Tamuning, Guam. P.L. 31-146, formerly Bill No. 339-31 (COR), authored by Health Committee Chairman Senator Dennis G. Rodriguez, Jr., relative to the Establishment, Promotion, and Maintenance of Emergency Medical and Ambulance Services, as provided pursuant to Chapter 84, 10 GCA, updates and brings current with national standards the provision of emergency medical and ambulance services for the people of Guam. This will now allow for the use of government and private emergency response services island-wide, consistently operating under the same standards, and possessing the same professional qualifications.
The measure was signed into law by Governor Eddie J.B. Calvo on November 17, 2011 and transmitted to I Liheslaturan Guahan on November 28, 2011.
The level of professional training and qualifications required has increased significantly nationwide. Guam’s regulations, until now, have remained dormant and not kept pace with advancing national standards.
Additionally, the level of participation by private ambulance services for both public and private medical facilities has also increased nationwide. There are successful public-private relationships in numerous municipalities, where part or all of the services are directly operated by private entities, with appropriate government coordination and regulation.
“This use of private ambulance services has necessitated the development of comprehensive standards to be utilized so as to assure a consistent uniform level of emergency response services, both government and private. Participation in this endeavor has been led by the Emergency Medical Services Commission, Senator Rodriguez stated, and included both government and private stakeholders.”
With this law, new and greatly expanded ambulance services and opportunities are opened up for the people of Guam. Our use of private ambulances is no longer limited to the non-emergency transport of patients.
Properly trained and certified personnel utilizing certified ambulances will now be able to provide emergency services. Of immediate importance the Senator pointed out, “if the non-emergency transport of a patient turns into a serious emergency situation, they will now have the ability to proceed in-code with sirens and flashing emergency lights to GMH, with emergency medical instructions being provided by a GMH Emergency Response physician. Or, should the government suddenly require additional response vehicles, they can now be provided in a timely manner, all operating pursuant to an established, unified emergency response system.”
Senator Rodriguez added, “with the upcoming development of a new private hospital, as well as the growing number of urgent care centers, it is even more imperative that Guam’s private medical facilities be able to directly utilize emergency response services on Guam’s roads in providing emergency health care. Also of great importance, in the event of a territorial emergency such as an airplane crash or a devastating earthquake requiring a greatly expanded pool of emergency response resources and personnel, we can now activate a public-private response system inclusive of all the qualified ambulance services on Guam.
The enactment of this law will (1) raise the quality and availability of both public and private emergency medical response services, and (2) because all would be required to operate pursuant uniform standards, thus provide for safe, partnerships between the government of Guam and private ambulance companies.