Except as provided in § 32.1-111.14:6, while any emergency medical services personnel are in the process of operating at an emergency incident where there is imminent danger and when emergency medical services personnel are returning to the emergency medical services agency, the incident commander of such emergency medical services agency at that time shall have the authority to (i) maintain order at such emergency incident or its vicinity, (ii) direct the actions of emergency medical services personnel at the incident, (iii) notwithstanding the provisions of §§ 46.2-888 through 46.2-891, keep bystanders or other persons at a safe distance from the incident and emergency equipment, (iv) facilitate the speedy movement and operation of emergency equipment and emergency medical services personnel, and (v) until the arrival of a police officer, direct and control traffic in person or by deputy and facilitate the movement of traffic. The emergency medical services agency incident commander shall display his emergency medical services personnel’s badge or other proper means of identification. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, this authority shall extend to the activation of traffic control signals designed to facilitate the safe egress and ingress of emergency equipment at an emergency medical services agency. Any person refusing to obey the orders of the emergency medical services incident commander at that time is guilty of a Class 4 misdemeanor. The authority granted under the provisions of this section may not be exercised to inhibit or obstruct members of law-enforcement agencies or fire departments or fire companies from performing their normal duties when operating at such emergency incident, nor to conflict with or diminish the lawful authority, duties, and responsibilities of forest wardens, including but not limited to the provisions of Chapter 11 (§ 10.1-1100 et seq.) of Title 10.1. Personnel from the news media, such as the press, radio, and television, when gathering the news may enter at their own risk into the incident area only when the incident commander has deemed the area safe and only into those areas of the incident that do not, in the opinion of the incident commander, interfere with the emergency medical services personnel dealing with such emergencies, in which case the emergency medical services incident commander may order such person from the scene of the emergency incident.
2015, cc. 502, 503.