EMT and medical first responder bill advances

TRENTON – Assembly lawmakers released legislation from committee that provides a range of statutory oversight reforms for medical first responders.

The bill, A2463, proposes a series of new rules and regulations regarding emergency medical technicians, EMTs, and emergency medical first responders.

The proposals would enact a series of new rules and regulations, including requiring EMTs who staff licensed ambulances to be licensed and submit to criminal record background checks, and they would authorize paramedics to perform advanced life support services if they maintain direct contact with a licensed physician.

Several first responders and local officials spoke out against the bill, saying it amounts to an unfunded mandate and would require additional hurdles for people already on the front lines in times of crisis.

The bill was released from committee along party lines.

The committee also voted to release other bills:

A1271, would allow certain tax credits for employers that hire certain qualified interns in tax years 2012 and 2013. The proposal allows a corporation business tax credit and a gross income tax credit, according to the legislation. It allows credits in amounts equal to 40 percent of compensation paid to qualified interns or $600 of that compensation, whichever is less.

Several Assembly Republicans opposed the legislation, citing the cost incurred by the state.

The bill’s supporters argued the state more than makes up the lost revenue because the proposal can help businesses grow.

A1519/S612, would provide for licensure of elevator, escalator, and moving sidewalk contractors by a state board.

The bill would establish the Elevator Contractors Licensing Board, which would have authority to grant licenses to people engaged in the business of installing, constructing, altering, servicing, repairing, testing, or maintaining elevator devices, according to the bill.

Opponents of the bill argued the proposal lumps contractors working on private and commercial elevators together. They also said the bill would eliminate competition by essentially disallowing private contractors from working on residential elevators, for example.

Supporters argued the bill is a matter of public safety.

EMT and medical first responder bill advances