Rooney bill improving process to recognize out-of-state EMT certifications passes committee

TRENTON, N.J. – Making it easier for volunteer emergency medical technicians from other states to work in New Jersey will help address the Garden State’s shortage of first responders, which is especially important given the impact Covid-19 had on the industry, says Assemblyman Kevin J. Rooney.

His bill (A831) streamlining the certification process for EMTs from other states unanimously passed the Assembly Regulated Professions Committee on Thursday.

“Removing barriers to in-state employment for qualified out-of-state professionals is going to allow towns and small hospitals to continue to offer critical emergency services to residents,” said Rooney (R-Bergen). “New Jersey’s frontline health care workers sacrificed so much, including their lives, during the worst public health emergency in modern history and the need for heroic life-saving skills is not going to lessen. This bill helps New Jersey meet that need for quality emergency care.”

Of the 439 EMS agencies in New Jersey, 239 are registered as volunteer, with many squads employing a mixture of paid and volunteer staff. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects the employment of EMTs and paramedics to grow 11 percent from 2020 to 2030, faster than the average for all occupations.

The bill unanimously passed the Assembly last session, but stalled in the Senate. It now goes to the speaker for further consideration.