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State by State: June 2019

MASSACHUSETTS: Bill Would Make Assault of an EMS Worker a Felony

A state bill sponsored by Rep. Paul Tucker, D-Salem, and Sen. Michael Brady, D-Brockton, S.838/H.1578, would change assaults on healthcare providers, emergency medical technicians, and ambulance attendants from a misdemeanor to a felony offense, punishable by up to five years in prison. Tucker said the legislation "will set a tone that the assaults on these workers who are trying to do their jobs will not be tolerated." The Massachusetts Nurses Association is pushing for the bill, according to the Springfield Republican. The union is also pushing for a separate bill that would require healthcare employers to develop and implement programs to reduce workplace violence, the article states.

KENTUCKY: Air Methods Closes Two LifeNet Bases

One of the nation's largest air-ambulance companies has closed two bases in Kentucky, citing low payments from Medicaid and Medicare. Air Methods confirmed it has closed its LifeNet bases in London and Lebanon. The company said it would continue serving those areas with helicopters from other bases in Kentucky, according to the Lexington Herald-Leader. "We are committed to ensuring each community where a base has closed continues to have the critical access to air-medical services," spokesperson Doug Flanders said in a statement.

MINNESOTA: EMT Gets Probation for Fatal Crash

A Twin Cities EMS provider pleaded guilty May 1 to careless driving in connection with crashing into a disabled semi trailer truck and killing her partner. Susanna G. Battig, 28, received a sentence of 40 hours of community service along with being ordered to pay nearly $1,500 in restitution for causing the October 2017 wreck that killed Marina G. DeSteno Challeen, 24, of St. Paul. Battig pleaded guilty to one count and had two other misdemeanor counts dismissed, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

NEW YORK: FDNY Hires First Female EMS Chief

FDNY announced May 5 that Lillian Bonsignore has been named the first woman to hold the rank of EMS chief in the department's 154-year history. She takes over FDNY’s 4,500-strong EMS department from the retiring Chief James Booth. With her promotion, Bonsignore, 50, will also set two new milestones for the FDNY, becoming the highest-ranked woman in the uniformed service and the highest-ranked openly gay member. Read more here


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