The Attorney General recently issued an opinion applying Ohio's public records law to emergency medical services (EMS) run sheets. See Ohio Attorney General Opinion 99-006.
Ohio's public records law mandates that all public offices make their records available, at cost, to the public. There is no requirement that the persons requesting the record identify themselves, nor are they required to mention the reason for the request the record. This law applies to all public offices, including any entity that performs a public service and is supported by public funds. See State ex rel. Strothers v. Wertheim (1997), 80 Ohio St. 3d 155. Most EMS organizations operating in Wayne County will be included in this definition.
However, there are exceptions, to the rule that an EMS organization must provide copies of run sheets in response to a request for public records:
Recent decisions of the Ohio Supreme Court have led to very narrow interpretations of the exceptions to Ohio's public records law, and the law does provide for penalties if records are wrongfully withheld. If an EMS organization has doubts about whether it may withhold certain records, the organization's legal representative should be contacted immediately.