Bill S5598-2011

Outlines when certain vehicles shall be considered an emergency ambulance service vehicle

Outlines when certain vehicles shall be considered an emergency ambulance service vehicle; provides that every vehicle operated for emergency medical service purposes owned by an entity or agency of the state, a public authority, a county, town, city or village certified pursuant to section three thousand five of the public health law to operate an ambulance or advance life support first response service, for the purposes of section one hundred one of the vehicle and traffic law shall be considered an emergency ambulance service vehicle.



  • May 16, 2012: referred to transportation
  • May 16, 2012: PASSED SENATE
  • May 2, 2012: 2ND REPORT CAL.
  • May 1, 2012: 1ST REPORT CAL.678
  • Jan 4, 2012: returned to senate
  • Jan 4, 2012: died in assembly
  • Jun 20, 2011: referred to transportation
  • Jun 20, 2011: PASSED SENATE
  • Jun 20, 2011: ORDERED TO THIRD READING CAL.1396




VOTE: COMMITTEE VOTE: - Transportation - May 1, 2012
Ayes (18): Fuschillo, Johnson, Larkin, Maziarz, McDonald, Nozzolio, Ranzenhofer, Robach, Young, Zeldin, Dilan, Adams, Diaz, Kennedy, Perkins, Smith, Squadron, Stavisky
Excused (1): Valesky


BILL NUMBER:S5598            REVISED 04/20/12

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the vehicle and traffic law, in relation to emergency ambulance service vehicles

PURPOSE: To include within the definition of "emergency ambulance service vehicle", vehicles operated by supervisory officers and medical directors so as to provide such vehicles authority to circumvent certain rules of the road during an emergency response in the same manner as other emergency vehicles are may currently

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: This bill would amend Vehicle and Traffic Law § 115-c to include within the definition of "emergency ambulance service vehicle", vehicles operated by supervisory officers and medical directors

EXISTING LAW: Current law provides that vehicles operated by a chief or assistant chief of a fire department are considered authorized emergency vehicles.

JUSTIFICATION: Vehicle and Traffic Law § 1104 provides that the driver of an authorized emergency vehicle, when involved in an emergency operation, and with due regard for the safety of others, may proceed through a red light or a stop sign after slowing down; exceed the speed limit, so long as the driver does not endanger life or property; and disregard regulations governing directions of movement or turning in specified directions. Under VTL § 101, "Authorized emergency vehicles" include police vehicles, fire vehicles and emergency ambulance service vehicles.

The VTL specifically provides that a vehicle ordinarily operated by a "chief or assistant chief of a fire department" (as well as by a "a county or deputy county fire coordinator, or county or assistant county fire marshal, or town or assistant town fire coordinator") may be considered a "fire vehicle" for the purposes of being considered an authorized emergency vehicle" (VTL § 115-a). The VTL has no parallel provision with respect to EMS operations. The VTL definition of an emergency ambulance service vehicle relates to motor vehicles operated for the purpose of "transporting emergency medical personnel and equipment to sick or injured persons" (VTL § 115-c). The motor vehicles operated by EMS chief officers and supervisors as command or conditions cars are operated primarily for the purpose of overseeing field operations. Accordingly, they are not generally equipped in the same manner as "emergency ambulance service vehicles."

Given that the VTL recognizes that the vehicles operated by fire chiefs and their assistants should be deemed to constitute fire vehicles, even though the vehicles are not themselves used for firefighting operations and the chiefs and supervisory personnel that they transport typically oversee, and do not perform, fire

operations, there is no reason why there should not be a parallel provision for EMS chiefs and supervisory personnel.

The day-to-day supervision of EMS personnel requires the. rapid response of EMS field supervisors to medical emergencies. Field supervisors are required to provide oversight and guidance at a variety of medical emergencies, including those involving cardiac arrests, emotionally disturbed persons, hazardous materials incidents and rescue operations. In addition, EMS chiefs and medical directors provide high level operational and medical supervision at larger and more complex incidents, ranging from mass casualty motor vehicle accidents to terrorist incidents. The law should, therefore, be clear as to their ability to get through crowded city streets.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2011: Passed Senate (S.5598)


EFFECTIVE DATE: Immediately.


STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 5598 2011-2012 Regular Sessions IN SENATE June 6, 2011 ___________
Introduced by Sen. FUSCHILLO -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Transportation AN ACT to amend the vehicle and traffic law, in relation to emergency ambulance service vehicles THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Section 115-c of the vehicle and traffic law, as added by chapter 142 of the laws of 1981, is amended to read as follows: S 115-c. Emergency ambulance service vehicle. An emergency ambulance service vehicle shall be defined as an appropriately equipped motor vehicle owned or operated by an ambulance service as defined in section three thousand one of the public health law and used for the purpose of transporting emergency medical personnel and equipment to sick or injured persons. PROVIDED HOWEVER, THAT EVERY VEHICLE OPERATED FOR EMER- GENCY MEDICAL SERVICE PURPOSES OWNED BY AN ENTITY OR AGENCY OF THE STATE, A PUBLIC AUTHORITY, A COUNTY, TOWN, CITY OR VILLAGE CERTIFIED PURSUANT TO SECTION THREE THOUSAND FIVE OF THE PUBLIC HEALTH LAW TO OPERATE AN AMBULANCE OR ADVANCE LIFE SUPPORT FIRST RESPONSE SERVICE, WHEN OPERATED IN AN OFFICIAL CAPACITY BY OR UNDER THE DIRECTION OF A SUPERVISORY OFFICER OR THE MEDICAL DIRECTOR OF SUCH ENTITY OR AGENCY SHALL BE CONSIDERED AN EMERGENCY AMBULANCE SERVICE VEHICLE FOR THE PURPOSES OF SECTION ONE HUNDRED ONE OF THIS ARTICLE. S 2. This act shall take effect immediately.


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