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Article updated: 1/4/2014 5:28 PM

New Illinois law will help rural ambulance crews

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By Associated Press

SPRINGFIELD -- Emergency medical technicians in Illinois can now provide advanced life support even if they're assigned to ambulance services designated for basic levels of care.

The change is part of a new law meant to improve medical care in rural areas. It took effect Dec. 27.

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Lt. Gov. Sheila Simon was among its backers and said Friday it will ensure EMTs can use all their skills to save lives.

Previously, emergency responders were only permitted to provide services at their assigned ambulance level even if they had training to provide more advanced care.

Ambulance services are offered at levels ranging from basic life support to advanced life support and specialty care.

Gilson Republican Don Moffitt was the bill's sponsor in the House. He says it will improve chances of saving lives.

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