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Published: Thursday, 9/22/2011

New law lets ambulances respond to scene with only 1 paramedic or EMT

Ohio measure aims to cut response times


COLUMBUS— A new Ohio law allows ambulances to head to emergency scenes with only one certified paramedic or emergency medical technician on board — namely, the driver.

Ambulances still would be staffed with at least two people when carrying patients. Officials say the change taking effect Friday for ambulances on their way to accidents and other emergencies should improve response times and reflects the increased use of volunteer fire personnel because of budget cuts.

Ohio Fire Chiefs Association past president Bernie Ingles says at rural volunteer fire departments in particular, ambulances will be able to go out more quickly, without having to wait for the second person to get to the fire station. The additional personnel can meet up with the ambulance at the scene.

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