N.Y. bill would classify EMS as 'essential services'

State Senator Shelley Mayer and Assemblyman Steve Otis say the measure also would make health and pension benefits available for providers


By Leila Merrill

PORT CHESTER, N.Y. — Two Westchester County Democrats are asking New York state lawmakers to pass their bill that would classify EMS as “essential services,” Mid Hudson News reported Thursday.

The measure is intended to address the EMS workforce shortage and would give providers access to health and pension benefits. In rural areas, entire EMS squads have closed.

State Senator Shelley Mayer said it is  “outrageous” that the EMS responders “can be denied health benefits when we turn to them to address our own medical emergencies.”
State Senator Shelley Mayer said it is  “outrageous” that the EMS responders “can be denied health benefits when we turn to them to address our own medical emergencies.” (Photo/Office of N.Y. State Sen. Shelley Mayer)

If the bill passes, municipal governments would have to provide emergency medical services, and a minimum standard of care would be established, the lawmakers said, according to Spectrum Local News

State Senator Shelley Mayer and Assemblyman Steve Otis said that making the benefits available would help EMS agencies recruit and retain personnel.

Mayer said it is  “outrageous” that the responders “can be denied health benefits when we turn to them to address our own medical emergencies.”

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