Pa. may join EMS Compact, allowing providers to work across state lines
Lawmakers see the bill as a way to address staffing shortfalls; employers would be able to verify EMS providers' licenses
By Leila Merrill
HARRISBURG, Pa. — With a signature from Gov. Tom Wolf, a bill would make Pennsylvania the 22nd state to join an agreement that makes it easier for EMS providers to practice across state lines.
According to the Center Square, “The agreement standardizes privilege to practice rules, validates licenses in a national registry, and grants emergency medical workers the ability to work across state lines on a short-term basis. By aligning rules and standards, Pennsylvania poses fewer barriers to out-of-state workers who may relocate to the commonwealth.”
Senate Bill 681 was approved by both chambers of the General Assembly and was sent to Wolf on Wednesday.
“Pennsylvania is having an exceedingly difficult time in recruiting and retaining licensed EMS providers,” said Sen. Pat Stefano (R-Connellsville). “The EMS Compact would help address this issue by making Pennsylvania more attractive to out-of-state EMS personnel – help with staffing during emergencies – as well as making it easier for Pennsylvania residents to practice out-of-state.”
Employers would be able to verify whether an EMS provider has a suspended license if they come from a fellow compact state.
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"EMS is at their most vulnerable, and we need the help,” said Heather Sharar, executive director of the Ambulance Association of Pennsylvania