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Federal Bill Proposed to Support Returning Veterans with Combat EMS Experience

A group of Illinois elected officials are behind an effort to streamline state licensing requirements for veterans with battlefield experience to help them get jobs in EMS. Introduced by Congressman Adam Kinzinger (R-Il), bill H.R. 4124, known as the Veterans Emergency Medic Technician Support Act of 2012, would support states that make the process more efficient to help expedite the process for veterans with combat EMS experience to be certified as civilian EMTs.

In doing so, veterans wouldn’t have to repeat their training before becoming civilian first responders. As it is now, many returning veterans have to start their EMS training from scratch before working in the U.S.

“These men and women deserve all our efforts to identify and eliminate unnecessary hurdles to civilian employment, and I’m proud that the House has acted on this bipartisan bill to streamline the civilian certification process for military EMTs,” Kinzinger said in late September when the bill was passed by the house.

The bill authorizes appropriations of $1 million in funding between 2013 and 2017 to carry out the program. Backers believe military members EMS get some of the best training to start and prove their skills each day on the battlefield. The leadership of National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians (NAEMT) agrees.

NAEMT President Connie Meyer wrote in a letter to Kinzinger, adding, “We believe this legislation is an excellent investment to help our military veterans, our emergency response systems, and our country.”

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