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Public Statements

Emergency Medic Transition Act Of 2010

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

Emergency Medic Transition Act Of 2010

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Ms. HERSETH SANDLIN. I thank the chairman, the gentleman from New Jersey, for yielding.

Mr. Speaker, I rise today in strong support of H.R. 3199, the Emergency Medic Transition Act of 2010. This is a collaborative effort, and I would like to thank Representatives Harman, Bean, Sarbanes and so many others for their collaborative partnership on drafting the bill.

I also want to thank Representative Steve Buyer with whom I have worked closely on the Veterans' Affairs Committee. Representative Buyer offered some commonsense suggestions as the ranking member of our full committee on how to improve H.R. 3199. He is also a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, and he helped make the final product a better piece of legislation.

This bill takes important steps to improve the ability of veterans to translate their military experience into the civilian workforce, specifically working to help veterans with military medical experience to become civilian emergency medical technicians. The legislation creates a grant program that will assist individual States in the creation of a fast-track EMT certification process that takes into account the experience a veteran gained while serving in the military.

Recent estimates from the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics suggests that veterans between the ages of 18 and 24 had an unemployment rate of 21.6 percent in 2009. This is a terribly troubling number and the Veterans' Affairs Economic Opportunity Subcommittee, which I have the honor of chairing, has held a series of hearings during the 111th Congress on a variety of issues related to veterans employment.

These hearings have shown that one of the critical barriers facing newly separated veterans trying to enter the workforce is the challenge of translating their military experience to the civilian market. So I am pleased that the legislation the House is considering today not only increases access to health care, but does so by increasing employment opportunities for veterans and allows them to use their skills gained in service to our country to serve their local communities in civilian life.

H.R. 3199 also requires an assessment of whether this new program should be expanded to help veterans with medical training to obtain certification in other health professions.

I urge all of my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to support this important legislation.

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