EMS Redesign Bill Makes Its Way Through Trenton Again [AUDIO]
State Lawmakers are once again considering the so called "EMS Redesign Bill" vetoed by the Governor last year. The bill (S-1650/A-2463) is aimed at revising the delivery of emergency services through out the state that some, even in EMS circles believe is sorely needed.
However, the bill is drawing fierce opposition from supporters of volunteer rescue squads who say that the requirements of the legislation would eventually cause the extinction of volunteer squads.
9th District (R) State Senator Chris Connors says "the additional training requirements in this bill, essentially would thin the ranks of the volunteers that we now have raising the issue of eventual replacement by paid emergency service personnel. Of course, that would increase property taxes for our local communities and destroy a very successful system of emergency response that we have here in Ocean County that minimizes the cost to the people that it serves."
Supporters of the measure say it would insure that all EMS techs have an adequate level of training.
Connors says the Governor's conditional veto of the bill last year removed all provisions and called for a study of the state's EMS system by the Department of Health and Senior Services. However, he says the bill sponsors chose not to consider the Governor's veto language and instead reintroduced the legislation with what he believes are objectionable provisions.
The bill is in the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee following approval in the Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Services Committee in June. An identical measure in the Assembly is on the same legislative track.