As used in this article, the following words and phrases shall have the meanings as set forth in this section, unless the context clearly indicates a different meaning:
- Any publicly or privately owned vehicle that is specially designed, constructed or modified and equipped for and is intended to be used for and is maintained or operated to provide immediate medical care to or transport of persons who are sick, injured, wounded or otherwise incapacitated or helpless.
- An unforeseen condition or circumstance in which there is a need for immediate medical care in order to prevent loss of life or aggravation of illness or injury.
- EMERGENCY MEDICAL SERVICES VEHICLE
- An ambulance, rescue squad vehicle, fire truck or other government-owned vehicle which may be used for or is maintained or operated to provide immediate medical care to or transport of persons who are sick, injured, wounded or otherwise incapacitated or helpless.
- An individual who is sick, injured, wounded or otherwise incapacitated or helpless.
- A permit issued by the County Administrator or his designee, authorizing the operation of an ambulance.
- An individual, firm, partnership, association, corporation, company, group of individuals acting together for a common purpose, or organization of any kind.
The Board of Supervisors may establish by resolution, upon recommendation of the County Administrator or his designee, reasonable fees for the provision of emergency medical services by all emergency medical service personnel, whether volunteers or paid public employees, and by all private ambulances operating under a permit issued pursuant to this article.
No person shall operate or cause to be operated a private ambulance or emergency medical services vehicle from within the County to any other location within or outside the County, unless such person possesses a permit.
The County Administrator, or his designee, is authorized to determine and prescribe the areas of service within which a permit holder may operate within the County so as to assure adequate coverage throughout the geographical area of the County. Further, the number of permits for ambulances or emergency medical service vehicles in the County may be limited to achieve the objectives of this article.
No permit shall be required for operation of a private ambulance or emergency medical services vehicle which is:
No permit shall be required for operation of a private ambulance or emergency medical services vehicle when used to render assistance, at the request of the County, in the case of a major catastrophe or emergency with which the vehicles which have received a permit to operate in the County are insufficient or unable to cope.
The provisions of this article shall not apply to any ambulance or emergency medical services vehicle owned and operated by the Town of Grundy, without their consent.
Volunteer rescue squads and the members thereof who are acting in such capacity and agencies of the County and their employees who are acting in any capacity of emergency services shall be subject to the provisions of this article.
Any person who desires a permit shall file a sworn application with the County Administrator, or his designee, on a form prepared and provided for that purpose. The application shall include evidence of compliance with the terms and provisions of this article and such other information as the County Administrator, or his designee, shall require.
No person shall be issued a permit unless he:
Furnishes proof that he possesses a valid permit issued by the commonwealth to operate an ambulance or emergency medical services vehicle.
Files a schedule of rates to be charged for services rendered under the permit, which shall not be more than the charges authorized by § 9-5.
Agrees in writing to comply with the terms and conditions of this article, other provisions of this Code, any reasonable rules and regulations developed by the County Administrator or his/her designee for the implementation of this article, and applicable state and federal laws and regulations.
Agrees in writing to provide mutual aid assistance, if available, in any emergency situation upon the request of the County.
Provides an appropriated certificate of insurance, or certificate of self-insurance where appropriate, indicating the following minimum coverages: motor vehicular liability insurance of $100,000 per occurrence and $300,000 aggregate and general liability insurance of $100,000 per occurrence and $300,000 aggregate. The certificate of insurance shall contain a clause obligating the company issuing the same to give 15 days' notice in writing to the County Administrator and the County's risk manager before the cancellation of such policies. The County shall be named as an additional insured on such policies of insurance as its interests may appear.
Applicants for provider permits shall provide to the County Administrator a copy of the complete criminal history record available from the Virginia Criminal Record Exchange and the motor vehicle driving record from the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles, of the applicant and of all persons proposed to provide services. The County Administrator or his designee shall determine whether the records of the individuals are compatible with the provision of emergency medical services. Permitted providers shall also provide current records upon request of the County Administrator.
It shall be unlawful for any person or organization to provide emergency medical services, medical transportation, or operate vehicles for those purposes within the confines of the County for the emergency or nonemergency transportation of patients, without first being granted a permit by the Board of Supervisors, except when a mutual aid agreement has been approved by the County Administrator. The Board may issue such permits following a public hearing, subject to conditions established by the Board.
Permits shall expire one year from the date of issuance unless renewed by the County Administrator or his designee in accordance with regulations and the conditions established by the Board of Supervisors.
The Board of Supervisors may revoke or suspend any permit upon a finding that any conditions of the permit have been violated, that federal, state or local laws or regulations have been violated or that the public health, safety or welfare is endangered by continued operation of the entity. Except in the case of a condition posing a danger to the public health or safety, no revocation or suspension action shall be taken by the Board prior to notice and reasonable time being given to the permittee for correction of the condition.
Applicants and providers shall provide to the County Administrator any information and records requested during the course of the application or renewal process or during the effective period of any permit.
The Board of Supervisors shall consider each properly filed application after holding a public hearing. Should the Board find (1) that there is a need for emergency medical services within the area in question, (2) that the need will be properly served by the applicant, and (3) that the applicant and any employees or personnel of the applicant are properly trained, equipped and otherwise qualified, the Board of Supervisors, in its sole discretion, may issue a permit under such conditions as the Board deems appropriate.
Copies of all applications and all permits shall be retained by the County Administrator or his designee, who shall be responsible for reviewing the permit prior to expiration and either renewing the permit or referring it to the Board of Supervisors for revocation or other action.
The County Administrator or his designee may suspend the permit of any permittee for a period of 30 days and may recommend to the Board of Supervisors the continued suspension or revocation of any permit should it be found, upon investigation, that the agency is not in compliance with federal, state or local laws, regulations or conditions of the permit or that the continued operation poses a danger to public health.
The applicant for a permit or, if a permit has been granted, the holder of a permit shall immediately give notice in writing to the County Administrator of any change in the information set forth in the application for permit, including, without limitation, any change in rates, board of directors' membership, officers of the corporation, 501(c)(3) status change from nonprofit to profit corporate status, insurance coverage, or the ownership of 50% or more of the common stock of the corporation which has applied for or has received the permit.
Any person who, on the effective date of this article, holds a certificate of public convenience and necessity issued by the County or the commonwealth licensing the operation of an ambulance or vehicle for the transportation of handicapped persons may, for a period of 60 calendar days after the effective date of this article, continue to operate same within the County. Thereafter such person shall be required to have a permit issued by the County Administrator, or his designee.
No permit granted under this article may be sold, assigned, or transferred, nor shall it in any way vest in any person, other than the applicant to whom the permit is granted, any rights or privileges under the permit. For purposes of this section, the transfer of ownership of 50% or more of the common stock of a corporation which has been granted a permit shall be deemed to be a transfer of the permit.
The holder of a permit shall be authorized to respond to requests for nonemergency service. Response to emergencies shall not be permitted unless:
A permit holder who provides ambulance or emergency medical service under emergency conditions shall give immediate notice of such response at the time of response to the County's emergency dispatch/E-911 center.
As a condition of the permit, the permit holder agrees to provide service throughout the geographic area designated by the permits, which may include the Town of Grundy. The Town of Grundy is hereby authorized to exercise any of the powers set forth in Paragraphs A and B of § 32.1-111.14 of the Code of Virginia beginning 180 days from receipt of a certified copy of this article from the Clerk of this Board.
No permit holder shall refuse to transport any person in the County to any hospital emergency room, approved by the County Administrator or his/her designee, in the County or an adjoining city without just cause. For purposes of this section, the term "just cause" shall include unavailability of qualified personnel or vehicles and the inability or refusal of the patient to pay for the requested ambulance service.
Every permit holder shall maintain accurate service logs of operations undertaken in accordance with its permit. Such service logs shall include, with regard to each request for ambulance service, the time and date the request was received, the location of the patient on whose behalf the request was made, the time the ambulance arrived at the location and the destination and time of arrival at the destination. If the request was denied, the log shall indicate the reason for such denial. In addition, the service log shall include any other information required by the Chief of Fire and Rescue. Such logs shall be maintained for a period of three years and made available for inspection by authorized representatives of the County upon reasonable request.
The County Administrator, or his designee, is hereby authorized to exercise the following powers and responsibilities in order to effectively achieve the purposes of this article, as follows:
To enter into contracts with any person for the administration and collection of any fees which are imposed by the County Department of Fire and Rescue or other County agency, by any volunteer rescue squad or other nonprofit organization operating under any permit granted in accordance with this article;
To establish reasonable rules and procedures for imposing and collecting authorized fees for the provision of emergency medical services;
To write off as uncollectible any accounts which are reasonably deemed to be uncollectible; and
To exercise such other reasonable powers and authority as shall be necessary for the proper administration of this article.
Review of the criminal records of applicants for employment and volunteer status in the Department shall be conducted in the interest of public welfare and safety, and review of such records of incumbents may be conducted, to determine if the past criminal conduct of any person with a criminal record would be compatible with the nature of the employment or service.
Review of motor vehicle driving records of incumbents and of applicants for employment or volunteer status may be conducted in accordance with departmental regulations, to determine if the record is compatible with employment or service.
The Buchanan County Board of Supervisors recognizes the longstanding history and the tremendous value and contribution of volunteer rescue squads and fire companies made in the community. Volunteer rescue squads and fire companies may be formed, named and dissolved and shall operate in compliance with applicable statutes, provisions of this article and regulations, including those issued by the County Administrator or his designee. Formation, naming and dissolution shall be effective only if approved by the Board of Supervisors. Rescue squads and fire companies may adopt bylaws for effecting their purposes. Agencies may, in accordance with their bylaws and compliance with state code, dissolve. However, prior to such dissolution, agencies shall provide no less than a thirty-day notice to the County Administrator or his designee.
Subject to any regulations published by the Buchanan County Board of Supervisors and pursuant to the authority of § 40.1-79.1 of the Code of Virginia, the County of Buchanan hereby authorizes any person who is 16 years of age or older, with written parental or guardian approval, to work with or participate in activities of a volunteer fire company, provided such minor has attained certification under National Fire Protection Association 1001, Level One, fire-fighter standards, as administered by the State Department of Fire Programs. Any such fire-fighting activity shall comply with regulations of 16 VAC 15-30-190, Fire fighting.
Any trainer or instructor of such minor or any member of a paid or volunteer fire company who supervises such minor shall be exempt from the provisions of § 40.1-103 of the Code of Virginia, provided the volunteer fire company or the Board of Supervisors has purchased insurance which provides coverage for injuries to, or the death of, such minor in the performance of activities under this section.
If any part of this section is, for any reason, declared to be unconstitutional or invalid by a court of competent jurisdiction, such decision shall not affect the validity of the remaining portions of this code.
Subject to any regulations published by the Buchanan County Department of Fire and Rescue pursuant to authority in accordance with Virginia Administrative Code Title 12, Section 5-31-1200 and Section 5-31-900:
EMS personnel serving in a required staffing position on an EMS vehicle shall be, at a minimum, 18 years of age.
EMS agencies may allow assistants or observers in addition to the required personnel. An assistant or observer must be, at a minimum, 16 years of age.
An EMS agency may have associated personnel who are less than 16 years of age. This person is not allowed to participate in any EMS response or any training program or other activity that may involve exposure to communicable disease, hazardous chemical or other risk of serious injury.