Gov. Hickenlooper signs paramedic bill
EDWARDS — A new state law gives Colorado’s community paramedics the ability to practice emergency medical procedures during calls. First responders across the state, including those with Eagle County Paramedic Service, are now regulated under legislation signed recently by Gov. John Hickenlooper.
Christopher Montera, Interim CEO of Eagle County Paramedic Services, spent the past three years working with the Colorado legislature to ensure that community paramedicine programs protect patients and are staffed with educated and competent paramedics.
“This bill represents the best practices of community paramedic programs, not only in Colorado but around the country. I am so happy we were part of this historic effort,” Montera said.
State Sen. Leroy Garcia, from Pueblo, a paramedic himself, sponsored the bill in the Senate and Rep. Dan Pabon, of Denver co-sponsored the bill in the House.
Implementation could take years
With the bill now law, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment and the Board of Health will need to adopt rules for the programs as outlined in the bill. Montera said that this process could take as long as two years based on other programs that have been adopted.
“This bill is about rural Colorado and using paramedics in other roles in the community when they are not on emergency calls,” Montera said. “It also gives a mechanism for urban areas to adopt smaller programs to serve special populations, too.”
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