TRENTON, N.J. – A bill (A516) sponsored by Assemblyman Kevin J. Rooney that allows emergency medical technicians from other states to work in New Jersey unanimously passed the Assembly today.
“It is important that we make it easy for out-of-state professionals to get jobs they are already qualified for,” said Rooney (R-Bergen). “EMTs provide a vital service to our communities and we should be finding ways to help people employ their life-saving skills in New Jersey.”
First aid and rescue squads or corps in New Jersey have suffered from a shortage of volunteers. Rooney’s bill will make it easier for volunteers to join the EMT ranks, boosting first responders across the state. According to the EMS Council of New Jersey, their member emergency squads or ambulance corps in the New Jersey decreased to 275 from 400 over a 17-year period. In the 80s, there were more than 600 volunteer squads or corps. A common deterrent for volunteers is the time and cost it takes to become certified.
“Many small hospitals and towns can’t afford to hire the necessary personnel to take care of residents, and residents can’t always afford the certification process. Enabling more volunteers who are already certified is a way to fill that gap,” said Rooney.