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Veteran Emergency Medical Technician Support Act of 2013

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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

I rise in strong support and urge my colleagues to vote for H.R. 235, the Veteran Emergency Medical Technician Support Act of 2013.

At this time I yield 5 minutes to the gentleman from Illinois (Mr. Kinzinger), a member of the Energy and Commerce Committee, who wrote this important legislation.

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

I want to thank once again Mr. Kinzinger of Illinois and Mrs. Capps of California for this commonsense legislation. When you think about young men and women serving in the military and Iraq and Afghanistan and responding to a wide array of emergencies that they respond to and having visited the training programs that they have, we know that they are well trained. And yet some State licensing laws for EMTs vary. Many States do not recognize combat medics and other veterans' qualifications as applicable to the licensing requirement of the civilian health care system. Some States make exceptions for former military medics and allow them reciprocity and a chance to sit for the licensing exam without going through the usual training. But, as I said, many States do not.

This legislation simply helps streamline State requirements and make allowances for returning veterans to enter the EMT workforce without unnecessary duplication of their training. And we all know the great demand for emergency technicians in our society today.

This bill also provides for an annual report to Congress. It complies with CutGo because funding of the $1 million for the program is offset with funds from area health education centers of the Public Health Service Act.

So, I am pleased to support this legislation and urge my colleagues to vote in favor of H.R. 235. Once again, I thank the gentleman from Illinois and all of those on the committee who brought this legislation to the floor.

I yield back the balance of my time.

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