Christie: EMT bill will be vetoed if it hits his desk

MIDDLESEX  – Gov. Chris Christie said today that he will veto an emergency responders bill that would substantially revise standards and procedures.

At a town hall here, he said that “If that bill comes in the same form, I’ll send it right back to them.”

The bill, S1650, has passed the Assembly along party lines, and previously passed the Senate. It now heads to the governor’s desk.

The bill would make a variety of changes to how emergency services are conducted, including having EMTs and paramedics submit to criminal history background checks and making the Office of Emergency Medical Services in the Department of Health the lead state agency for the oversight of emergency medical services.

Also, the commissioner of the Health Department is to appoint a physician with relevant experience as State Medical Director for Emergency Medical Services, and the State Medical Director may appoint up to three regional medical directors to oversee their respective geographic areas. 

The Senate bill is sponsored by Sens. Steve Sweeney and Joe Vitale.

Christie said he supports a system that would encourage more volunteer EMTs.

“I don’t think we need as a society want to add another layer of government want to require that every EMT squad( have) professional, salaried employees with benefits and pensions that adds to your property taxes. I don’t think so.”

The state has some 320 volunteer EMT squads.

Christie: EMT bill will be vetoed if it hits his desk