CARSON CITY — On a mainly party-line vote Wednesday, the Assembly approved Democrat Assemblywoman Lucy Flores’ bill to require the stationing of emergency medical workers, ambulances and first aid stations at events that attract more than 2,500 people.
The vote to approve Assembly Bill 286 came on a 26-14 vote as every Republican except Paul Anderson, R-Las Vegas, voted against the bill and all 25 Democrats who were present voted yes.
Flores, D-Las Vegas, who is a runner, said after the vote that she proposed the bill because of the lack of medical personnel along the running course for the Las Vegas Rock ‘N’ Roll Marathon in 2011. The event drew 44,000 runners, including some who complained about the lack of water and medical help.
Under the bill, the larger the event, the more first aid stations and medical personnel would be required. But events like Burning Man, which attracts more than 50,000 people, already more than meet the bill’s requirements, she said.
“The majority of sporting events and mass events already provide a much greater level of services,” she said. “Unfortunately some don’t and there isn’t a law that says they have to. ”
But Republicans led by James Oscarson, R-Pahrump opposed the bill. He called the bill an “unnecessary financial impact on small communities” and said there should be less costly alternatives.
But Flores said she was not persuaded by that argument. “I don’t think a person’s safety should depend on whether the organizer is making a profit or not,” she said.
The bill would require one emergency medical technician for up to 10,000 people, she added. According to her research, they are paid $28 to $35 an hour and she contended spending $200 for such a person would not break an event.