Kansas considers relaxing rules on rural ambulance drivers

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MGN Online MGN Online
NORTON, Kan. (AP) -

A proposal before the Kansas Legislature would allow people without medical training to drive ambulances in rural areas.

The bill is in response to a statewide shortage of trained personnel for ambulances in rural areas. One person with medical training -- such as a nurse or an EMT -- would still be required to be on board ambulances.

Supporters cite places like Norton County, in northwest Kansas. The county's 5,400 residents has six full-time ambulance workers and nine volunteers to respond to all 911 calls and take patients from one hospital to another.

Kansas News Service reports some state and local officials argue the proposal could put patients at risk.

Kansas Board of Emergency Medical Services director Joe House says requiring two medically trained workers on ambulances protects the public.

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