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Minnesota House Passes Bill Creating New State Office Dedicated to Emergency Medical Services

Tuesday, May 7, 2024

St. Paul, Minn.— Today the Minnesota House of Representatives passed HF 4738, legislation authored by Rep. John Huot (DFL-Rosemount) that would create a new Office of Emergency Medical Services in Minnesota. The office’s responsibilities would replace those of the Emergency Medical Services Regulatory Board. The measure passed on a vote of 70-58.

“Minnesotans expect to have confidence in their first responders when they dial 911,” said Rep. Huot. “Minnesota is struggling with emergency medical services, especially in rural areas where response times can exceed an hour. My bill will establish emergency response units in the most challenging areas to improve response times and enable the office to innovate.”

In 2022, the Office of the Legislative Auditor (OLA) released an evaluation report regarding emergency ambulance services showing insufficient oversight, outdated service areas, persistent sustainability challenges, and ineffective Emergency Medical Services Regulatory Board (EMSRB) leadership. Under Huot’s bill, the Office of Emergency Medical Services will replace the EMSRB with a transition taking place Jan. 1, 2025.

The new office would be home to three divisions: the Medical Services Division, the Ambulance Services Division, and the Emergency Medical Service Providers Division. The legislation also creates an Alternative EMS Response Model Pilot Program. Under the pilot, primary ambulance providers in certain rural areas would be allowed to partner with supporting providers to provide expanded life support intercept capability.

The bill awaits action in the Senate. Video of the floor debate can be found here.