NAEMT Supports Act to Transition Veterans Trained in EMS

H.R. 2853 would make it easier and faster for veterans who served as medics to earn certification as civilian EMTs.


Clinton, Miss. -- The National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians (NAEMT) Board of Directors has voted to actively support H.R. 2853, the Emergency Medic Transition (EMT) Act of 2011, introduced in September by California Representative Lois Capps.

The legislation, which passed the House in the 111th Congress by a vote of 412-5, would make it easier and faster for veterans who served as medics to earn certification as civilian emergency medical technicians.

The act is going to the Senate as Bill 1154.

Experienced military medics are often required to take entry-level curricula to receive

certification for civilian jobs. The EMT Act addresses this by:

• Encouraging State Health Departments, through federal grants, to create a fast-track EMT

certification path for honorably discharged members of the Armed Forces with military EMS

training, and to provide reimbursement for the cost of a certification fee;

• Giving priority to applicants who will serve in areas with high demand for emergency care;

• Providing required coursework and training to military veterans that take previous coursework

and training into account, thus avoiding wasting time and expense;

• Building partnerships between states and universities, colleges, and technical schools to

establish a fast-track certification path by developing appropriate curricula to build on military medical training.

"Our military men and women receive some of the best technical training in emergency

medicine -- and they prove their skills on the battlefield every day. However, when they return home, experienced military medics are often required to begin their training completely over at the most basic level to receive certification for civilian jobs," said Capps.

"This keeps our veterans out of the workforce and withholds valuable medical personnel from our communities."

NAEMT has written a letter to Capps thanking her for introducing this legislation and stating support for its passage.

View the letter here.

"It is with a great deal of enthusiasm that NAEMT strongly supports the EMT Act of 2011," says Jim Judge, Chair of the NAEMT Advocacy Committee and Director, Region II.

"This legislation will provide grant funding for our veterans who received training as EMTs while serving in our Armed Forces. What an absolutely wonderful opportunity for our veterans to assimilate back into our communities and capitalize on their training to strengthen EMS in communities across the United States."

"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 release from the armed services," says Ben D. Chlapek, Chair, NAEMT Military Relations Committee and Lt. Colonel (ret.), U.S. Army.

"This bill has the potential to help veterans return to work upon their completion of military duty and reduce unemployment among veterans. I wholeheartedly support any process and legislation that help military medics transition into the civilian world and use their skills and expertise to make our communities safer. I firmly believe this bill is a move in the right direction and an excellent investment to help our military veterans, our emergency response agencies, and our country."

See NAEMT's positions on current EMS bills and issues, as well as where your congressional representatives stand on them, by visiting our Capwiz  page.

More than 32,000 members strong, NAEMT is the nation's only professional association representing all EMS practitioners, including paramedics, emergency medical technicians, first responders and other professionals working in prehospital emergency medicine. NAEMT members work in all sectors of EMS, including government service agencies, fire departments, hospitalbased ambulance services, private companies, industrial and special operations settings, and in the military.

This content continues onto the next page...