Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Kinzinger Works to Streamline Job Training for Returning Veteran EMTs

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today the House Energy & Commerce Subcommittee on Health held a hearing focused on H.R. 4124, the Veteran Medical Technician Support Act of 2012. U.S. Representatives Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) and Lois Capps (D-CA) introduced this legislation to assist states in streamlining their certification requirements for veterans with military emergency medical technician (EMT) training who want to continue their career as an EMT in the civilian workforce.

Currently, many veteran EMTs are required to take classes they have already completed in the military to satisfy the civilian licensure system, needlessly delaying their entry into the civilian workforce. This bipartisan legislation would make the process more efficient and provide grants to states so they can streamline requirements for veterans with military EMT training to become certified civilian EMTs.  In doing so, returning veterans will not have to start over at square one in their training and can enter the civilian workforce much sooner.

“Just last week, new jobs numbers highlighted the incredibly difficult environment our veterans face as they re-enter the civilian work force,” said Kinzinger, a Major in the Air National Guard. “Unemployment rates remain stubbornly high for all Americans, but particularly too high among our men and women who are returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. This should not be the case. Commonsense legislation like this is an important step to quickly and effectively help our veterans as they transition from the battlefield back to civilian life.”

“Our military men and women receive some of the best technical training in emergency medicine – and they prove their skills on the battlefield every day. When they return home, however, experienced military medics are often required to begin their training completely over at the most basic level to receive certification for civilian jobs. This needlessly keeps our veterans out of the workforce and withholds valuable medical personnel from our communities,” said Capps. “I am pleased that the House Energy and Commerce Committee is moving forward with our commonsense, bipartisan proposal to get our nation’s veterans back to work, and I hope it will be approved soon.”

Today’s witness list included Mr. Ben D. Chlapek, Chairman of the Military Relations Committee for the National Association of Emergency Technicians and Mr. Daniel Nichols, Senior Vice President of Victory Media.