AUGUSTA — The Maine Senate unanimously enacted legislation from Senate President Troy Jackson, D-Allagash, to support rural hospitals by facilitating the hiring of emergency technicians on Tuesday.
LD 2025, “An Act To Authorize Emergency Medical Services Personnel To Provide Treatment within Their Scope of Practice in a Hospital Setting with the Permission of the Hospital” was introduced on behalf of Cary Medical Center to help with the workforce shortages in rural Maine. The bill clarifies state law to allow EMTs to practice within the scope of their training under the employment of a hospital.
“Rural hospitals are vital to the health and well-being of our communities. Amid current workforce shortages in the health care field, hospitals, like Cary Medical Center, are taking creative steps to fill gaps and ensure our neighbors get the critical care they need,” said President Jackson. “I’m proud to have partnered with the folks at Cary Medical on legislation that supports our rural hospitals, and recognizes the skills and abilities of our EMTs.”
Due to workforce shortages in the health care industry in rural Maine, some hospitals are looking to hire emergency medical technicians and paramedics to fill some of these gaps that fall within their scope of practice. The nurses, doctors and administrators at Cary Medical Center raised this issue in a meeting with President Jackson last fall.
“Making it clear that hospitals may employ EMS providers and utilize them in a manner defined by the hospital as directed by physicians is a win for EMS, hospitals and most importantly the patients,” said Jay Bradshaw of the Maine Ambulance Association, at the public hearing.
LD 2025 will now go to the governor’s desk. Gov. Janet Mills has 10 days to sign the bill into law, let it become law without her signature, or veto it.