ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10)—During the pandemic, emergency medical services personnel were allowed to expand care for patients in ways the state law wouldn’t allow them to do before, such as giving vaccinations.

“Also caring for people who couldn’t or shouldn’t be transported to the emergency room, because hospitals became so busy and overrun with people with COVID, they were very seriously ill. It was preferable to care for people in their homes,” explained Steven Kroll, who is on the Board of Directors for the New York State Volunteer Ambulance and Rescue Association.

Kroll explained why this couldn’t happen previously.

“New York State has never enabled legislation to permit us to use skills that we have acquired through our certification in non-emergency settings,” said Kroll.

During the pandemic, they helped to lessen the burden on hospitals

“They would do check ups,” said Assemblymember Amy Paulin, who sponsored the legislation. “They would go anywhere– transport someone from one place to another, and then facilitate a telehealth between a practitioner like a nurse, nurse practitioner, doctor and the patient. The goal is to keep them out of the hospital.”

Now, a new law allows current community-based paramedicine programs to continue without an executive order for the next two years. Kroll said he’d like to see this type of care get expanded even more.

“We have a lot of work to do beyond this legislation.”