New rules by the Department of Health for the Division of Emergency Medical Services regarding ambulance sanitation, safety standards, equipment and supplies require periodic safety inspections at least annually, and/or every 30,000 miles after a vehicle registers 200,000 miles, whichever occurs first. This is a prudent measure that will help assure that the vehicle is mechanically safe, roadworthy and maintained to federal and state laws.
However, the Government Operations Committee was concerned last week by a provision in the new rule that prohibits the transfer of ownership of an ambulance that is older than five model years or with an odometer mileage in excess of 200,000 miles. In this day and age, vehicles older than five years are very common. The Government Operations Committee felt that to prohibit a county, municipality or ambulance service in our state from being able to resell or to purchase an ambulance that may in actuality have years of good operational service left is simply forcing greater expense on our locals.
This morning I received a notice from the Department of Health that they have removed provision O from the rules. Therefore, the rules provide that ambulance vehicles will have annual inspections by a certified mechanic with records maintained and submitted for licensure; and after 200,000 miles, an inspection every 30,000 miles.