Regulation

New Jersey Plans State Control Over All EMTs

Even volunteers would be subject to licensing and background checks

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The Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee has passed a bill that would hold all of the state's emergency medical services—including EMTs—to a single professional standard. It would also put the New Jersey Department of Health in charge of all EMS statewide.

The proposed measure changes the status quo in several ways, requiring, for instance, that volunteer EMTs be licensed and that they pass background checks.

Backers of the bill (S-1650) say it "puts the framework in place so that we can create one standard of care across the board for patients throughout New Jersey," according to Andy Lovell, chief of the Gloucester County Emergency Medical Services.