Bill would allow medical supplies, equipment on fire trucks in small towns

Bill would allow medical supplies, equipment on fire trucks in small towns

SPRINGFIELD — A measure that would make it easier to provide emergency medical care in rural communities cleared an Illinois Senate committee Tuesday morning.

The amended legislation, HB 5828, sponsored in the Senate by Sen. Chapin Rose, R-Mahomet, would permit communities of under 7,500 population to have advanced medical supplies and equipment in fire trucks and "brush trucks" that could be used by medical professionals in emergencies.

"A lot of our rural communities have paramedics living in them. Let them jump on, use their skill set and save a person's life," Rose said.

The Senate Public Health Committee unanimously approved the legislation, which had been revised after meetings with the state public health department. The bill now goes to the full Senate for passage. The Illinois House must also agree to the amendments.

The legislation, Rose said, would allow rural communities to upgrade their emergency services based on "who's on it, not what it is. The paramedics can do so much more. They can (administer) drugs, they can do IVs, they can do all kinds of stuff.

"What this bill does it it extends medical services not just for ambulances but to fire trucks, brush trucks and any other piece of equipment in the fire station, because usually what hits the scene first is the fire truck or the brush truck."

The fire trucks or brush truck could not be used to transport the patient to a hospital, Rose noted.

"But a medical kit on a brush truck is a far cheaper way to extend care while you're waiting for the ambulance."

The amendment to the bill, agreed to Tuesday, ensures that the drugs and equipment on the vehicles are stored securely and is climate- controlled, Rose said.

"This is really cool. This is going to save lives," he said.

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