May 16, 2017

NJ A543 Threatens Patients and EMS Professionals

An assembly bill recently proposed in New Jersey threatens both EMS professionals and patients in need of emergency pre-hospital care. NJ A543 seeks to revise requirements and training standards for first responders under New Jersey Highway Traffic Safety Act of 1987.

Those opposed to the bill explain that, because of the multi-tiered structure of emergency medical services in New Jersey, the passage of A543 would risk the overall standard of care in the garden state.

“If a New Jersey resident calls for an ambulance they should be able to count on consistent care provided by first responders with adequate professional experience and certifications. This proposal doesn’t mandate who will show up when you dial 9-1-1, and actually goes against recommendations of state and national healthcare agencies,” said Frank Wagner, IAEP National Representative and EMT from Elizabeth, NJ.

Wagner refers to whether a patient will be guaranteed treatment from a fully-certified EMT or paramedic, or a member of the volunteer rescue squad, who are only required to have passed a CPR/AED course.

Union representatives say supporters of this bill are favoring politics over patient safety. “Patient needs should be the top priority, rather than the needs of any single provider, agency, or council,” said IAEP National Director Phil Petit.

Petit added, “Every first responder that works to keep their community safe deserves our support, and every citizen deserves to know that there are stringent regulations on who is driving the ambulance in their time of crisis.”
Help us protect New Jersey EMS. 

Ask your state senators and/or assemblymen and women to oppose A543.

Call 609-847-3905 or click here to find your legislators.

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