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More Powers for First Responders

More Powers for First Responders

Some new laws will get more medical services to rural Illinoisans.

The old way, volunteer firefighters trained as paramedics could not use paramedic skills. That’s changing. From the Joy, Ill., Fire Department, Scott Thorndike says it’s common sense and a lifesaver.

“We’ll be able to actually practice up to our licensure,” Thorndike says. “We’ll be able to respond 15 to 20 minutes ahead of the ambulance in a rural area, and we’ll be able to administer some necessary drugs to keep an unresponsive diabetic patient going.”

Another new law, signed at the State Fair, allows rural ambulance providers to hold the highest EMT license of any individual on the crew. Another exempts some family farm vehicles from federal trucking regulations.

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