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Public Statements

Veteran Emergency Medical Technician Support Act of 2012

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. PITTS. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

Mr. Speaker, I rise this evening in support of H.R. 4124, the Veteran Emergency Medical Technician Support Act of 2012. This act would take us forward in two important ways: it would reduce the shortages of emergency medical technicians in the United States and at the same time help our veterans find employment.

Emergency response is a crucial component of our health care system and preparedness strategy. EMTs are often the first point of contact in a crisis situation, and their care can make the difference between life and death. Emergency response is even more crucial on the battlefield, where military medics respond to emergencies and provide care for the soldiers until a physician or other health professional can take over. These soldiers, trained as combat medics, become very experienced dealing with massive trauma injuries and other complex health problems.

It seems that utilizing those with military medic training in our EMT workforce here at home would be good for the returning soldiers, good for the health care system, and good for patients.

Areas throughout the United States are experiencing a shortage of EMTs, and military medics could potentially fill those workforce gaps. However, there are a number of issues keeping military medics from EMT employment. Most importantly are State licensing requirements, which can require duplicative training and education that is likely to be unnecessary for someone with significant experience.

It is our hope that this bill would allow States to study this issue and streamline their EMT requirements for those returning from the military that have the experience so desperately needed in many communities.

I would like to thank Mr. Kinzinger, a veteran who has served with many of these military medics, and Mrs. CAPPS for their work on this bill. I urge my colleagues to vote in support of this legislation.

I reserve the balance of my time.

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Mr. PITTS. Mr. Speaker, as a veteran I appreciate the efforts of Mr. Kinzinger and Mrs. Capps and others in this commonsense and very bipartisan bill to support our veterans and provide for this need in the emergency medical technician area.

I urge support for the bill, and I yield back the balance of my time.

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