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Public Statements

Veteran Emergency Medical Technician Support Act of 2012

Floor Speech

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Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. KINZINGER of Illinois. Mr. Speaker, I want to first off thank the chairman for bringing this bill forward. I want to thank Chairman Upton, the ranking member of both the full and subcommittee, and I especially want to thank Congresswoman Capps for helping me on this. This is an outstanding bill, and I thank you for your leadership.

Unemployment rates continue to be far too high among our men and women who are returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. Returning veterans deserve a smooth transition from the military into the civilian workforce. As a Nation, we must recognize the experience and education that our military-trained EMTs receive. It's inefficient to force these well-trained veterans to start over with basic training in the civilian workforce after aiding wounded military men and women who are severely injured in combat.

We must recognize military-trained EMT skills and education and streamline the process so these honorable men and women can return quickly to work here at home.

We also need to recognize that training and education of these EMTs and the education that they receive in the military is important, and we must streamline the civilian certification process so these honorable men and women can return to work even faster.

I'm a pilot in the military, and I still continue as an Air National Guard pilot. One of the things that really stood out to me was how I went through training with the military and came out and very quickly was able to receive all of the civilian equivalent certifications from what I got in the military.

Now, that really stands out to me as how we, both in the Federal Government and in the State, ought to consider doing business and recognize the skill that these military folks are trained with.

This bill is a commonsense way to help our veterans as they transition back to civilian life. By supporting States to make the process more efficient, veterans with military EMT training will more quickly become certified civilian EMTs. In doing so, they will not have to start over at square one in their training, and they can be ready to go.

I urge my colleagues to support this commonsense bill.

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