HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

H.B. NO.

2360

TWENTY-SEVENTH LEGISLATURE, 2014

 

STATE OF HAWAII

 

 

 

 

 

 

A BILL FOR AN ACT

 

 

MAKING AN APPROPRIATION FOR EMERGENCY MEDICAL SERVICES IN THE PUNA DISTRICT.

 

 

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:

 


     SECTION 1.  The district of Puna is approximately five hundred square miles in area and has a population of 45,326 according to the 2010 census.  By comparison, Puna is slightly smaller than the island of Kauai in size and roughly twenty thousand less in population.  Puna has become the fastest growing district in the State of Hawaii, with a population increase of forty-four per cent since 2000.  Over the next fifteen years the population of Puna is expected to be about 75,000.  This population growth has significantly impacted the medic units in the districts of Puna and Hilo and will continue to do so.  The Hawaii fire department plans to open an additional medic unit in Puna that is equipped with advanced life support.

     The legislature finds that access to primary health care in Puna is challenging for the community, since primary care services are as much as thirty miles away for many residents.  When coupled with economic and transportation challenges, Hawaii county emergency medical services has become the access point for health care in Puna.

     Emergency medical services in Puna are provided by Hawaii fire department's Medic 5 and 10 units, based in Keaau and Pahoa fire stations, respectively.  These units are strategically based to serve the bulk of Puna's population, handling ninety-one per cent of emergency medical services calls in Puna.  Medic 19 at the Volcano fire station serves a less populated area of Puna but fills a wide gap between Keaau and Kau.

     According to statistics of the Hawaii fire department, since 2007 there has been a fifty per cent increase in responses from Medics 1 and 3, based in Hilo, into the Puna district, and there are numerous times when the majority of east Hawaii's Medics 1, 3, 5, 10, and 19 are covering calls in the Puna district, which leaves Hilo without adequate emergency medical services.  From 2007 to 2008, the Puna district accounted for 3,970 or twenty-one per cent of the emergency medical service calls in Hawaii county.  From 2012 to 2013, this figure increased to 4,994 or twenty-eight per cent of Hawaii county's 911 calls.

     The legislature further finds that Puna needs an emergency medical services unit equipped with advanced life support in the interests of protecting the public health and safety of Puna residents.

     The purpose of this Act is to make an appropriation for a grant-in-aid to the Hawaii fire department to add an emergency medical services unit equipped with advanced life support to serve the Puna district.

     SECTION 2.  There is appropriated out of the general revenues of the State of Hawaii the sum of $           or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2014-2015 for a grant-in-aid to the Hawaii fire department for an additional emergency medical services unit, equipped with advanced life support, including costs for personnel and equipment, to serve the Puna district.

     The sum appropriated shall be expended by the county of Hawaii for the purposes of this Act.

     SECTION 3.  This Act shall take effect on July 1, 2014.

 

INTRODUCED BY:

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Report Title:

Hawaii County Emergency Medical Services; Puna District; Grant-in-Aid; Appropriation

 

Description:

Makes an appropriation for a grant-in-aid to the Hawaii fire department to add an emergency medical services unit equipped with advanced life support to serve the Puna district.

 

 

 

The summary description of legislation appearing on this page is for informational purposes only and is not legislation or evidence of legislative intent.