20-Sep-2010 Source: NEMSPA
With regards to Senate Bill S. 848 and H.R. 097, cited as the â€œHelicopter Medical Services Patient Safety, Protection, and Coordination Actâ€, the Board of Directors for the National EMS Pilots Association emphasizes the following:
NEMSPA takes a neutral position on those elements of the referenced bills that address medical or business practices. However, there is concern that even though it is stated that no regulations enacted by a State can infringe on or be inconsistent with applicable Federal operating regulations, some language in the bills appears to contradict this requirement. For example, on page 9 of Senate Bill S. 848, line # 18 et seq. the States would be given the right to â€œensure that the helicopter has no structural or functional defects that may adversely affect such personnel . . .â€ This appears to refer to aircraft operational requirements that are addressed by Federal Aviation Regulations in the form of the Minimum Equipment List (MEL) established by the FAA for all aircraft, and which applies to air medical helicopters. Any modification to these aircraft requirements would require FAA approval.
In light of the foregoing, and to insure that any actual implementation of this bill results in an optimum system of air medical transport services in each State, NEMSPAâ€™s position is to emphasize the importance of avoiding any State rules that would infringe upon any Federal operating requirements.
Kent Johnson, President
For the Board
National EMS Pilots Association