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Home > Topics > Volunteer/Rural EMS

New NJ EMS oversight may weigh heavily on volunteer squads

Governor considering new bill which increases oversight of EMT's, medics; opponents say new requirements will shut the doors of many of state's volunteer EMS units

By Andrew Kitchenmann
NJ Spotlight

TRENTON, N.J. — For the second time since taking office, Gov Chris Christie may have a chance to sign a bill that increases state oversight of emergency medical technicians and paramedics. The measure (A-2463), requires that ambulance workers be licensed by the state and undergo criminal background checks.

The legislation comes at a time when the state’s longtime reliance on volunteer ambulance squads is under threat from several quarters, including increased regulation, tougher training requirements, and a general decline in volunteerism. “EMS is in crisis in New Jersey,” said Mary Daley, president of the state EMS union. — the Professional Emergency Medical Services Association. “A lot of the volunteers are falling by the wayside, a lot of it is going commercial and paid.”

Supporters of the bill argue it makes much-needed changes, adding that the current state of affairs — in which volunteer squads don’t even have to register with the state — must end. They also say the state must take action now to ensure that local departments maintain necessary standards.

Full Story: Legislature takes second look at regulating Emergency Medical Services

The comments below are member-generated and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of or its staff. If you cannot see comments, try disabling privacy and ad blocking plugins in your browser. All comments must comply with our Member Commenting Policy.
John Condie John Condie Wednesday, January 30, 2013 12:23:55 AM what does the NREMT have to say about this. As a aussie I was under the imprecision that the NREMT was the ultiment authority.
Jonathan Lieblein Jonathan Lieblein Wednesday, January 30, 2013 4:31:21 AM NREMT has no statutory authority. State may chose to utilize the NREMT standards for some or all providers. My state uses the NREMT paramedic exam, but not the basic exam. We are not required to maintain NREMT to maintain state paramedic certification
Luke Shakespeare Luke Shakespeare Wednesday, January 30, 2013 12:44:51 PM I would expect that standardisation and mandatory skill sets could only be a good thing for the patients and people.
Raymond Thomas Johnston Raymond Thomas Johnston Thursday, January 31, 2013 3:19:38 AM Don't read too much into this, the state is changing the word license for certification. EMT's and Paramedics must pass NREMT to practice in NJ. The real issue is that some small volunteer organizations are not required to be licensed as an entity to provide medical care. The ambulance is a licensed unit, the staff are certified, but the organization is not state licensed.
Raymond Thomas Johnston Raymond Thomas Johnston Thursday, January 31, 2013 3:20:52 AM What it really means are more fees and more money.
Christopher O'Brien Christopher O'Brien Thursday, February 07, 2013 5:40:59 AM Why? Are there problems with the current system? If so, fix the specific problems instead of recreate the system that isn't broken.

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