To be permitted as a Water Ambulance, a watercraft shall meet the following requirements:

(1)           The watercraft shall have a patient care area that:

(a)           provides access to the head, torso, and lower extremities of the patient while providing sufficient working space to render patient care;

(b)           is covered to protect the patient and EMS personnel from the elements; and

(c)           has an opening of sufficient size to permit the safe loading and unloading of a person occupying a litter.

(2)           The watercraft shall have on board patient care equipment and supplies as defined in the "North Carolina College of Emergency Physicians: Standards for Medical Oversight and Data Collection," incorporated by reference in accordance with G.S. 150B-21.6, including subsequent amendments and editions.  This document is available from the OEMS, 2707 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, North Carolina 27699-2707, at no cost.  The equipment and supplies shall be clean, in working order, and secured in the vehicle.

(3)           Water ambulances shall have the name of the EMS Provider permanently displayed on each side of the watercraft.

(4)           Water ambulances shall have a 360-degree beacon warning light in addition to warning devices required in Chapter 75A, Article 1, of the North Carolina General Statutes.

(5)           Water ambulances shall be equipped with:

(a)           two floatable rigid long backboards with proper accessories for securing infant, pediatric, and adult patients and stabilization of the head and neck;

(b)           one floatable litter with patient restraining straps and capable of being secured to the watercraft;

(c)           one fire extinguisher mounted in a quick release bracket that is either a dry chemical or all‑purpose type and has a pressure gauge;

(d)           lighted compass;

(e)           radio navigational aids such as ADF (automatic directional finder), Satellite Global Navigational System, navigational radar, or other comparable radio equipment suited for water navigation;

(f)            marine radio; and

(g)           the availability of one pediatric restraint device to safely transport pediatric patients under  40 pounds in the patient compartment of the ambulance;

(6)           The water ambulance shall not have structural or functional defects that may adversely affect the patient, the EMS personnel, or the safe operation of the watercraft.

(7)           Water ambulances shall have a copy of the EMS System patient care treatment protocols.


History Note:        Authority G.S. 131E‑157(a); 143-508(d)(8);

Temporary Adoption Eff. January 1, 2002;

Eff. April 1, 2003;

Amended Eff. January 1, 2009; January 1, 2004;

Pursuant to G.S. 150B-21.3A, rule is necessary without substantive public interest Eff. February 2, 2016.