Local Rescue Squad Bill Signed Into Law

By Benjamin Cox on July 12, 2023 at 1:51pm

A bill to help fund local rescue squads has been signed into law.

100th District State Representative C.D. Davidsmeyer’s legislation to help save volunteer rescue squads in rural areas of the state has been signed by Governor J.B. Pritzker.

The new law became effective immediately on June 30 and now allows rescue squads to fix, charge, and collect fees for rescue squad and ambulance services not exceeding the reasonable cost of the service.

Davidsmeyer, who was inspired to write the bill by the Meredosia-Bluffs Rescue Squad, told his General Assembly colleagues that small rural squads provide essential services when hospitals can sometimes be several minutes and miles away: “In rural areas, specifically the rescue squad that I proposed this for, is 30 minutes away from the nearest hospital, which means they are 30 minutes away from the nearest ambulance. These rescue squads are volunteers providing vital services. This bill just says that they can recoup the costs of the gas basically to get a person to a hospital. Without recouping these costs, I fear that we are going to lose this service altogether in rural Illinois.”

The bill brings rescue squads in line with volunteer fire departments. This legislation was supported by the Illinois Association of Fire Protection Districts, as well as many other emergency service providers throughout the state.