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By ARep | January 28th, 2013 - 4:35pm
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BUCCO MEDICAL OXYGEN MEASURE RECEIVES ASSEMBLY APPROVAL

Legislation sponsored by Deputy Republican Leader Anthony M. Bucco that gives fire departments accurate information concerning the presence of medical oxygen in a residence was approved today by the General Assembly.

Current law requires providers of oxygen or an oxygen delivery system to notify the appropriate fire department about the existence of the oxygen in a residence. The law does not, however, require providers to notify the fire department when the oxygen or delivery system is removed from the residence. Bucco said this creates a situation where a fire department may mistakenly believe oxygen is on the premises and may delay a timely response to an emergency situation.

“Firefighters use different protocols for responding to situations where records indicate oxygen is in use due to the increased safety risk,” said Bucco, R-Morris and Somerset, a 32-year member of the Boonton Volunteer Fire Department. “If they are under the belief oxygen is in a house, they may be forced to take precautionary measures that otherwise would not be necessary and which may delay immediate action. This measure will enable local fire departments and emergency responders to continually update and revise their response plans based on current information.”

The measure, S-503/A-2291, requires providers of oxygen or oxygen delivery systems to notify the appropriate fire department when oxygen or an oxygen delivery system is no longer being provided or used in a residence. It authorizes the Director of the Division of Consumer Affairs to establish a time frame within which an oxygen provider must notify the fire department. When a patient has originally notified the fire department of the oxygen system’s presence, the bill states that he is responsible for notifying the appropriate fire department when such oxygen is no longer provided within 10 days of removal.

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