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Veteran Emergency Medical Technician Support Act Passes the U.S. House of Representatives

May 12, 2016

[From NAEMT News Release] 

Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 1818, the Veterans EMT Support Act, by a vote of 415 to 1. The legislation assists military medic veterans to efficiently transition their military medical training into the civilian workforce and addresses the shortage of emergency medical technicians in states.

This has been a key legislative priority of the National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians (NAEMT), as well as other national and state EMS organizations. H.R. 1818 directs the Department of Health and Human Services to establish a demonstration program for states with a shortage of emergency medical technicians to develop a streamlined transition program for trained military medics to meet state EMT licensure requirements.

NAEMT is grateful to Reps. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) and Lois Capps (D-CA) for their bipartisan introduction of the bill. They have remained committed to its passage and have been unwavering in their support.

Rep. Kinzinger remarked, “I’m proud to see H.R. 1818 pass the House with such strong bipartisan support. The Veteran EMT Support Act is a common sense bill that helps veterans transition into civilian careers, improve public health, and ensure communities have first responders to answer challenging emergency calls like opioid overdoses. Thank you to Congresswoman Lois Capps for her strong support and advocacy of this bill. I look forward to the Senate taking up this important legislation and the several others that were passed this week to help combat the thousands of opioid overdose deaths each year.”

"The Veterans EMT Support Act is an important step forward to help veterans in their transition back to civilian life, while improving emergency care in our communities," said Rep. Lois Capps. "These heroes have proven their skills on the battlefield. It is only right that we break down any artificial barriers that delay or prevent them from serving our communities here at home."

“The bill’s passage is a direct result of advocacy efforts by thousands of EMS professionals and other supporters of military-to-civilian transition programs,” NAEMT President Conrad “Chuck” Kearns said. “We applaud all who contributed to the bill’s passage by visiting their representatives, by sending emails and letters requesting congressional support, or by walking the halls of our nation’s Capitol during EMS On The Hill Day on April 20. Our efforts provided the momentum to achieve today’s victory, and honors the bravery and sacrifice of our military veterans.”