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12VAC5-31-10

Part I
General Provisions

Article 1
Definitions

12VAC5-31-10. Definitions.

The following words and terms when used in this chapter shall have the following meanings unless the context clearly indicates otherwise.

"Abandonment" means the termination of a health care provider-patient relationship without assurance that an equal or higher level of care meeting the assessed needs of the patient's condition is present and available.

"Accreditation" means approval granted to an entity by the Office of Emergency Medical Services (EMS) after the institution has met specific requirements enabling the institution to conduct basic or advanced life support training and education programs. There are four levels of accreditation: interim, provisional, full, and probationary.

"Accreditation cycle" means the term or cycle at the conclusion of which accreditation expires unless a full self-study is performed. Accreditation cycles are typically quinquennial (five-year) but these terms may be shorter, triennial (three-year) or biennial (two-year), if the Office of EMS deems it necessary.

"Accreditation date" means the date of the accreditation decision that is awarded to an entity following its full site visit and review.

"Accreditation decision" means the conclusion reached about an entity status after evaluation of the results of the onsite survey, recommendations of the site review team, and any other relevant information such as documentation of compliance with standards, documentation of plans to correct deficiencies, or evidence of recent improvements.

"Accreditation denied" means an accreditation decision that results when an entity has been denied accreditation. This accreditation decision becomes effective only when all available appeal procedures have been exhausted.

"Acute" means a medical condition having a rapid onset and a short duration.

"Acute care hospital" means any hospital that provides emergency medical services on a 24-hour basis.

"Administrative Process Act" or "APA" means Chapter 40 (§ 2.2-4000 et seq.) of Title 2.2 of the Code of Virginia.

"Advanced life support" or "ALS" means the provision of care by EMS personnel who are certified as an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT)-Enhanced, Advanced EMT, Intermediate, or Paramedic or equivalent as approved by the Board of Health.

Advanced life support in the air medical environment is a mission generally defined as the transport of a patient who receives care during a transport that includes an invasive medical procedure or the administration of medications, including IV infusions, in addition to any noninvasive care that is authorized by the Office of EMS.

"Advanced life support certification course" means a training program that allows a student to become eligible for a new ALS certification level. Programs must meet the educational requirements established by the Office of EMS as defined by the respective advanced life support curriculum. Initial certification courses include:

1. Emergency Medical Technician-Enhanced;

2. Advanced EMT;

3. Advanced EMT to Intermediate Bridge;

4. EMT-Enhanced to Intermediate Bridge;

5. Intermediate;

6. Intermediate to Paramedic Bridge;

7. Paramedic;

8. Registered Nurse to Paramedic Bridge; and

9. Other programs approved by the Office of EMS.

"Advanced life support (ALS) coordinator" means a person who has met the criteria established by the Office of EMS to assume responsibility for conducting ALS training programs.

"Advanced life support transport" means the transportation of a patient who is receiving ALS level care.

"Affiliated" means a person who is employed by or a member of an EMS agency.

"Air medical specialist" means a person trained in the concept of flight physiology and the effects of flight on patients through documented completion of a program approved by the Office of EMS. This training must include but is not limited to aerodynamics, weather, communications, safety around aircraft/ambulances, scene safety, landing zone operations, flight physiology, equipment/aircraft familiarization, basic flight navigation, flight documentation, and survival training specific to service area.

"Ambulance" means, as defined by § 32.1-111.1 of the Code of Virginia, any vehicle, vessel or craft that holds a valid permit issued by the Office of EMS and that is specially constructed, equipped, maintained and operated, and intended to be used for emergency medical care and the transportation of patients who are sick, injured, wounded, or otherwise incapacitated or helpless. The word "ambulance" may not appear on any vehicle, vessel or aircraft that does not hold a valid EMS vehicle permit.

"Approved locking device" means a mechanism that prevents removal or opening of a drug kit by means other than securing the drug kit by the handle only.

"Assistant director" means the Assistant Director of the Office of Emergency Medical Services.

"Attendant-in-charge" or "AIC" means the certified or licensed person who is qualified and designated to be primarily responsible for the provision of emergency medical care.

"Attendant" means a certified or licensed person qualified to assist in the provision of emergency medical care.

"Basic life support" or "BLS" means the provision of care by EMS personnel who are certified as First Responder, Emergency Medical Responder (EMR), or Emergency Medical Technician or equivalent as approved by the Board of Health.

Basic life support in the air medical environment means a mission generally defined as the transport of a patient who receives care during a transport that is commensurate with the scope of practice of an EMT. In the Commonwealth of Virginia care that is provided in the air medical environment must be assumed at a minimum by a Virginia certified Paramedic who is a part of the regular air medical crew. (fixed wing excluded)

"BLS certification course" means a training program that allows a student to become eligible for a new BLS certification level. Programs must meet the educational requirements established by the Office of EMS as defined by the respective basic life support curriculum. Initial certification courses include:

1. EMS First Responder;

2. EMS First Responder Bridge to EMT;

3. Emergency Medical Responder;

4. Emergency Medical Responder Bridge to EMT;

5. Emergency Medical Technician; and

6. Other programs approved by the Office of EMS.

"Board" or "state board" means the State Board of Health.

"Candidate" means any person who is enrolled in or is taking a course leading toward initial certification.

"Candidate status" means the status awarded to a program that has made application to the Office of EMS for accreditation but that is not yet accredited.

"CDC" means the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"Certification" means a credential issued by the Office of EMS for a specified period of time to a person who has successfully completed an approved training program.

"Certification candidate" means a person seeking EMS certification from the Office of EMS.

"Certification candidate status" means any candidate or provider who becomes eligible for certification testing but who has not yet taken the certification test using that eligibility.

"Certification examiner" means an individual designated by the Office of EMS to administer a state certification examination.

"Certification transfer" means the issuance of certification through reciprocity, legal recognition, challenge or equivalency based on prior training, certification or licensure.

"Chief executive officer" means the person authorized or designated by the agency or service as the highest in administrative rank or authority.

"Commercial mobile radio service" or "CMRS" means the same as that term is defined in §§ 3 (27) and 332 (d) of the Federal Telecommunications Act of 1996, (47 USC § 151 et seq.), and the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993, (Public Law 103-66, 107 USC § 312. It 312) and includes the term "wireless" and service provided by any wireless real time two-way voice communication device, including radio-telephone communications used in cellular telephone service or personal communications service (e.g., cellular telephone, 800/900 MHz Specialized Mobile Radio, Personal Communications Service, etc.).

"Commissioner" means the State Health Commissioner, the commissioner's duly authorized representative, or in the event of the commissioner's absence or a vacancy in the office of State Health Commissioner, the Acting Commissioner or Deputy Commissioner.

"Continuing education" or "CE" means an instructional program that enhances a particular area of knowledge or skills beyond compulsory or required initial training.

"Course" means a basic or advanced life support training program leading to certification or award of continuing education credit hours.

"Course coordinator" means the person identified on the course approval request as the coordinator who is responsible with the physician course director for all aspects of the program including but not limited to assuring adherence to the rules and regulations, office polices, and any contract components.  

"Critical care" or "CC" in the air medical environment is a mission defined as an interfacility transport of a critically ill or injured patient whose condition warrants care commensurate with the scope of practice of a physician or registered nurse.

"Critical criteria" means an identified essential element of a state practical certification examination that must be properly performed to successfully pass the station.

"Defibrillation" means the discharge of an electrical current through a patient's heart for the purpose of restoring a perfusing cardiac rhythm. For the purpose of these regulations, defibrillation includes cardioversion.

"Defibrillator -- automated external" or "AED" means an automatic or semi-automatic device, or both, capable of rhythm analysis and defibrillation after electronically detecting the presence of ventricular fibrillation and ventricular tachycardia, approved by the United States U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

"Defibrillator -- manual" means a monitor/defibrillator that has no capability for rhythm analysis and will charge and deliver a shock only at the command of the operator. For the purpose of compliance with these regulations, a manual defibrillator must be capable of synchronized cardioversion and noninvasive external pacing. A manual defibrillator must be approved by the United States U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

"Designated infection control officer" means a liaison between the medical facility treating the source patient and the exposed employee. This person has been formally trained for this position and is knowledgeable in proper post exposure medical follow up procedures and current regulations and laws governing disease transmission.

"Designated emergency response agency" means an EMS agency recognized by an ordinance or a resolution of the governing body of any county, city or town as an integral part of the official public safety program of the county, city or town with a responsibility for providing emergency medical response.

"Designated infection control officer" means a liaison between the medical facility treating the source patient and the exposed employee. This person has been formally trained for this position and is knowledgeable in proper post exposure medical follow up procedures and current regulations and laws governing disease transmission.

"Director" means the Director of the Office of Emergency Medical Services.

"Diversion" means a change in the normal or established pattern of patient transport at the direction of a medical care facility.

"Emergency medical services" or "EMS" means the health care, public health, and public safety services used in responding to an individual's the medical response to the real or perceived needs need for immediate medical assessment, care, or transportation and preventive care or transportation in order to prevent loss of life or aggravation of physiological or psychological illness or injury including any or all of the services that could be described as first response, basic life support, advanced life support, neonatal life support, communications, training and medical control.

"EMS Advisory Board" means the Emergency Medical Services Advisory Board as appointed by the Governor.

"EMS agency status report" means a report submitted on forms specified by the Office of EMS that documents the operational capabilities of an EMS agency including data on personnel, vehicles and other related resources.

"EMS education coordinator" means any EMS provider, registered nurse, physician assistant, doctor of osteopathic medicine, or doctor of medicine who possesses Virginia certification as an EMS education coordinator. Such certification does not confer authorization to practice EMS.

"Emergency medical services agency" or "EMS agency" means a any person licensed by the Office of EMS to engage engaged in the business, service, or regular activity, whether or not for profit, of transporting or rendering immediate medical care and providing transportation to persons who are sick, injured, or otherwise incapacitated or helpless and that holds a valid license as an emergency medical services agency issued by the commissioner in accordance with § 32.1-111.6 of the Code of Virginia.

"EMS agency status report" means a report submitted on forms specified by the Office of EMS that documents the operational capabilities of an EMS agency including data on personnel, vehicles and other related resources.

"Emergency medical services personnel" or "EMS personnel" means a person, affiliated with an EMS agency, responsible for the provision of individuals who are employed by or members of an emergency medical services agency and who provide emergency medical services including any or all persons who could be described as an attendant, attendant-in-charge, operator or pursuant to an emergency medical services agency license issued to that agency by the commissioner and in accordance with the authorization of that agency's operational medical director.

"Emergency medical services physician" or "EMS physician" means a physician who holds current endorsement from the Office of EMS and may serve as an EMS agency operational medical director or training program physician course director.

"Emergency medical services provider" or "EMS provider" means a any person who holds a valid certification certificate as an emergency medical services provider issued by the Office of EMS commissioner.

"Emergency medical services system" or "EMS system" means a the system that provides for the arrangement of personnel, facilities, equipment, and other system components for the effective and coordinated of emergency medical services agencies, vehicles, equipment, and personnel; health care facilities; other health care and emergency services providers; and other components engaged in the planning, coordination, and delivery of emergency medical services in an appropriate geographical area that may be local, regional, state or national the Commonwealth, including individuals and facilities providing communications and other services necessary to facilitate the delivery of emergency medical services in the Commonwealth.

"Emergency medical services vehicle" or "EMS vehicle" means any vehicle, vessel, aircraft, or ambulance that holds a valid emergency medical services vehicle permit issued by the Office of EMS that is equipped, maintained or operated to provide emergency medical care or transportation of patients who are sick, injured, wounded, or otherwise incapacitated or helpless.

"Emergency medical services vehicle permit" means an authorization issued by the Office of EMS for any vehicle, vessel or aircraft meeting the standards and criteria established by regulation for emergency medical services vehicles.

"Emergency medical technician instructor" means an EMS provider who holds a valid certification issued by the Office of EMS to announce and coordinate BLS programs.

"Emergency vehicle operator's course" or "EVOC" means an approved course of instruction for EMS vehicle operators that includes safe driving skills, knowledge of the state motor vehicle code affecting emergency vehicles, and driving skills necessary for operation of emergency vehicles during response to an incident or transport of a patient to a health care facility. This course must include classroom and driving range skill instruction. An approved course of instruction includes the course objectives as identified within the U.S. Department of Transportation Emergency Vehicle Operator curriculum or as approved by OEMS the Office of EMS.

"Exam series" means a sequence of opportunities to complete a certification examination with any allowed retest.

"FAA" means the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration.

"FAR" means Federal Aviation Regulations.

"FCC" means the U.S. Federal Communications Commission.

"Financial Assistance Review Committee" or "FARC" means the committee appointed by the EMS Advisory Board to administer the Rescue Squad Assistance Fund.

"Full accreditation" means an accreditation decision awarded to an entity that demonstrates satisfactory compliance with applicable Virginia standards in all performance areas.

"Fund" means the Virginia Rescue Squad Assistance Fund.

"Institutional self study" means a document whereby training programs seeking accreditation answer questions about their program for the purpose of determining their level of preparation to conduct initial EMS training programs.

"Instructor" means the teacher for a specific class or lesson of an EMS training program.

"Instructor aide" means providers certified at or above the level of instruction.

"Interfacility transport" in the air medical environment means as a mission for whom an admitted patient (or patients) was were transported from a hospital or care giving facility (clinic, nursing home, etc.) to a receiving facility or airport.

"Interim accreditation" means an accreditation decision that results when a previously unaccredited EMS entity has been granted approval to operate one training program, for a period not to exceed 120 days, during which its application is being considered and before a provisional or full accreditation is issued, providing the following conditions are satisfied: (i) a complete application for accreditation is received by the Office of EMS and (ii) a complete institutional self study is submitted to the Office of EMS. Students attending a program with interim accreditation will not be eligible to sit for state testing until the entity achieves official notification of accreditation at the provisional or full level.

"Invasive procedure" means a medical procedure that involves entry into the living body, as by incision or by insertion of an instrument.

"License" means an authorization issued by the Office of EMS to provide emergency medical services in the state as an EMS agency.

"Local EMS resource" means a person recognized by the Office of EMS to perform specified functions for a designated geographic area. This person may be designated to perform one or more of the functions otherwise provided by regional EMS councils.

"Local EMS response plan" means a written document that details the primary service area and responding interval standards as approved by the local government and the operational medical director.

"Local governing body" or "governing body" means members of the governing body of a city, county, or town in the Commonwealth who are elected to that position or their designee.

"Major medical emergency" means an emergency that cannot be managed through the use of locally available emergency medical resources and that requires implementation of special procedures to ensure the best outcome for the greatest number of patients as determined by the EMS provider in charge or incident commander on the scene. This event includes local emergencies declared by the locality's government and states of emergency declared by the Governor.

"Medical care facility" means (as, as defined by § 32.1-102.1 of the Code of Virginia) Virginia, any institution, place, building or agency, whether licensed or required to be licensed by the board or the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services, whether operated for profit or nonprofit and whether privately owned or privately operated or owned or operated by a local governmental unit, by or in which health services are furnished, conducted, operated or offered for the prevention, diagnosis or treatment of human disease, pain, injury, deformity or physical condition, whether medical or surgical.

"Medical control" means the direction and advice provided through a communications device (on-line) to on-site and in-transit EMS personnel from a designated medical care facility staffed by appropriate personnel and operating under physician supervision.

"Medical direction" means the direction and supervision of EMS personnel by the Operational Medical Director of the EMS agency with which he is affiliated.

"Medical emergency" means the sudden onset of a medical condition that manifests itself by symptoms of sufficient severity, including severe pain, that the absence of immediate medical attention could reasonably be expected by a prudent layperson who possesses an average knowledge of health and medicine to result in (i) serious jeopardy to the mental or physical health of the individual, (ii) danger of serious impairment of the individual's bodily functions, (iii) serious dysfunction of any of the individual's bodily organs, or (iv) in the case of a pregnant woman, serious jeopardy to the health of the fetus.

"Medical practitioner" means a physician, dentist, podiatrist, licensed nurse practitioner, licensed physician's assistant, or other person licensed, registered or otherwise permitted to distribute, dispense, prescribe and administer, or conduct research with respect to, a controlled substance in the course of professional practice or research in this Commonwealth.

"Mutual aid agreement" means a written document specifying a formal understanding to lend aid to an EMS agency.

"Neonatal" or "neonate" means, for the purpose of interfacility transportation, any infant who is deemed a newborn within a hospital, has not been discharged since the birthing process, and is currently receiving medical care under a physician.

"Nonprofit" means without the intention of financial gain, advantage, or benefit as defined by federal tax law.

"OSHA" means the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration or Virginia Occupational Safety and Health, the state agency designated to perform its functions in Virginia.

"Office of EMS" means the Office of Emergency Medical Services within the Virginia Department of Health.

"Operational medical director" or "OMD" means an EMS physician, currently licensed to practice medicine or osteopathic medicine in the Commonwealth, who is formally recognized and responsible for providing medical direction, oversight and quality improvement to an EMS agency and personnel.

"Operator" means a person qualified and designated to drive or pilot a specified class of permitted EMS vehicle.

"Patient" means a person who needs immediate medical attention or transport, or both, whose physical or mental condition is such that he is in danger of loss of life or health impairment, or who may be incapacitated or helpless as a result of physical or mental condition or a person who requires medical attention during transport from one medical care facility to another.

"Person" means (as, as defined in the Code of Virginia) Virginia, any person, firm, partnership, association, corporation, company, or group of individuals acting together for a common purpose or organization of any kind, including any government agency other than an agency of the United States government.

"Physician" means an individual who holds a valid, unrestricted license to practice medicine or osteopathy in the Commonwealth.

"Physician assistant" means an individual who holds a valid, unrestricted license to practice as a physician assistant in the Commonwealth.

"Physician course director" or "PCD" means an EMS physician who is responsible for the clinical aspects of emergency medical care training programs, including the clinical and field actions of enrolled students.

"Prehospital patient care report" or "PPCR" means a document used to summarize the facts and events of an EMS incident and includes, but is not limited to, the type of medical emergency or nature of the call, the response time, the treatment provided and other minimum data items as prescribed by the board. "PPCR" includes any supplements, addenda, or other related attachments that document patient information or care provided.

"Prehospital scene" means, in the air medical environment, the direct response to the scene of incident or injury, such as a roadway, etc.

"Prescriber" means a practitioner who is authorized pursuant to §§ 54.1-3303 and 54.1-3408 of the Code of Virginia to issue a prescription.

"Primary retest status" means any candidate or provider who failed his primary certification attempt. Primary retest status expires 90 days after the primary test date.

"Primary service area" means the specific geographic area designated or prescribed by a locality (county, city or town) in which an EMS agency provides prehospital emergency medical care or transportation. This designated or prescribed geographic area served must include all locations for which the EMS agency is principally dispatched (i.e., first due response agency).

"Private Mobile Radio Service" or "PMRS" means the same as that term is defined in § 20.3 of the Federal Communications Commission's Rules, 47 CFR 20.3. (For purposes of this definition, PMRS includes "industrial" and "public safety" radio services authorized under Part 90 of the Federal Communications Commission's Rules, 47 CFR 90.1 et seq., with the exception of certain for-profit commercial paging services and 800/900 MHz Specialized Mobile Radio Services that are interconnected to the public switched telephone network and are therefore classified as CMRS.)

"Probationary status" means the Office of EMS will place an institution on publicly disclosed probation when it has not completed a timely, thorough, and credible root cause analysis and action plan of any sentinel event occurring there. When the entity completes an acceptable root cause analysis and develops an acceptable action plan, the Office of EMS will remove the probation designation from the entity's accreditation status.

"Provisional accreditation" means an accreditation decision that results when a previously unaccredited entity has demonstrated satisfactory compliance with a subset of standards during a preliminary on-site evaluation. This decision remains in effect for a period not to exceed 365 days, until one of the other official accreditation decision categories is assigned based upon an a follow-up site visit against all applicable standards.

"Public safety answering point" or "PSAP" means a facility equipped and staffed on a 24-hour basis to receive requests for emergency medical assistance for one or more EMS agencies.

"Quality management program" or "QM" means the continuous study of and improvement of an EMS agency or system including the collection of data, the identification of deficiencies through continuous evaluation, the education of personnel and the establishment of goals, policies and programs that improve patient outcomes in EMS systems.

"Reaccreditation date" means the date of the reaccreditation decision that is awarded to an entity following a full site visit and review.

"Recertification" means the process used by certified EMS personnel to maintain their training certifications.

"Reentry" means the process by which EMS personnel may regain a training certification that has lapsed within the last two years.

"Reentry status" means any candidate or provider whose certification has lapsed within the last two years.

"Regional EMS council" means an organization designated by the board that is authorized to receive and disburse public funds in compliance with established performance standards and whose function is to plan, develop, maintain, expand and improve an efficient and effective regional emergency medical services system within a designated geographical area pursuant to § 32.1-111.11 32.1-111.4:2 of the Code of Virginia.

"Regional trauma triage plan" means a formal written plan developed by a regional EMS council or local EMS resource and approved by the commissioner that incorporates the region's geographic variations, trauma care capabilities and resources for the triage of trauma patients pursuant to § 32.1-111.3 of the Code of Virginia.

"Registered nurse" means a person who is licensed or holds a multistate privilege under the provisions of Chapter 30 (§ 54.1-3000 et seq.) of Title 54.1 of the Code of Virginia to practice professional nursing.

"Regulated medical device" means equipment or other items that may only be purchased or possessed upon the approval of a physician and that the manufacture or sale of which is regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

"Regulated waste" means liquid or semi-liquid blood or other potentially infectious materials; contaminated items that would release blood or other potentially infectious materials in a liquid or semi-liquid state if compressed; items that are caked with dried blood or potentially infectious materials and are capable of releasing these materials during handling; items dripping with liquid product; contaminated sharps; pathological and microbiological waste containing blood or other potentially infectious materials.

"Regulations" means (as, as defined in the Code of Virginia) Virginia, any statement of general application, having the force of law, affecting the rights or conduct of any person, promulgated by an authorized board or agency.

"Rescue" means a service that may include the search for lost persons, gaining access to persons trapped, extrication of persons from potentially dangerous situations and the rendering of other assistance to such persons.

"Rescue vehicle" means a vehicle, vessel or aircraft that is maintained and operated to assist with the location and removal of victims from a hazardous or life-threatening situation to areas of safety or treatment.

"Responding time" means the elapsed time in minutes between the time a call for emergency medical services is received by the PSAP until the appropriate emergency medical response unit arrives on the scene.

"Responding time standard" means a time standard in minutes, established by the EMS agency, the locality and OMD, in which the EMS agency will comply with 90% or greater reliability.

"Response obligation to locality" means a requirement of a designated emergency response agency to lend aid to all other designated emergency response agencies within the locality or localities in which the EMS agency is based.

"Revocation" means the permanent removal of an EMS agency license, vehicle permit, training certification, ALS coordinator endorsement, EMS education coordinator, EMS physician endorsement or any other designation issued by the Office of EMS.

"Safety apparel" means personal protective safety clothing that is intended to provide conspicuity during both daytime and nighttime usage and that meets the Performance Class 2 or 3 requirements of the ANSI/ISEA 107–2010 publication entitled "American National Standard for High-Visibility Safety Apparel and Headwear."

"Secondary certification status" means any candidate or provider who is no longer in primary retest status.

"Secondary retest status" means any candidate or provider who failed their secondary certification attempt. Secondary retest status expires 90 days after the secondary test date.

"Sentinel event" means any significant occurrence, action, or change in the operational status of the entity from the time when it either applied for candidate status or was accredited. The change in status can be based on but not limited to one or all of the events indicated below:

Entering into an agreement of sale of an accredited entity or an accreditation candidate.

Entering into an agreement to purchase or otherwise directly or indirectly acquire an accredited entity or accreditation candidate.

Financial impairment of an accredited entity or candidate for accreditation, which affects its operational performance or entity control.

Insolvency or bankruptcy filing.

Change in ownership or control greater than 25%.

Disruption of service to student body.

Discontinuance of classes or business operations.

Failure to report a change in program personnel, location, change in training level or Committee on Accreditation of Educational Programs for the Emergency Medical Services Professions (CoAEMSP) accreditation status.

Failure to meet minimum examination scores as established by the Office of EMS.

Loss of CoAEMSP or Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) accreditation.

Company fine or fines of greater than $100,000 for regulatory violation, marketing or advertising practices, antitrust, or tax disputes.

"Special conditions" means a notation placed upon an EMS agency or registration, variance or exemption documents that modifies or restricts specific requirements of these regulations.

"Specialized air medical training" means a course of instruction and continuing education in the concept of flight physiology and the effects of flight on patients that has been approved by the Office of EMS. This training must include but is not limited to aerodynamics, weather, communications, safety around aircraft/ambulances, scene safety, landing zone operations, flight physiology, equipment/aircraft familiarization, basic flight navigation, flight documentation, and survival training specific to service area.

"Specialty care mission" in the air medical environment means the transport of a patient requiring specialty patient care by one or more medical professionals who are added to the regularly scheduled medical transport team.

"Specialty care provider" in the air medical environment means a provider of specialized medical care, to include but not limited to neonatal, pediatric, and perinatal.

"Standard of care" means the established approach to the provision of basic and advanced medical care that is considered appropriate, prudent and in the best interests of patients within a geographic area as derived by consensus among the physicians responsible for the delivery and oversight of that care. The standard of care is dynamic with changes reflective of knowledge gained by research and practice.

"Standard operating procedure" or "SOP" means preestablished written agency authorized procedures and guidelines for activities performed by affiliated EMS agency.

"Supplemented transport" means an interfacility transport for which the sending physician has determined that the medically necessary care and equipment needs of a critically injured or ill patient is beyond the scope of practice of the available EMS personnel of the EMS agency.

"Suspension" means the temporary removal of an EMS agency license, vehicle permit, training certification, ALS coordinator endorsement, EMS education coordinator, EMS physician endorsement or any other designation issued by the Office of EMS.

"Test site coordinator" means an individual designated by the Office of EMS to coordinate the logistics of a state certification examination site.

"Training officer" means an individual who is responsible for the maintenance and completion of agency personnel training records and who acts as a liaison between the agency, the operational medical director, and a participant in the agency and regional quality assurance process.

"Trauma center" means a specialized hospital facility distinguished by the immediate availability of specialized surgeons, physician specialists, anesthesiologists, nurses, and resuscitation and life support equipment on a 24-hour basis to care for severely injured patients or those at risk for severe injury. In Virginia, trauma centers are designated by the Virginia Department of Health as Level I, II or III.

"Trauma center designation" means the formal recognition by the board of a hospital as a provider of specialized services to meet the needs of the severely injured patient. This usually involves a contractual relationship based on adherence to standards.

"Triage" means the process of sorting patients to establish treatment and transportation priorities according to severity of injury and medical need.

"USDOT" means the United States U.S. Department of Transportation.

"Vehicle operating weight" means the combined weight of the vehicle, vessel or craft,; a full complement of fuel,; and all required and optional equipment and supplies.

"Virginia Statewide Trauma Registry" or "Trauma Registry" means a collection of data on patients who receive hospital care for certain types of injuries. The collection and analysis of such data is primarily intended to evaluate the quality of trauma care and outcomes in individual institutions and trauma systems. The secondary purpose is to provide useful information for the surveillance of injury morbidity and mortality.