ALBANY, 07/01/13 -- State Senator James L. Seward (R/C/I – Oneonta) today announced legislation he sponsored that will extend the emergency medical technician five-year recertification demonstration program has been signed into law by Governor Cuomo. The legislation (S.5152/A.7170) provides active volunteer emergency medical technicians (EMTs) in certain counties with additional time to meet recertification requirements.
“The number of volunteer EMTs has dropped steadily over the years jeopardizing patient safety, particularly in rural areas,” said Senator Seward. “Providing some additional time for EMTs to meet recertification requirements will help ensure that emergency calls won’t go unanswered.”
Senator Seward sponsored legislation creating the demonstration program in 2001. The law extended the period for recertification for emergency medical technicians and advanced emergency medical technicians from three years to five years. The program was subsequently extended in 2008 and was set to expire this year.
The program, which will now be extended until July 1, 2018, is limited to EMTs who practice in the following counties: Delaware, Fulton, Hamilton, Montgomery, Nassau, Otsego, Schoharie or Suffolk.
The Bureau of Emergency Medical Services (EMS) has reported 61,308 certified providers statewide as of May 1, 2013, a decrease of 3,469 providers since 2003.
“EMTs meet stringent requirements to receive their certification. Providing these highly-trained individuals additional time for recertification could be the difference between retaining their services or losing them entirely and sacrificing vital urgent care,” Seward added.
The law will take effect immediately.