House passes Rep. Sam Low’s bill to help life-saving organs safely get to patients in time

The House unanimously passed Rep. Sam Low’s organ transport vehicle bill Friday.

House Bill 1271 would allow organ transport vehicles to use red lights and sirens like other emergency vehicles when transporting a time-sensitive, life-saving organ so it can get to the person who needs it quickly and safely before the clock runs out.

“During these difficult life-saving situations, usually during a tragedy, time is of the essence. But it can be challenging for these drivers to move with the required urgency due to traffic in our region,” said Low, R-Lake Stevens.

House Bill 1271 also outlines specific criteria for drivers to qualify to operate organ transport vehicles. The bill would require the drivers be at least 25 years old, current or former law enforcement officers, firefighters, or emergency medical service providers with at least five years of experience operating emergency vehicles.

“Emergency medical service vehicles are typically used for the transportation of time-sensitive, life-saving organs in the region, but EMS providers are stretched thin, and organ transportation is not their highest priority,” said Scott Demczyszyn from Nationwide Organ Transport Alliance during a public hearing on the bill in the House Transportation Committee.

“This bill proposes a solution: for dedicated vehicles to be used with vehicles driven by highly experienced law enforcement officers, firefighters, and EMS drivers,” Demczyszyn continued.

Other supporters from LifeCenter Northwest testified in committee that one of the biggest challenges they encounter is drivers getting stuck in traffic when trying to get an organ that must be transported by air to the airport.

“I cannot imagine how devastating it would be if one of my loved ones did not receive the life-saving organ they needed because traffic was bad in Seattle,” said Low. “This legislation will help ensure traffic jams are not the reason a life-saving organ becomes unviable.”

The bill passed House 95-0 and now moves to the Senate. House Bill 1271 is Low’s third bill to pass out of the House this year. Earlier this session, the House also passed House Bill 1031 Low’s Medal of Valor bill. On Thursday, House Bill 1504  – Low’s school recess bill – was also passed out of the House. All three bills were passed unanimously.

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Washington State House Republican Communications
houserepublicans.wa.gov