Below are some laws affecting Firefighters and other First Responders in the State of Alabama. For reference only.
Applicability of chapter and rules of board to volunteer fire departments.
Neither the provisions of this chapter nor rules of the board adopted thereunder shall apply to volunteer fire departments which are not regularly engaged in the provision of emergency medical care and which offer only Basic Life Support response and do not transport. Volunteer fire departments which regularly provide emergency medical care shall be subject to this chapter, except when entitled to an exemption pursuant to Section 22-18-2. Provided, however, that this chapter and regulations adopted thereunder shall govern only the EMS functions of volunteer fire departments and shall not apply to their firefighting functions or other functions. A volunteer fire department shall have in place a system for the emergency treatment or transport of motor vehicle crash victims, or other trauma victims or emergency patients to be deemed to be regularly engaged in the provision of emergency medical care. A volunteer fire department which merely offers cardiopulmonary resuscitation and other first aid and rescue in the course of firefighting and related operations shall not be deemed for that reason alone to be regularly engaged in the provision of emergency medical care.
(a) In the manner provided in this section, the Board of Health, with advice and recommendation of the advisory board, shall establish and publish reasonable rules and regulations for the training, qualification, scope of privilege, and licensing of EMSP, and provider services, and for the operation, design, equipment, and licensing of air and ground ambulances. In adopting rules and regulations, the Board of Health shall follow the provisions of the Alabama Administrative Procedure Act, and shall, in all cases, hold one or more public hearings prior to adoption, amendment, or rescission of any rule or regulation. At such hearing, any interested person, firm, or corporation or any member of the public may be heard. Any person, firm, or corporation affected by any regulation, amendment, or rescission hereof may appeal consideration thereof to the Circuit Court of Montgomery County pursuant to the provisions of the Administrative Procedure Act.
(b) Regulations adopted under this section shall become effective as provided in the Administrative Procedure Act. From any judgment of the circuit court in any case appealed to it, an appeal shall be made pursuant to the Administrative Procedure Act.
(Acts 1971, No. 1590, p. 2717, §3; Acts 1995, No. 95-276, p. 488, §1; Act 2010-584, p. 1304, §1.)
The provisions of this article shall not apply to volunteer rescue squads that are members of the Alabama Association of Rescue Squads, Inc., and which furnish BLS ambulance service to the public; nor shall the provisions of this chapter apply to businesses or companies which only provide free ambulance service to their employees who require medical attention on business or company grounds; nor shall the provisions of this chapter apply to or govern ambulances owned by a county, a municipality, or any other political subdivision of the state.
(Acts 1971, No. 1590, p. 2717, §6; Acts 1973, No. 526, p. 767; Acts 1975, 4th Ex. Sess., No. 120, p. 2815, §1; Acts 1977, No. 526, p. 698; Acts 1981, No. 81-774, p. 1335; Act 2010-584, p. 1304, §1.)
Violations; good Samaritan provisions; scope of privilege; control of emergency scene; penalties.
(a) It shall be a Class A misdemeanor for any person, firm, company, corporation, organization, facility, or agency to do any of the following:
(1) Deliberately hinder, obstruct, or interfere with an officer, inspector, or duly authorized agent of the board while in the performance of official duties.
(2) Deliberately hinder, obstruct, or interfere with any physician, licensed nurse, licensed EMSP, or emergency personnel exempt from licensure under the provisions of this article while that person is providing emergency care to a third person or while that person is assisting at the scene of an emergency, directing traffic at the scene of an emergency, or managing or helping to manage the scene of an emergency.
(3) Violate subsection (c) or (d) of this section.
(4) Offer, provide, or perform, without a license or certificate to do so, an emergency medical service or other function which, under the provisions of this article or the rules adopted pursuant thereto, may not be performed without a license or certificate issued by the Board of Health. No person shall be subject to criminal liability pursuant to this section in the event he or she renders first aid or emergency care at the scene of an injury caused by a motor vehicle crash or by some other incident, or at the scene of a mass casualty or disaster if:
a. The first aid or emergency care is rendered gratuitously and in good faith; and
b. The first aid or emergency care is not rendered in the course of a business, program, or system which regularly engages in the provision of emergency medical care.
(b) Nothing in this section shall be construed to repeal, abridge, or modify Section 6-5-332 or any other good Samaritan statute.
(c) No person shall regularly engage in providing emergency medical care at the scene of emergencies unless he or she is licensed as EMSP as defined in this article, or unless he or she is exempted from licensure pursuant to the provisions of this article. Notwithstanding the foregoing, nothing in this article shall be construed to prohibit any physician or nurse licensed in Alabama from performing any act within his or her scope of practice. No person shall hold himself or herself out to be EMSP, unless he or she is licensed as such as defined in this chapter. EMSP licensed in other jurisdictions may identify themselves as holding such licensure.
(d) The board shall by rule establish the scope of privilege for each level of EMSP licensure. No person shall exceed the scope of privilege granted to his or her level of licensure.
(e) Control of an emergency scene may be taken by EMSP if the personnel arrive at the scene of an emergency prior to the arrival of law enforcement personnel, and if managing the emergency scene will not interfere with other emergency medical care duties. Emergency scene control shall include the authority to direct traffic. A driver of a motor vehicle entering an emergency scene or entering a roadway adjacent to an emergency scene shall use caution, shall maintain proper control of the motor vehicle, and shall obey the directions of law enforcement personnel and emergency personnel at the scene. Any person violating this subsection shall be guilty of a violation.
(f) The board may, following the contested case provisions of the Administrative Procedure Act, suspend or revoke the license or certificate of EMSP at any level, or a provider service, or it may refuse to grant a license or certificate to any person or entity at any time that any of the following is determined with respect to the holder or applicant:
(1) Does not meet or no longer meets the prescribed qualifications.
(2) Is guilty of misconduct as defined by the board's rules or otherwise commits a violation of this act or any rules promulgated thereunder.
(3) Has failed to maintain the required level of continuing education units or any equivalent therefor defined in the board's rules.
(4) Has provided care to a patient or patients under his or her care which falls short of the standard of care which ordinarily would be expected to be provided by similarly situated EMSP in Alabama, and has thereby jeopardized the life, health, or safety of a patient or patients.
(5) Has sexually or physically abused a patient under his or her care.
(6) Has submitted a license or test application, a report of continuing education requirements, a run report, a patient care record, EMSP student record, clinical rotation record, intent to train form, self-study document, fluid and drug application, physician medication order form, or any other document which is material to the duties and qualifications of EMSP or those of a student in an EMSP training program and which is fraudulent or knowingly false in any respect.
(7) Has committed fraud in the performance of his or her duties or in connection with any matter related to emergency medical services.
(8) Has been convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude, or a crime in which the victim is an EMSP provider service or an EMS patient, unless the board determines that the fact of the conviction would not likely interfere with the performance of EMS duties.
(9) Has performed any act requiring licensure or certification under state EMS statutes, without possession of the requisite licensure or certification.
(10) Has performed any act which exceeds the scope of license or privilege granted to the holder.
(Acts 1971, No. 1590, p. 2717, §5; Acts 1995, No. 95-276, p. 488, §1; Act 2010-584, p. 1304, §1.)
Any examination of HIPAA's impact starts with the provisions of the Privacy Rule. This is the section that provides patients with access to their own medical records. Until the privacy rule came into effect in 2003, patients did not have a federally mandated right to view their own medical information. Access to this information is now guaranteed under HIPAA. Not only can patients view their own records, but they have the right to know who has accessed their records over the preceding six years.
If either of these rights are not adequately provided for, patients now have the right to lodge complaints and force those in possession of this data to make it available to them. Conversely, if patients find out their information was accessed by parties who should not have access to it, patients now have the right to demand both civil and criminal penalties under the Privacy Rule.