Locally Driven Downstate EMS Push Becomes Law

DECATUR, IL – A new law inspired by a series of local Emergency Medical Service Taskforce hearings took effect over the Holidays when Governor Quinn signed the bill into law and the results will be to provide better access to care for downstate citizens, according to State Sen. Chapin Rose (R-Mahomet).

“Our friends in the EMS community have advocated hard for their neighbors and a great deal of thanks is owed to Jan Ray who pushed for a hearing in Arthur and to Greg Scott of Forsyth, who is also the McLean County EMS System Director, and to countless local fire and EMS departments that attended our Task Force hearings in Arthur and Maroa for their efforts,” Rose said. “I want to thank our area first responders for the excellent job they do.”

“Director Scott and the Associated Firefighters of Illinois testified in committee in Springfield in support of this legislation – with their help, downstate Illinois will now have more opportunities to provide a higher level of care to our citizens,” said Rose of the bill.

“Unfortunately, Jan Ray passed away before seeing this idea become law. I think it is only fitting that as the Governor has now signed this bill, that we remember Jan for his selfless dedication to his community.  His was the first phone call I got on this specific idea and that call is what led me to ask for Task Force hearings here in central Illinois,” Rose concluded. 

House Bill 2778 will enable an EMS system medical director to sign off on “in-field” service level upgrades. Under the old law, if an ambulance unit is licensed at the lowest level (basic), and a paramedic is on the unit, then the paramedic must practice “down” to the basic level.

The new law is a direct result of a series of legislative hearings which were held around the state and locally in Maroa and Arthur. HB 2778 is meant for local EMS providers that serve populations of up to 7,500 and fewer inhabitants.

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