Legislation to support veteran military medics to the civilian workforce | Letter

Military veterans receive some of the best medical training and experience available when serving our country.

Military veterans receive some of the best medical training and experience available when serving our country. Their sacrifices, commitment to duty and ability to get the job done in austere environments make them exceptionally well suited for working as EMTs and paramedics in our communities upon their honorable separation from the U.S. Armed Services. Experienced military medics are often required to duplicate their medical training at the most basic level to receive certification to be hired for a civilian EMS job.

The Veteran Emergency Medical Technicians Support Act of 2015 (S. 453/H.R. 1818) will help veterans return to work upon their completion of military duty and reduce unemployment among veterans. In 2012, 10,000 military medics separated and entered the civilian workforce. This important legislation makes it easier and faster for veterans who served as military medics to earn certification as civilian emergency medical technicians, and serves to fill an essential public function in communities across our nation. According to a recent Bureau of Labor Statistic’s Occupational Outlook, there will be 55, 000 new civilian EMT and paramedic jobs created between 2012 and 2022. The projected job growth rate is 23 percent, much faster than the average for all occupations.

S. 453/H.R. 1818 addresses these issues by:

• Amending the Public Health Service Act to direct the Department of Health and Human Services to  establish a demonstration program for states with a shortage of emergency medical technicians (EMTs) to streamline state requirements and procedures to assist veterans who completed military EMT training to meet state EMT certification, licensure, and other requirements;

• Determining the extent to which the requirements for the education, training, and skill level of emergency medical technicians in the State are equivalent to requirements for the education, training, and skill level of military emergency medical technicians;

• Identifying methods, such as waivers, for military emergency medical technicians to forego or meet any such equivalent State requirements;

• Giving priority to States who demonstrate a shortage of emergency medical technicians and requiring no additional funding.

Helaman Burdge, Kenmore

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