the Charter and Ordinances, 1974, of the City of Buffalo; amended in its entirety 10-27-2015. Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Infectious diseases — See Ch. 158.
Obstruction of public safety — See Ch. 345.
Vehicles and traffic — See Ch. 479.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
ADI
Ambulance Dispatch and Inspection.
AMBULANCE
Any vehicle equipped for the care of and used in the transportation of wounded, sick, injured or infirm people.
PERSON
Any individual, firm, partnership, association, corporation, company or any organization of any kind.
A. 
Exemptions from the provisions of this chapter shall be:
(1) 
Ambulances owned and/or exclusively controlled by any federal, state, county or other governmental agency.
(2) 
Private vehicles used in the transportation of the convalescent from hospital to home or from home to outpatient clinics.
(3) 
Private vehicles used in the transportation of the infirm or crippled to and from places for rehabilitation therapy.
(4) 
A physician, resident intern and registered nurse.
B. 
A volunteer ambulance operating on a college or university campus for the sole purpose of providing service to the members of said academic community shall be exempt from:
(1) 
The license fee for drivers and attendants.
(2) 
That provision of § 72-3 requiring two licensed ambulance attendants on the ambulance. (The ambulance may operate with one emergency medical technician, according to New York State Public Health Law, Article 30A.)
On and after the first day of April 1960, no person shall engage in the ambulance service business of transporting patients from a location within the City to any other location without first obtaining a license from the Commissioner of Permit and Inspection Services of the City of Buffalo. Such licensed ambulance shall be operated consistent with the provisions of New York State Public Health Law Article 30, Sections 3005 and 3005A, and New York Codes, Rules and Regulations, 10 NYCRR Part 800. The ambulance driver shall be qualified as an emergency medical technician and shall be accompanied by an additional licensed emergency medical technician as hereinafter provided.
An application for an ambulance license shall be made by the person desiring the same to the Commissioner of Permit and Inspection Services on forms provided. Such application shall state the designated stations or hospitals or such other place or places from which it is intended or desired to operate such ambulance on a twenty-four-hour basis, together with a description of the ambulance and such other information as the Commissioner of Permit and Inspection Services and the Board of Emergency Medical Services shall find reasonably necessary. Applicants must duly verify that each ambulance has been inspected by the Commissioner of Health, certifying that each ambulance meets the requirements of this chapter, pertinent state laws, City ordinances and the applicable sanitary codes.
A. 
Each applicant for an ambulance business license shall submit a letter of approval from the Commissioner of Police and shall submit a current original operating certificate from the New York State Department of Health.
B. 
The licensed ambulance business shall assure that all ambulances utilized in the ambulance business meet all applicable regulations and requirements of New York State and the municipality.
Applications for licenses for emergency medical technicians shall be made upon forms to be provided by the Commissioner of Permit and Inspection Services and shall contain such information as the Commissioner of Permit and Inspection Services and Board of Emergency Medical Services shall deem reasonably necessary, in addition to meeting the following requirements and qualifications:
A. 
Each applicant for a license as an emergency medical technician shall submit a letter of approval from the Commissioner of Police and shall submit a current certificate of completion of an emergency medical technician course approved by the Commissioner of Health.
B. 
Upon being satisfied that an emergency medical technician meets the requirements of this chapter, the Commissioner of Health to whom the application shall be referred shall recommend approval of such application.
A. 
Appointment; membership. The Mayor shall appoint an Emergency Medical Services Board to consist of at least six members and not more than 10 members, each of whom shall serve for a term of three years without compensation. The Mayor shall designate and appoint one of the members of said Board as Chairperson thereof, who shall be removable at the pleasure of the Mayor. One member of said Board shall be the Director of the Erie County Health Department Bureau of Emergency Medical Service or such other representative as the Erie County Commissioner of Health may designate.
B. 
Qualifications. The members of the Board shall be persons possessing qualifications satisfactory to the Mayor.
C. 
Powers and duties. The Board shall:
(1) 
Meet on the third Thursday of each month, or such other time as may be designated by the Chairperson of the Board. The Board shall file its minutes with the Common Council by the filing deadline immediately following said meeting.
(a) 
A member of the Board who fails to attend three consecutive monthly meetings, without being excused by the Board Chairperson or the Secretary of the Board prior to a scheduled meeting, may be dismissed by the Mayor.
(2) 
Advise, consult with and recommend to the Mayor and the Common Council all matters concerning ambulance service, administration of this chapter and any amendments thereto which it may deem necessary and advisable. The Board shall file any recommendations to the Council with its monthly report.
(3) 
Advise and inform the public concerning any practices in connection with ambulance service which it may consider harmful to the persons in need thereof.
(4) 
Examine and determine the fitness and qualifications of applicants for licenses, using as criteria therefor the information contained in the application and such other or additional proof attached thereto, together with such proof or evidence as the Board may acquire by its own study, examination or investigation, and thereafter, in its certification, recommend to the Commissioner of Permit and Inspection Services whether or not a license shall be issued to the applicant.
(5) 
Grant, upon written request accompanying the application of the applicant, a hearing on said application or, if the application is denied without a hearing being requested, grant a hearing on said denial, provided that said hearing is demanded in writing within 15 days after denial of the application by the Board.
(6) 
Hear and determine any and all matters relating to the revocation or suspension of licenses and certify its findings to the Commissioner of Permit and Inspection Services. However, a license may be temporarily suspended without a hearing for a period not in excess of 10 days upon notice to the licensee following a finding by the Board that the public health, safety or welfare is in imminent danger.
(7) 
Adopt such rules and regulations as may be necessary to carry out the purposes of this chapter and for the conduct of its duties, including but not limited to:
(a) 
Establish zones of operation within the City boundary lines, using as criteria the responsiveness to emergency calls, the population and rescue call experience, and listing thereon the order of priority of the service so that ADI can, when ambulance service is needed, dispatch in order of said priority, provided that the ambulance or ambulances are not otherwise in service.
(b) 
Extending, modifying, restricting or changing the boundary lines of an assigned ambulance zone of operation as may from time to time be deemed necessary.
(c) 
Providing for the location and staffing of a central control office so that all complaints for ambulance service can be recorded and forthwith forwarded to the Board for its study, review and attention.
(d) 
Coordinating and establishing ambulance charges for patients transported from a location within the City to any other location and requiring ambulance owners to submit, with the application for a license, the rates to be charged for said service in the City and the rates charged for said service when rendered outside the boundaries of the City.
(e) 
Requiring the owner or operator of an ambulance dispatched by ADI to forthwith report the results thereof.
(f) 
Requiring the owners of ambulance businesses to maintain all records as required by New York State and the Emergency Medical Services Board. These records shall be made available upon the request of the Emergency Medical Services Board within 24 hours of said request.
(g) 
Evaluate on an ongoing, regular basis the quality and effectiveness of services.
A. 
The Commissioner of Permit and Inspection Services shall, upon the approval of the Board of Emergency Medical Services, issue such license upon the payment of the required fee.
B. 
Each such license shall expire on December 31 of the year for which it is issued.
C. 
At any time after a license has been issued, the Commissioner of Health may make or cause to be made further inspections; and if any ambulance is found by him to be in violation of this chapter, the Commissioner of Health may recommend to the Board of Emergency Medical Services that proceedings be instituted to revoke or suspend such license.
A. 
With the approval of the Board of Emergency Medical Services and the Commissioner of Police, the Commissioner of Permit and Inspection Services shall issue such emergency medical technician's licenses upon payment of the required license fees.
B. 
Each such license shall expire biennially on the last day of the emergency medical technician's birth month.
C. 
After such license has been issued, if it is found that the licensee is violating any of the terms of this chapter, the Commissioner of Health may recommend to the Board of Emergency Medical Services that proceedings be instituted to revoke or suspend such license.
A. 
The fee for an ambulance license shall be as provided in Chapter 175, Fees, payable biennially to the Commissioner of Permit and Inspection Services in advance. Separate licenses shall be required biennially for each ambulance operated, and they shall not be transferable, except that a license issued for any vehicle belonging to the same licensee shall be transferred to another vehicle upon application therefor, duly verified and showing that the vehicle previously licensed is no longer to be used for the purpose herein contemplated.
B. 
The fee for an emergency medical technician's license shall be as provided in Chapter 175, Fees, payable biennially to the Commissioner of Permit and Inspection Services in advance.
All persons who shall operate a licensed ambulance on the streets of the City of Buffalo shall procure a public liability policy, to be issued by an insurance company authorized to do business in the State of New York, to provide liability coverage at levels determined from time to time by the Comptroller. Such policy, or a duly certified copy thereof, or an appropriate certificate of insurance, approved as to form by the Corporation Counsel and as to sufficiency by the Comptroller, shall be delivered to the Commissioner of Permit and Inspection Services before or at the time of issuance of a license. No ambulance shall be operated within the City of Buffalo unless such public liability insurance policy continues in good standing. In the event of any material alteration or cancellation of any policy, at least 10 days' notice thereof shall be given to the Commissioner of Permit and Inspection Services, City Hall, Buffalo, New York 14202.
The owner of an ambulance business to whom a license has been issued by the provisions hereof shall be under duty and obligation to:
A. 
Coordinate the ambulance radios or other communication radios with the facilities provided by ADI and County of Erie Medical Emergency Radio System (MERS).
B. 
Develop and implement an emergency response management plan and file said plan annually with the Emergency Services Board. Any changes to the plan must be filed with the Emergency Services Board.
C. 
Give prior notice to ADI when and why an ambulance is out of service.
D. 
Inform ADI whether or not any ambulance en route to or returning from a call can render service at the scene of the accident or, in lieu thereof, request the dispatching of other ambulances thereto.
E. 
Notify the Emergency Medical Services Board when a particular ambulance is replaced and, if replaced, provide the Commissioner of Permit and Inspection Services with all the required information to determine if said ambulance complies with the requirements of this chapter.
A. 
Emergency medical technicians shall:
(1) 
When they arrive at the scene of an accident or disaster, notify ADI whether or not they are in need of additional ambulances and emergency medical services.
(2) 
Take the injured person or the person in need of hospital services to the nearest hospital able to meet the person's needs, consistent with service guidelines, including regional emergency medical services protocols, medical direction and patient choice.
B. 
No person in charge of an ambulance shall refuse to take a wounded or ill or infirm or injured person to a hospital after the need for hospitalization has been determined or if made at the request of the Police or Fire Department. When a person is found ill or wounded or infirm or injured in the street or any public place, however seriously, he or she shall not be left in such location but shall be removed to a hospital.
C. 
Emergency medical technicians shall not cruise in the Buffalo streets except in an emergency declared by the Buffalo Police Department.
All ambulances on the streets in the City of Buffalo shall be equipped and maintained consistent with the requirements of Part 800 of New York Codes, Rules and Regulations, Sections 800.21 through 800.26.
A. 
The license of an ambulance business licensee may be suspended or revoked for any of the following causes:
(1) 
Failure to comply with the provisions of this chapter or the rules and regulations of the Board of Emergency Medical Services.
(2) 
Solicitation of business for attorneys or tow truck companies.
(3) 
Removal and retention of property, money or other assets belonging to a patient.
(4) 
Unbecoming conduct and abusive language in rendering ambulance service.
(5) 
Unprovoked assaults in the discharge of duties.
(6) 
On-duty use of alcohol and/or illegal or nonprescribed drugs.
(7) 
Conviction of a crime involving moral turpitude.
B. 
The license of an emergency medical technician may be suspended or revoked for any of the following causes:
(1) 
Failure to comply with the provisions of this chapter or the rules and regulations of the Board of Emergency Medical Services.
(2) 
Solicitation of business for attorneys or tow truck companies.
(3) 
Removal and retention of property, money or other assets belonging to a patient.
(4) 
Unbecoming conduct and abusive language in rendering ambulance service.
(5) 
Unprovoked assaults in the discharge of duties.
(6) 
On-duty use of alcohol and/or illegal or nonprescribed drugs.
(7) 
Conviction of a crime involving moral turpitude.