CHAPTER 176

FORMERLY

HOUSE BILL NO. 241

AS AMENDED BY SENATE AMENDMENT NO. 2

AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 16 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO CRIMINAL BACKGROUND CHECKS FOR AMBULANCE ATTENDANTS, EMERGENCY MEDICAL TECHNICIANS, AND PARAMEDICS.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE :

Section 1. Amend § 6708, Title 16 of the Delaware Code, by adding thereto the following new sections, and thereafter alphabetizing the section:

"(6) 'Ambulance attendant' shall have the same definition as is set forth in Chapter 97 of this title.

(7) 'Criminal history' means a person's entire criminal history record from the State Bureau of Identification and the person's entire federal criminal history record maintained by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

(8) 'Certification' means original certification as an ambulance attendant or emergency medical technician by the State Fire Prevention Commission.

(9) 'Decertification' means the cancellation or revocation of the certificate issued by the State Fire Prevention Commission to an ambulance attendant or emergency medical technician.

(10) 'Emergency medical technician' (EMT) shall have the same definition as is set forth in Chapter 97 of this title."

Section 2. Amend § 6711, Title 16 of the Delaware Code, by striking the words "; ambulance attendants' certificates" as they appear in the heading in their entirety.

Section 3. Amend § 6711(a), Title 16 of the Delaware Code, by striking paragraph (3) thereof in its entirety.

Section 4. Amend § 6711(b), Title 16 of the Delaware Code, by striking subsection (4) thereof in its entirety.

Section 5. Amend Chapter 67, Title 16 of the Delaware Code, by striking § 6712 thereof in its entirety and by substituting in lieu thereof the following:

"§ 6712. Certification of ambulance attendants and emergency medical technicians; criminal background checks.

(a) A person seeking certification as an ambulance attendant, or as an emergency medical technician (EMT), shall apply to the Commission using forms prescribed by the Commission. With the application, the applicant shall submit fingerprints and other necessary information in order to obtain the following:

(1) A report of the individual's entire criminal history record from the State Bureau of Identification or a statement from the State Bureau of Identification that the State Bureau of Identification Central Repository contains no such information relating to that person.

(2) A report of the individual's entire federal criminal history record from the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The State Bureau of Identification shall be the intermediary for the purposes of this section and the Commission shall be the screening point for the receipt of said federal criminal history records.

(b) Upon application the Commission, or its governmental designee, shall acquire and review the State and Federal criminal history records for the applicant and may interview the applicant. If the Commission determines that the applicant meets the requirements of this section and of its regulations then it shall issue a certificate to the applicant, subject to the following provisions:

(1) Certification must be denied to an applicant convicted of the following crimes:

a. a felony involving sexual misconduct where the victim's failure to affirmatively consent is an element of the crime, such as forcible rape;

b. a felony involving the sexual or physical abuse of a child or of an elderly or infirm person, such as sexual misconduct with a child, sexual exploitation of a child, making or distributing child pornography, incest involving a child, or assault on an elderly or infirm person;

c. a crime in which the victim is an out-of-hospital patient or a patient or resident of a health care facility, including abuse, neglect, or theft from or financial exploitation of a person entrusted to the care or protection of the applicant.

(2) Certification must be denied to an applicant convicted of the following crimes, except in extraordinary circumstances:

a. any crime for which applicant is currently incarcerated, on work release, on probation, or on parole;

b. a crime in the following categories, unless at least five years have passed since the applicant’s conviction or at least five years have passed since the applicant was released from custodial confinement, whichever occurs later:

(i) a serious crime of violence against a person, such as assault with a dangerous weapon, aggravated assault, murder or attempted murder, manslaughter (other than involuntary manslaughter), kidnapping, robbery of any degree, or arson;

(ii) a crime involving a controlled substance or designer drug, including unlawful possession or distribution of, or intent to unlawfully possess or distribute, a controlled substance in Schedule I through V of the Uniform Controlled Substances Act of Chapter 47 of this title;

(iii) a serious crime involving property, such as arson, burglary, embezzlement, or insurance fraud;

(iv) any crime involving sexual misconduct.

(3) In extraordinary circumstances, certification granted pursuant to paragraph (2) of this subsection may be granted only if the applicant establishes by clear and convincing evidence that certification will not jeopardize public health and safety.

(c) Certificates issued pursuant to this section shall be valid for a period as determined by the Commission and may be renewed after reconsideration, which may include an interview, if the holder meets the requirements set forth in the regulations of the Commission. The Commission may decertify any ambulance attendant or EMT at any time it determines that the person no longer meets the qualifications prescribed for certification.

(d) Information obtained pursuant to subsection (b) of this section is confidential and shall not be disclosed under any circumstances except:

(1) The State Bureau of Identification may release any subsequent criminal history to the Office of Emergency Medical Services or the State Fire Prevention Commission when properly requested; and

(2) All information that has been forwarded to the Commission pursuant to this section shall be reviewed with the person seeking certification pursuant to this section upon his or her request.

(e) Costs associated with obtaining criminal history information pursuant to this section from the State Bureau of Identification and the Federal Bureau of Investigation shall be borne by the applicant. The Commission shall reimburse to the applicant the costs of obtaining such information if the applicant (i) is a volunteer with a volunteer fire, rescue, or ambulance association and (ii) is not denied certification pursuant to subsection (b) of this section.

(f) A person seeking certification pursuant to this section who knowingly provides false, incomplete, or inaccurate criminal history information, or who otherwise knowingly violates the provisions of this section, shall be guilty of a class G felony and shall be punished according to Chapter 42 of Title 11.

(g) Any student enrolled in the University of Delaware seeking certification as an EMT through the University of Delaware Department of Public Safety, is exempted from the provisions of subsections (a) and (b) of this section; provided, however, that the criminal history background check and review procedures employed by the University of Delaware Department of Public Safety are at least as restrictive as those contained in this section. For the purposes of any criminal history background check or review conducted pursuant to this subsection, the State Bureau of Identification shall be the intermediary, and the University of Delaware Department of Public Safety shall be the screening point for the receipt of said federal criminal history records.

(h) The Commission shall adopt regulations to implement this section setting forth the qualifications required for certification of ambulance attendants and emergency medical technicians."

Section 5. Amend § 9802, Title 16 of the Delaware Code, by adding thereto the following:

"(22) 'Criminal history' means a person's entire criminal history record from the State Bureau of Identification and the person's entire federal criminal history record maintained by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

(23) 'Board' means the Board of Medical Practice.

(24) 'Certification' means original certification as an EMT-P by the Board of Medical Practice.

(25) 'Decertification' means the cancellation or revocation of the certificate issued by Board of Medical Practice to an EMT-P."

Section 6. Amend Chapter 98, Title 16 of the Delaware Code by adding thereto a new section to read:

"§ 9809A. Criminal background checks.

(a) A person seeking certification as an emergency medical technician-paramedic (EMT-P) shall apply to the Board using forms prescribed by the Board and shall submit, to the State Office of Emergency Medical Services, fingerprints and other necessary information in order to obtain the following:

(1) A report of the individual's entire criminal history record from the State Bureau of Identification or a statement from the State Bureau of Identification that the State Bureau of Identification Central Repository contains no such information relating to that person.

(2) A report of the individual's entire federal criminal history record from the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The State Bureau of Identification shall be the intermediary for the purposes of this section and the Office shall be the screening point for the receipt of said federal criminal history records.

(b) Upon receipt of fingerprints and other necessary information pursuant to subsection (a) of this section, the Office shall acquire and review the State and Federal criminal history records for the applicant and may interview the applicant. If the Office determines that the applicant meets the requirements of this section and of its regulations, it shall issue a binding recommendation to the Board regarding the certification of the applicant, subject to the following provisions:

(1) The Office must recommend denial of, and the Board must deny, certification to an applicant convicted of the following crimes:

a. a felony involving sexual misconduct where the victim's failure to affirmatively consent is an element of the crime, such as forcible rape;

b. a felony involving the sexual or physical abuse of a child or of an elderly or infirm person, such as sexual misconduct with a child, sexual exploitation of a child, making or distributing child pornography, incest involving a child, or assault on an elderly or infirm person;

c. a crime in which the victim is an out-of-hospital patient or a patient or resident of a health care facility, including abuse, neglect, or theft from or financial exploitation of a person entrusted to the care or protection of the applicant.

(2) The Office must recommend denial of, and the Board must deny, certification to an applicant convicted of the following crimes, except in extraordinary circumstances:

a. any crime for which the applicant is currently incarcerated, on work release, on probation, or on parole;

b. a crime in the following categories, unless at least five years have passed since the applicant’s conviction or at least five years have passed since the applicant was released from custodial confinement, whichever occurs later:

(i) a serious crime of violence against a person, such as assault with a dangerous weapon, aggravated assault, murder or attempted murder, manslaughter (other than involuntary manslaughter), kidnapping, robbery of any degree, or arson;

(ii) a crime involving a controlled substance or designer drug, including unlawful possession or distribution of, or intent to unlawfully possess or distribute, a controlled substance in Schedule I through V of the Uniform Controlled Substances Act of Chapter 47 of this title;

(iii) a serious crime involving property, such as arson, burglary, embezzlement, or insurance fraud;

(iv) any crime involving sexual misconduct.

(3) In extraordinary circumstances, certification granted pursuant to paragraph (2) of this subsection may be granted only if the applicant establishes by clear and convincing evidence that certification will not jeopardize public health and safety. The Office shall determine and advise the Board:

a. if extraordinary circumstances exist allowing certification pursuant to paragraph (2) of this subsection; and

b. if the applicant has established by clear and convincing evidence that such certification will not jeopardize public health and safety.

(c) Certificates issued pursuant to this section shall be valid for a period as determined by the Board and may be renewed after reconsideration, which may include an interview, if the holder meets the requirements set forth in the regulations of the Board. The Board may decertify any EMT-P at any time it determines that the person no longer meets the qualifications prescribed for certification.

(d) Information obtained pursuant to subsection (b) of this section is confidential and shall not be disclosed under any circumstances except:

(1) The State Bureau of Identification may release any subsequent criminal history to the Office of Emergency Medical Services or the Board of Medical Practice when properly requested; and

(2) All information that has been forwarded to the Office pursuant to this section shall be reviewed with the person seeking certification pursuant to this section upon his or her request.

(e) Costs associated with obtaining criminal history information pursuant to this section from the State Bureau of Identification and the Federal Bureau of Investigation shall be borne by the applicant.

(f)(1) A person seeking certification as an EMT-P through the New Castle County paramedic service is exempted from the provisions of subsections (a) and (b) of this section; provided, however, that the criminal history background check and review procedures employed by the New Castle County paramedic service are found to be at least as restrictive as those contained in this section. For the purposes of any criminal history background check or review conducted pursuant to regulations promulgated pursuant to this subsection, the State Bureau of Identification shall be the intermediary, and the New Castle County Department of Police Paramedic Service shall be the screening point for the receipt of said federal criminal history records. The New Castle County Department of Police may designate any or all of the other divisions or offices therein as a screening point for the receipt of said federal criminal history records.

(2) A person seeking certification as an EMT-P who is presently employed as a law enforcement officer in this State, and who was subject to a review of his or her entire criminal history background at the time he or she began employment as a law enforcement officer in this State, is exempted from the provisions of subsections (a) and (b) of this section if, at the time of the prior criminal history background check, no items described in subsection (b)(1) appeared as part of his or her criminal history background.

(g) A person seeking certification pursuant to this section who knowingly provides false, incomplete, or inaccurate criminal history information, or who otherwise knowingly violates the provisions of this section, shall be guilty of a class G felony and shall be punished according to Chapter 42 of Title 11."

Approved July 12, 2001