Calif. law mandates EMS training to ID, assist human trafficking victims

“A paramedic coming to us in an accident and knowing what to look for would really help future victims not be hurt or sold or worse," a trafficking survivor said of the legislation


By EMS1 Staff

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A state bill signed into law this week will require all California EMS providers to undergo training on issues related to human trafficking, the California Globe reported.

The bill requires at least 20 minutes of training on the topic beginning July 1, 2024, which will outline how to identify and interact with victims of human trafficking, as well as how to alert authorities while maintaining the safety of the victim.

“Human trafficking victims are rescued by ordinary people who recognize the signs of trafficking and are brave enough to act,” Assemblyman Jordan Cunningham, who authored the bill, said. “As front-line emergency workers, EMTs and paramedics are uniquely situated to interact with trafficking victims. Training these workers to recognize the signs of trafficking will save lives.”

The bill received unanimous support and was signed into law on Tuesday by Newsom.

“A paramedic coming to us in an accident and knowing what to look for would really help future victims not be hurt or sold or worse,” Manuela Garcia, who is a human trafficking survivor, said. “Not many people think about what happens to us after someone doesn’t see a warning sign and doesn’t alert the police or someone, but it is not pretty. With a law like this, it can help stop this from happening to more people. That’s a good thing.”


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