Chapter 5.04
AMBULANCE FRANCHISES

Sections:

5.04.010    Required for operation of ambulance or first aid vehicles.

5.04.020    Application – Contents – Proof of minimal liability insurance required.

5.04.030    Operator’s license required.

5.04.040    Ambulance license required.

5.04.050    Ambulance personnel requirements.

5.04.060    Transportation by other vehicles prohibited.

5.04.070    Additional requirements.

5.04.080    EMS oversight board.

5.04.085    EMS technical advisory board.

5.04.090    Ambulance operations – Records – Review – Hearing – Finding.

5.04.100    Violation – Penalties.

5.04.010 Required for operation of ambulance or first aid vehicles.

No person, firm or corporation shall operate an ambulance or a first aid vehicle in Whatcom County (outside the limits of any city or town) without having first secured a franchise issued by the board of county commissioners of Whatcom County, except as provided in subsections (1), (2), (3), and (4) of RCW 18.73.150. (Prior code § 4.02.020).

5.04.020 Application – Contents – Proof of minimal liability insurance required.

A. Applications for a franchise to operate an ambulance (ambulances) or first aid vehicle (vehicles) must be in writing, addressed to the board of county commissioners of Whatcom County, setting forth the name and address of the applicant, the owner of the vehicles, the trade name under which the ambulance will be operated, the operators of the vehicles, and each of the personnel whom it is anticipated will accompany the vehicle operator or operate any of the equipment carried in the vehicle.

B. The application shall also contain a description of the vehicle, including the make, model, year, chassis number, ID number, registration number, license number, the color scheme, insignia, name, monogram or other distinguishing characteristics to be used as designating applicant’s ambulance.

C. The application shall indicate the central location from which the vehicle is intended to be dispatched and indicate the area and locale in which it is to be operated.

D. The applicant shall certify each vehicle as equipped to conform to the requirements of the state laws and shall indicate specifically any manner in which his vehicle, as equipped, deviates from the minimum requirements of state regulations.

E. The provisions of subsections A through D of this section will be deemed satisfied if the applicant can establish he holds a current, valid ambulance or first aid vehicle license issued by the Secretary of the State Department of Social and Health Services; and, his vehicle operator(s) are licensed and approved by the Secretary of the State Board of Social and Health Services.

F. The application should be accompanied by proof of liability insurance in minimum limits of $100,000/$300,000 covering operations. (Prior code § 4.02.030).

5.04.030 Operator’s license required.

An ambulance operator, ambulance director, first aid vehicle operator or first aid director, as defined in RCW 18.73.030, may not operate a service within Whatcom County outside the city limits of any city or town without holding a license for such operation issued by the Secretary of the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services, except as provided under subsections (1), (2), (3) or (4) of RCW 18.73.130. (Prior code § 4.02.010).

5.04.040 Ambulance license required.

RCW 18.73.140 is adopted by this reference thereto. An annual license is required for an ambulance; qualification for, issuance and revocation of ambulance license is required and license display; and periodic inspections of the ambulance are required. (Prior code § 4.02.040).

5.04.050 Ambulance personnel requirements.

RCW 18.73.150 is by this reference thereto adopted in this chapter. (Prior code § 4.02.050).

5.04.060 Transportation by other vehicles prohibited.

RCW 18.73.180 is by this reference thereto adopted in this chapter. (Prior code § 4.02.060).

5.04.070 Additional requirements.

The following additional sections of Chapter 18.73 RCW are adopted by this reference thereto, insofar as same neither conflict with state regulation nor are superseded by provisions of Chapter 18.73 RCW:

A. RCW 18.73.030, definitions;

B. RCW 18.73.080(1), (a), (b), and (4), minimum requirements prescribed by the Secretary of the State Department of Social and Health Services for ambulances and first aid vehicles; and, liability insurance to be carried by ambulance operators;

C. RCW 18.73.100, conditions for variance from state standards;

D. RCW 18.73.110, emergency medical technician qualifications;

E. RCW 18.73.120, advanced first aid certificate qualification, issuance and duration;

F. RCW 18.73.160, first aid vehicle licenses;

G. RCW 18.73.170, first aid vehicles, personnel and use. (Prior code § 4.02.070).

5.04.080 EMS oversight board.

A. Composition. There is created a joint, advisory, cooperative emergency medical and ambulance services oversight board, consisting of the following nine members:

1. The Whatcom County executive;

2. The mayor of Bellingham;

3. A mayor of an incorporated city, other than Bellingham, appointed by the Small Cities Mayors’ Association;

4. One Bellingham city councilmember;

5. One Whatcom County councilmember;

6. County Fire District Commissioner, appointed by the County Fire Commissioner’s Association;

7. A medical community citizen representative, appointed jointly by the county executive and the mayor of Bellingham;

8. A financial/budget citizen representative, appointed jointly by the county executive and the mayor of Bellingham;

9. A citizen at large, appointed jointly by the county executive and mayor of Bellingham.

B. Duties of the EMS Oversight Board. The EMS oversight board shall:

1. With the active advice and participation of the technical advisory board, make recommendations to Whatcom County and the cities and fire districts of Whatcom County regarding administration, operations, levels of service, and EMS budgets and financial reporting including but not limited to the objectives and actions described in Attachment “A” to the ordinance codified in this section, Whatcom County EMS Administrative Services; and

2. Be the primary organization responsible for framing the ongoing vision of an integrated and coordinated EMS system; and

3. Hold at least four meetings per year (quarterly) to review the status of emergency medical services in Whatcom County and to develop recommendations; provided, that all nine members shall be voting members and provided further that a quorum of six members is required in order for the board to take final action. Board recommendations shall be made by a minimum of five members voting to affirm the recommendation; and

4. Refer appropriate technical, operational, and medical matters to the technical advisory board; and

5. Ensure that meetings of the EMS oversight board are open and accessible to the public. At every meeting the board will schedule an open session to take public comment; and

6. Designate the Whatcom County executive as the chairperson of the board and designate the staff for the board. The board may select a vice chair who may serve as interim chair in the absence of the county executive; and

7. In making recommendations, strive to stay within the adopted county budget and service provider contracts. Any recommendation will include a fiscal analysis and funding recommendation. (Ord. 2013-074 (Exh. A); Ord. 2006-007; Ord. 82-109; prior code § 4.02.080).

5.04.085 EMS technical advisory board.

A. Composition. There is created a joint, cooperative emergency medical services technical advisory board, consisting of the following 10 members:

1. A member appointed by the Whatcom County Fire Chiefs Association;

2. A member appointed by the county executive from the Whatcom County administration;

3. A hospital/medical community representative, appointed jointly by the county executive and the mayor of Bellingham;

4. A member appointed by Whatcom County Fire District 7 as an ALS service provider;

5. A member appointed by the city of Bellingham fire department as an ALS service provider;

6. A member from the What-Comm Dispatch Center, appointed jointly by the county executive and the mayor of Bellingham;

7. A paramedic training education provider, appointed jointly by the county executive and the mayor of Bellingham;

8. A member appointed by the Whatcom County EMS/Trauma Care Council;

9. A member appointed by the mayor of Bellingham from the city of Bellingham administration; and

10. The medical program director.

B. Board Officer and Staff Support.

1. County executive shall appoint chair and vice chair.

2. The chair shall be responsible for convening and conducting meetings.

3. Staff support of the TAB shall be designated by and serve under the direction of the county executive.

4. The TAB may create other interim work groups to assist the TAB in making recommendations. The interim work groups may include other members of the community not part of the TAB.

C. Duties of the EMS Technical Advisory Board. The technical advisory board shall:

1. Serve as advisors and make recommendations to the EMS oversight board and to emergency medical service providers in Whatcom County regarding operational, educational, and logistical components of basic through advanced life support services;

2. Monitor the emergency medical services provided throughout Whatcom County and make recommendations to the EMS oversight board designed to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of those services;

3. Hold meetings as needed with the primary purpose of making such recommendations in an efficient and focused manner;

4. Strive to make recommendations by consensus. In the absence of consensus recommendations may be made by a majority of all members of the TAB;

5. Coordinate ongoing training standards and services; and

6. Strive to make recommendations that stay within the adopted county budget and service provider contracts. Any recommendations will include a fiscal analysis and funding recommendation. (Ord. 2013-074 (Exh. A)).

5.04.090 Ambulance operations – Records – Review – Hearing – Finding.

A. Emergency medical care by ambulance crews will be performed in accordance with the standards and principles of the course of instruction given emergency medical technicians.

B. Records, in a form to be approved by the board, shall be logged by ambulance crews and shall include the appearance and status of, and treatment administered to, injured, sick, or incapacitated persons treated or transported by ambulances or their crews. Such records shall be made and copies filed monthly. The file copy should have a number rather than the name of the person receiving care. Such records are confidential and shall be released only to the board and proper officials, unless subpoenaed.

C. The board shall review operations of ambulance crew to determine whether or not the standards have been met.

D. If it appears to the board that substandard operations may have occurred, the board shall set a hearing date upon not less than three days’ written notice to the crewmen and ambulance owner or proprietor affected. At such hearing the affected crewmen and owner or proprietor shall be apprised of any adverse information under consideration by the board and shall be given the opportunity to present any information or evidence in rebuttal or defense. Such hearing shall be closed to the press and public unless the respondents thereto shall request a public hearing.

E. Upon a finding by the board that the standards have not been met, the board of county commissioners of Whatcom County, by resolution or ordinance, may declare immediate forfeiture of any county franchise or license held by such ambulance crew of the owner, or proprietor of the ambulance service, by whom such ambulance crew is employed. (Prior code § 4.02.090).

5.04.100 Violation – Penalties.

Violation of any provisions of this chapter shall constitute a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, violators shall be fined a sum not exceeding $100.00, or may be imprisoned in the county jail for not exceeding six months. (Prior code § 4.02.100).