AB 263 is a misguided and unnecessary solution seeking a problem. It creates restrictions that places public safety in jeopardy and is lacking of common sense.
The language within AB 263 will heavily penalize private – but not public -- employers of EMTs and paramedics for break interruptions during responses to disasters because they must release their employees from patient care duties even if it places patient care at risk.
AB 263 (Rodriguez) places patient care at risk by seeking to restrict or eliminate private EMS providers from operating in the state.
American Medical Response (AMR), California’s largest provider of 911 emergency ambulance services, strongly agrees that employees should be compensated if a break or meal period is interrupted and not rescheduled.
This places California’s population public safety in grave jeopardy. The standard practice of EMS is that the closest ambulance to an emergency responds because patient care takes precedent to rest and meal breaks. AB 263 will prohibit that standard.
AB 263 defies common sense and establishes restrictions that simply should not be applied to emergency medical services. Private EMS providers were the primary paramedic ambulance service that responded to the San Bernardino shootings, the Asiana plane crash and the Oroville Dam evacuation. AB 263 will impact future responses to major events like these.
The onerous language in AB 263 will prevent AMR from being able to sustain operations in their jurisdictions in the counties of Santa Clara, Sonoma, San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Yolo, Napa, Contra Costa, San Diego and Los Angeles. Again, placing public safety at risk and economic burdens to already financially stressed counties.
AB 263 is simply bad public policy. The public holds emergency responders in high esteem and expects them to be available 24 hours a day – 7 days a week. AB 263 creates burdensome restrictions on emergency responders that will place public safety in danger by not allowing immediate response in some instances.