Letter to the editor: Evers fails to help rural EMS

By RAYE WALZ | rural Kendall

On March 31, Gov. Evers vetoed SB 89; this legislation would have aided struggling rural EMS agencies across the state.  This bill would have made the requirement for the National Registry Emergency Medical Technician (NREMT) testing for Emergency Medical Responders (EMRs) optional.

The NREMT certification allows all levels of EMS personnel to operate in other states.  In my case, as with many other volunteers, we have no desire to work in another state; we just want to help our rural communities.  

The concern that removing the NREMT would lessen the standards for EMS persoånnel in the state of Wisconsin is unwarranted.  The State Department of Human Services ensures that all EMS personnel in the state are trained to the high standards required to perform the tasks required.  The abilities of EMS provider’s qualifications should be left up the service director of the local ambulance service.  This person will ensure all EMS personnel who work for the service are qualified and current in their capabilities.  Should they wish to require their personnel to take and pass the NREMT, that should be their decision!  

Gov. Evers’ veto of SB 89 is tragic for the residents of rural Wisconsin; it will only make the problem of getting and keeping qualified EMS personnel worse.

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