Gluesenkamp Perez and Finstad Introduce EMS Workforce Shortage Bill
Yesterday, November 15, Congresswoman Marie Gluesenkamp Perez (D-WA) and Congressman Brad Finstad (R-MN) introduced the Preserve Access to Rapid Ambulance Emergency Medical Treatment (PARA-EMT) Act (H.R. 6433). H.R. 6433 is the first broad, stand-alone piece of legislation specifically designed to focus solely on helping address the EMS workforce shortage.
“We greatly appreciate the leadership of Congresswoman Gluesenkamp Perez and Congressman Finstad on introducing this momentous legislation to assist with the hiring and retention of paramedics and EMTs,” stated AAA President Randy Strozyk. “We look forward to working with them on passage of the bill.”
H.R. 6433 would establish a pilot grant program under the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) for the recruitment and training of paramedics and EMTs. The grant program would be authorized from 2024 through 2028 with $50 million a year in funding.
The legislation would also provide states with funding to help facilitate and expedite the transition of medics coming out of military service with the requirements of becoming a civilian paramedic or EMT. The program would be authorized from 2024 through 2028 with $20 million a year in grant funding for states.
Lastly, H.R. 6433 would direct the Secretary of Labor to conduct a study on the EMS workforce shortage and issue a report to Congress. The report would include an analysis on potentially adding paramedics and EMTs to the list of health care occupations which benefit from an easier hiring process of professionals outside the U.S.
The American Ambulance Association, National Rural Health Association and Washington Ambulance Association have endorsed H.R. 6433. In the coming days, the AAA will be launching a Call to Action to encourage and assist our members in contacting their U.S. Representatives in support of cosponsoring H.R. 6433.
Thank you to all of the AAA members and volunteer leaders who worked tirelessly to push for the introduction of this important EMS legislation!