Rep. Dave Prestin, R-Cedar River, is spearheading legislation to allow trained 17-year-olds to receive a medical first responder or emergency medical technician license. Prestin, a fully licensed paramedic and active first responder, is joined by Rep. Carrie Rheingans, D-Ann Arbor, in introducing the bipartisan legislation. Rheingans sits on the Washtenaw Emergency Medical Services Commission.
“Our medical first responders and emergency medical technicians have reached a critical shortage in people interested in doing the work,” Prestin said. “This legislation would allow EMS agencies to advance the next generation of this crucial profession. We already allow high school students to train for these jobs. This package just ensures that those recruits can get into the workforce when they complete their coursework instead of waiting until their eighteenth birthday.”
House Bills 5154 and 5155 update state law to allow for individuals aged 17 and older to be eligible to apply for a medical first responder license. Under current law, only individuals aged 18 and older can apply for a license.
HB 5154 was referred to the Health Policy committee while HB 5155 was referred to the Regulatory Reform committee.
“A tunnel beneath the Straits of Mackinac is the optimal solution to safeguard the Great Lakes while ensuring vital energy products are continuously provided to residents in Upper and Lower Michigan, as well as communities nationwide,” wrote Prestin, R-Cedar River. “Propane plays an indispensable role in sustaining rural communities, which often lack the energy and sewer infrastructure present in more urbanized areas.”
“I voted no today because the speaker reneged on a promise he made last fall to pass bipartisan legislation in exchange for votes. The agreement happened, handshakes were made, and he has yet to fulfill his end of the bargain. The political games have to end. We are more than willing to work in a bipartisan fashion if Democrats end their blockade and agree to work collaboratively with us on the issues that matter most.”
“Seeing the bipartisan support behind our plan really emphasized the importance of backing EMTs and paramedics as they face critical staffing shortages across the board,” said Prestin, R-Cedar River. “Having served as a first responder for over a decade, I know the devasting impact that staffing shortages can have on medical first responders. Adequate medical resources are nearly non-existent around the state, especially in the Upper Peninsula. Our plan would begin addressing the issue by allowing EMTs and paramedics to continue training as they begin working and obtaining valuable on the job experience that will really benefit them as they work towards their full licensure.”