Ala. bill aims to drop degree requirement for community paramedics
Bill would prohibit the State Board of Health from requiring a college degree for licensure as a paramedic
By Bill Carey
HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — In response to a state-wide shortage of paramedics, Alabama lawmakers are introducing a new bill that would affect the licensure requirement.
Presently, individuals aspiring to become paramedics are required to obtain a two-year degree and complete paramedic training. House Bill 417 proposes to remove the requirement of a two-year degree for licensure as a community paramedic and would prohibit the State Board of Health from requiring a college degree for licensure as a paramedic.
If enacted, the legislation has the potential to alleviate the strain on Alabama’s first responder system, empowering more individuals to pursue careers as paramedics and contribute to the well-being and safety of their communities, WAFF reported.
Huntsville Emergency Medical Services, Inc. (HEMSI) spokesperson Don Webster told WAFF that recruiting and retaining first responders has been a problem nationwide. Recognizing the importance of hiring qualified candidates to serve the community, HEMSI strives to offer competitive wages and favorable work schedules to attract and retain skilled professionals.
Webster said regardless of whether the bill gets passed, ambulance services are addressing the shortage state-wide.