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New law could improve EMS & save lives

Published 10/25 2013 10:33AM

Updated 10/25 2013 10:36AM

SPRINGFIELD -- A bill aimed at saving lives in Illinois is headed to the governor's desk, but some worry it could cause problems. EMT's and ambulance services have different qualification levels ranging from very basic to advanced life support.

Right now, even if a responder is trained at a higher skill level, he or she can only perform services at the level the ambulance service is ranked. Lawmakers want to change that to say paramedics can perform any lifesaving services and techniques they know how to do, regardless of the ambulance service ranking.

Supporters say it's especially important in rural areas where hospitals may be farther away. But, there are some concerns.

One paramedic says he worries about liability coverage if something were to go wrong. If medics aren't using the advanced skills often, they might not be as sharp.

Still, some say, anything which helps save more lives is a good thing. The governor still has to sign the bill. If he does, it would go into effect in January.

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