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Ala. governor signs bill adding EMS into police, fire benefits legislation

Governor Kay Ivey signed a bill that adds EMTs and paramedics to existing hazardous duty time and retirement benefits

By Bill Carey

MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Governor Kay Ivey signed a bill on April 30 that awards hazardous duty time to EMTs and paramedics, recognizing their contributions to public safety and the risks they face, including serious injury or death.

House Bill 71 amends section 36-27-59 of the Alabama Code, known as the Stretch Bill, extending benefits previously available only to police and firefighters, WTVY reported.

“What this bill does is puts these emergency medical technicians in the same category as police and fire where for every five years they work, they get an extra year of retirement,” Rep. Steve Clouse said.

”At the time when it was passed a few years back, people did not consider EMS part of it and I think it was overlooked accidentally. When we realized that, the mayor and the council here, passed a resolution to ask the state legislature to reconsider that,” Ozark Public Safety Director Charles Ward said.

The bill will go into effect on October 1 for all certified EMS personnel employed with a governmental agency.