FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
State Rep. Mike Sturla
State Rep. Deberah Kula
HDPC examines regulations on EMS certification
UNIONTOWN, Aug. 22 – The House Democratic Policy Committee held a public hearing today at Penn State Fayette’s Eberly Campus about recent regulations regarding Emergency Medical Service certification, according to committee Chairman Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster.
State Rep. Deberah Kula, D-Fayette/Westmoreland and committee vice chair, requested the hearing and served as co-chair.
Sturla said, "I commend Representative Kula for requesting this Policy Committee hearing to enable local EMS providers and educators to fully vet this important certification issue."
Kula added, "Front-line emergency medical responders play a key role in saving lives in Fayette and Westmoreland counties, and across Pennsylvania. Anything that could impact the strategic service they provide deserves a full airing in a public forum, which is what we provided today."
The hearing focused on new national certification requirements set to take effect in 2013, under which Pennsylvania could lose control of paramedic training and testing and the cost of becoming a paramedic could increase eight times, from $2,500 to $20,000.
Kula said most of the Emergency Medical Services training institutes in southwestern Pennsylvania oppose the new certification process, which will fall under the auspices of the Texas-based Committee on Accreditation of Educational Programs for the Emergency Medical Professions (CoAEMSP). The Pennsylvania Department of Health already oversees this training.
Those testifying at the hearing included: Dr. Cataldo Corrado, chairman, Fayette County Emergency Medical Services Council; William Groft, director of operations, Mutual Aid Ambulance Service; Richard Adobato, chief of operations, Fayette Emergency Medical Service; Ted Mellor, director, Penn State Fayette’s Center for Community and Public Safety; and Joseph Schmider, director for Bureau of EMS, Pennsylvania Department of Health.
For more information about the Policy Committee or for hearing materials, visit www.pahouse.com/PolicyCommittee.