§16-4C-6. Powers and duties of commissioner.

The commissioner has the following powers and duties:

(a) To propose rules for legislative approval in accordance with the provisions of §29A-3-1 et seq. of this code: Provided, That the rules have been submitted at least 30 days in advance for review by the Emergency Medical Services Advisory Council, who may act only in the presence of a quorum. The rules may include:

(1) Standards and requirements for certification and recertification of emergency medical service personnel, including, but not limited to:

(A) Age, training, testing, and continuing education;

(B) Procedures for certification and recertification, and for denying, suspending, revoking, reinstating, and limiting a certification or recertification;

(C) Levels of certification and the scopes of practice for each level;

(D) Standards of conduct; and

(E) Causes for disciplinary action and sanctions which may be imposed.

(2) Standards and requirements for licensure and licensure renewals of emergency medical service agencies, including:

(A) Operational standards, levels of service, personnel qualifications and training, communications, public access, records management, reporting requirements, medical direction, quality assurance and review, and other requirements necessary for safe and efficient operation;

(B) Inspection standards and establishment of improvement periods to ensure maintenance of the standards;

(C) Fee schedules for licensure, renewal of licensure, and other necessary costs;

(D) Procedures for denying, suspending, revoking, reinstating, or limiting an agency licensure;

(E) Causes for disciplinary action against agencies; and

(F) Administrative penalties, fines, and other disciplinary sanctions which may be imposed on agencies;

(3) Standards and requirements for emergency medical services vehicles, including classifications and specifications;

(4) Standards and requirements for training institutions, including approval or accreditation of sponsors of continuing education, course curricula, and personnel;

(5) Standards and requirements for a State Medical Direction System, including qualifications for a state emergency medical services medical director and regional medical directors, the establishment of a State Medical Policy and Care Committee, and the designation of regional medical command centers;

(6) Provision of services by emergency medical services personnel in hospital emergency rooms;

(7) Authorization to temporarily suspend the certification of an individual emergency medical services provider prior to a hearing or notice if the commissioner finds there is probable cause that the conduct or continued service or practice of any individual certificate holder has or may create a danger to public health or safety: Provided, That the commissioner may rely on information received from a physician that serves as a medical director in finding that probable cause exists to temporarily suspend the certification; and

(8) Any other rules necessary to carry out the provisions of this article;

(b) To apply for, receive, and expend advances, grants, contributions, and other forms of assistance from the state or federal government or from any private or public agencies or foundations to carry out the provisions of this article;

(c) To design, develop, and review a Statewide Emergency Medical Services Implementation Plan. The plan shall recommend aid and assistance and all other acts necessary to carry out the purposes of this article:

(1) To encourage local participation by area, county, and community officials, and regional emergency medical services boards of directors; and

(2) To develop a system for monitoring and evaluating emergency medical services programs throughout the state;

(d) To provide professional and technical assistance and to make information available to regional emergency medical services boards of directors and other potential applicants or program sponsors of emergency medical services for purposes of developing and maintaining a statewide system of services;

(e) To assist local government agencies, regional emergency medical services boards of directors, and other public or private entities in obtaining federal, state, or other available funds and services;

(f) To cooperate and work with federal, state, and local governmental agencies, private organizations, and other entities as may be necessary to carry out the purposes of this article;

(g) To acquire in the name of the state by grant, purchase, gift, devise, or any other methods appropriate, real and personal property as may be reasonable and necessary to carry out the purposes of this article;

(h) To make grants and allocations of funds and property so acquired or which may have been appropriated to the agency to other agencies of state and local government as may be appropriate to carry out the purposes of this article;

(i) To expend and distribute by grant or bailment funds and property to all state and local agencies for the purpose of performing the duties and responsibilities of the agency all funds which it may have so acquired or which may have been appropriated by the Legislature of this state;

(j) To develop a program to inform the public concerning emergency medical services;

(k) To review and disseminate information regarding federal grant assistance relating to emergency medical services;

(l) To prepare and submit to the Governor and Legislature recommendations for legislation in the area of emergency medical services;

(m) To review, make recommendations for, and assist in all projects and programs that provide for emergency medical services whether or not the projects or programs are funded through the Office of Emergency Medical Services. A review and approval shall be required for all emergency medical services projects, programs, or services for which application is made to receive state or federal funds for their operation after the effective date of this act;

(n) To cooperate with the Department of Administration, Purchasing Division to establish one or more statewide contracts for equipment and supplies utilized by emergency medical services agencies in accordance with §5A-3-1 et seq. of this code:

(1) Any statewide contract established hereunder shall be made available to any emergency medical services agency licensed under §16-4C-6a of this code that is designated to provide emergency response by one or more county emergency dispatch centers.

(2) The office may develop uniform standards for equipment and supplies used by emergency medical services agencies in accordance with §5A-3-1 et seq. of this code.

(3) The office shall propose legislative rules for promulgation in accordance with §29A-3-1 et seq. of this code to effectuate the provisions of this subsection; and

(o) To take all necessary and appropriate action to encourage and foster the cooperation of all emergency medical service providers and facilities within this state.