On Veterans’ Day, and every day, we thank every veteran, active duty personnel and reservist in all branches of our armed services for protecting our great nation and our freedom as U.S. citizens. We humbly honor and remember those men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our country. On behalf of the NAEMT Board of Directors, our Military Relations Committee, and all NAEMT members, please accept the thanks of a grateful EMS nation.
NAEMT is committed to supporting our nation's military servicemen and women.
We established a Military Relations Committee in 2011 to develop strong relationships with the U.S. armed services. The committee focuses on providing information to the U.S. Department of Defense and each of the branches of the armed services about the benefits of NAEMT membership for military medics; identifying ways that NAEMT can help transition EMS practitioners from the military to civilian service; positioning NAEMT as a bridge between military and civilian EMS; and increasing the number of NAEMT members from the military. The committee has developed a guide for EMS employers on how to support their combat veterans and reservists when called to duty, and tips for EMS practitioners deploying for combat. The committee also developed a useful resource list for employers and practitioners deploying or returning from combat. Access these resources here.
NAEMT has made the transition of military medics to the civilian EMS workforce a legislative priority. We support the following legislation:
- H.R. 4124 - Emergency Medic Transition (EMT) Act - to provide grants to state emergency medical service departments for the expedited training and licensing of veterans with prior medical training.
- S.1553 - Veterans to Paramedics Transition Act - to allow EMS agencies currently receiving rural EMS training and equipment grants to use grant funds for training to enable military veterans to satisfy emergency medical services certification requirements, as determined by their state.
- S. 3235 - Helping Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans Return to Employment at Home Act, or HIRE at HOME Act - requires a state to demonstrate the consideration of any military training received by a veteran when approving or denying a license or certification as a emergency medical technician EMT-B or EMT-1, or emergency medical technician-paramedic.
NAEMT Military Relations Committee Chair Ben Chlapek testified before Congress on July 11, 2012, on the transition issue, and NAEMT was invited to attend the U.S. Army’s Strategic Transition Outreach Summit at Fort Knox this past September. Chlapek said, "It’s an honor to serve in multiple capacities with each and every one of you. On this Veteran’s Day, I thank you for your immense sacrifice, your family’s service, and the freedoms you help protect. On behalf of the NAEMT Military Relations Committee, thank you for a job well done. God bless."
NAEMT will continue to address the transition issue with congressional leaders, Department of Defense staff, state EMS offices and national EMS certifying bodies to develop a more efficient and effective program to allow military medics the opportunity to be honored and recognized for their military medical service, and continue their career in civilian emergency medical services.
Mike Williamson, a member of our Military Relations Committee, noted "John F. Kennedy said, ‘As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.’ So on this Veteran’s Day and every day, we offer our words of gratitude - but also, let us live our lives in a way that honors those who have selflessly served this great nation. Let us never forget the courage, the spirit and the sacrifice of our men and women in uniform who have served and are currently serving and to those who have paid the ultimate price. Mission First, Troops and Veterans Always."