S.B. No. 523
relating to the regional emergency medical dispatch resource center
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
SECTION 1. Subchapter E, Chapter 771, Health and Safety
Code, is amended to read as follows:
SUBCHAPTER E. [
STATE] EMERGENCY MEDICAL DISPATCH
RESOURCE CENTERS [ CENTER]
Sec. 771.101. DEFINITION. In this subchapter, "center"
means the area health education center at The University of Texas
Medical Branch at Galveston that meets the requirements of 42
U.S.C. Section 294a and has received federal funding as an area
health education center.
Sec. 771.102. ESTABLISHMENT OF PILOT PROGRAM. (a) The
center [ Texas Department of Health], with the assistance of the
advisory council appointed under Section 773.012, shall establish a
pilot program to test the efficacy of using emergency medical
dispatchers located in a regional emergency medical dispatch
resource center to provide life-saving and other emergency medical
instructions to persons who need guidance while awaiting the
arrival of emergency medical personnel. The purpose of a regional
emergency medical dispatch resource center is not to dispatch
personnel or equipment resources but to serve as a resource to
provide pre-arrival instructions that may be accessed by selected
public safety answering points that are not adequately staffed or
funded to provide those services.
(b) The commission shall provide technical assistance to
the center [ department] to facilitate the implementation of the
(c) The center [ department], with the assistance
[ cooperation] of the advisory council, shall:
(1) design criteria and protocols and provide
oversight as needed to conduct the pilot program;
(2) collect the necessary data to evaluate the outcome
of the pilot program; and
(3) report its findings to the legislature.
Sec. 771.103 [ 771.102]. PARTICIPATION IN PILOT
PROGRAM. (a) The center [ Texas Department of Health] shall
determine which public safety answering points are interested in
participating in the pilot program.
(b) [ The department shall establish criteria for selecting
qualified public safety answering points to participate in the
[ (c)] Participating public safety answering points must
agree to participate in any required training and to provide
regular reports required by the center [ department] for the pilot
Sec. 771.104 [ 771.103]. SELECTION OF PROGRAM PARTICIPANTS
AND REGIONAL EMERGENCY MEDICAL DISPATCH RESOURCE CENTERS
[ CENTER]. (a) The center [ Texas Department of Health], with the
assistance of the advisory council, may [ shall] select [ one] public
safety answering points to participate in the pilot program or
[ point] to serve as [ the] regional emergency medical dispatch
resource centers [ center]. A public safety answering point may
participate in the pilot program and serve as a regional emergency
medical dispatch resource center. A [ The] public safety answering
point selected [ as the resource center] for the pilot program or to
serve as a resource center must:
(1) have a fully functional quality assurance program
that measures each emergency medical dispatcher's compliance with
the medical protocol;
(2) have dispatch personnel who meet the requirements
for emergency medical dispatcher certification or the equivalent as
determined by the [ Texas] Department of State Health Services;
(3) use emergency medical dispatch protocols approved
by a physician medical director knowledgeable in emergency medical
(4) have sufficient experience in providing
pre-arrival instructions; and
(5) have sufficient resources to handle the additional
workload and responsibilities of the pilot program.
(b) In selecting an existing public safety answering point
to act as a [ the] resource center, the center [ department and the
advisory council] shall consider a public safety answering point's
ability to keep records and produce reports to measure the
effectiveness of the pilot program. The center shall share
information regarding a public safety answering point's abilities
with the advisory council.
Sec. 771.105 [ 771.104]. CRITERIA FOR EMERGENCY MEDICAL
DISPATCH INTERVENTION. The center, with the assistance of
[ department and] the advisory council, shall define criteria that
establish the need for emergency medical dispatch intervention to
be used by participating public safety answering points to
determine which calls are to be transferred to the regional
emergency medical dispatch resource center for emergency medical
Sec. 771.106 [ 771.105]. FUNDING OF PILOT PROGRAM. (a)
Money in the 9-1-1 services fee fund may be appropriated to The
University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston on behalf of the
center [ the Texas Department of Health] to fund the pilot program.
(b) The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston on
behalf of the center and the center are [ department is] also
authorized to seek grant funding for the pilot program.
(c) A political subdivision that participates in the pilot
program may pay an appropriate share of the cost of the pilot
(d) The provisions in this subchapter that require the
center [ department] to establish, conduct, and evaluate the pilot
program are contingent on the center [ department] receiving funding
in accordance with this section. If a sufficient number of
political subdivisions in a region that could be served by a pilot
program offer to pay the center [ Texas Department of Health] an
amount that in the aggregate, together with any other funding
received under this section, is sufficient to fund the pilot
program for the region, The University of Texas Medical Branch at
Galveston, on behalf of the center [ the department]:
(1) shall enter into contracts with the offering
political subdivisions under which each will pay an appropriate
share of the cost; and
(2) when the amount under the signed contracts,
together with any other funding received under this section, is
sufficient to fund the pilot program for the region, shall
implement the pilot program for the region.
Sec. 771.107 [ 771.106]. REPORT TO LEGISLATURE. The center
[ department] shall biennially report its findings to the governor,
the presiding officer of each house of the legislature, and the
advisory council no later than January 1 of each odd-numbered year
through 2009[ , 2005].
Sec. 771.108 [ 771.107]. LIABILITY. The operations of the
regional emergency medical dispatch resource center are considered
to be the provision of 9-1-1 services for purposes of Section
771.053. Employees of and volunteers at the center have the same
protection from liability as a member of the governing body of a
public agency under Section 771.053.
Sec. 771.109 [ 771.1071]. WORK GROUP. (a) The center may
[ presiding officer of the advisory council shall] appoint a pilot
program work group to assist the center [ Texas Department of
Health] in developing, implementing, and evaluating the pilot
program and preparing a report on the center's [ department's]
(b) A member of the work group receives no additional
compensation for serving on the pilot program work group and may not
be reimbursed for travel or other expenses incurred while
conducting the business of the pilot program work group.
(c) The pilot program work group is not subject to Chapter
2110, Government Code.
Sec. 771.110 [ 771.108]. EXPIRATION. This subchapter expires
September 1, 2009 [ 2005].
SECTION 2. This Act takes effect immediately if it receives
a vote of two-thirds of all the members elected to each house, as
provided by Section 39, Article III, Texas Constitution. If this
Act does not receive the vote necessary for immediate effect, this
Act takes effect September 1, 2005.
President of the Senate Speaker of the House
I hereby certify that S.B. No. 523 passed the Senate on
March 31, 2005, by the following vote: Yeas 30, Nays 0.
Secretary of the Senate
I hereby certify that S.B. No. 523 passed the House on
April 22, 2005, by the following vote: Yeas 142, Nays 0, one
present not voting.
Chief Clerk of the House