PHOTO INFORMATION: State Reps. Dave Prestin (right) and John Fitzgerald (left) display House Bills 4613-14 on the House Floor.
Rep. Dave Prestin (R-Cedar River) is working to address the statewide shortage of medical personnel. Today, he introduced a bipartisan plan with Rep. John Fitzgerald (D-Wyoming) to set parameters and allow an extension of a temporary license for a medical first responder, emergency medical technician (EMT), emergency medical technician specialist or paramedic.
“Our plan would help reduce critical shortages of much-needed medical personnel to serve as EMTs and paramedics by keeping them working and properly supervised during their licensing process,” Prestin said. “The Michigan Health and Hospital Association reports the state has lost up to 1,700 hospital beds since 2020 due to lack of staffing. This problem needs fixing, and I’m happy to deliver a practical, bipartisan solution.”
The bills would ensure that anyone with a temporary license may only perform work duties while under the direct supervision of an individual who has a permanent license of at least the same level of the temporary license. Thus, a temporarily licensed EMT may be directly supervised by either a permanently licensed EMT or Paramedic. However, a temporarily licensed paramedic may only be supervised by a permanently licensed paramedic.
Rep. Prestin’s bill would extend the period of a temporary license from 90 days to one year.
“Having served as a first responder in various capacities over the past 13-plus years, I know firsthand how important it is to address and fix the statewide shortage of medical personnel,” Prestin said. “Our plan would do just that, by simply allowing qualified professionals to continue to do their job. While medical resources are insufficient throughout the state, they are especially scarce in the Upper Peninsula. I am proud to deliver a common-sense reform to help improve access to first responder care across the state.”
House Bills 4613 (Rep. Prestin) and 4614 (Rep. Fitzgerald) have been sent to the House Committee on Regulatory Reform.
“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.”