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Pennsylvania EMS training bill heads to the governor's desk

June 11, 2014
FROM:     Don Konkle, Executive Director, PFESI
RE:          EMS training bill heads to the governor's desk

HARRISBURG, PA - The state House yesterday unanimously approved Sen. Tim Solobay's legislation that will allow volunteer firefighters' relief association funds to be used to pay for the costs related to advanced life support (ALS) or paramedic (EMT-P) training.

More than a year after its original introduction, Senate Bill 707 is now headed to the governor's desk for his signature.

"Staying on top of the best practices in emergency response is critical to achieving the best outcomes, but it's expensive and time consuming," Solobay said. "This bill will help reduce the financial burden on struggling first-responder organizations."

Currently, Pennsylvania law authorizes the use of volunteer firefighters' relief association fund for sixteen separate categorized items, one of which is to pay for attending firefighters' training schools.

Solobay's proposal would expand the authorized use of funds to allow for the payment of reasonable expenses incurred for attending emergency medical technician or paramedic training schools.

The Senate unanimously passed the bill in January.

Solobay, who also serves as a fire chief in Canonsburg, Washington County, said the effort to make additional training help available to medical personnel has been going on for years. As a Senator, he introduced the idea in the legislature in the 2011-2012 session of the General Assembly. The bill passed the Senate but was not considered in the House before the session expired.

Guaranteed cash flow during transition.