Bill To Help Medic Veterans Get EMT Certification - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Bill To Help Medic Veterans Get EMT Certification

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DAVENPORT, IA – It's a process that can take over a year and cost from 600 to 2000 dollars to retrain veterans that are already certified as combat medics.

Crystal Eakins, Veteran and Paramedic Supervisor at Medic EMS, says, "They are capable and have the ability to do a lot more than here in the civilian world, but there is a big different between what they're doing over there and what we're doing over here. [Veterans] don't have the accessibility of the hospitals as we do."

Illinois Congressman Adam Kinzinger is pushing a bill that could streamline this process across the nation. It's called the Veteran Emergency Medical Technician Support Act.

Congressman Kinzinger says, "The hope is that states can just streamline to where they can come back and show the training they got in the military and qualify as an EMT in the civilian world."

If the bill passes, veterans won't need to re-start training from scratch. This is a process that would help soldiers transition home after war.

Kinzinger says, "Those that are trained to save our soldiers on the battlefield can come back and save us in our homes. If we're dealing with a heart attack or stroke, they're well qualified and this is going to help rural America as well as veterans."

Local veterans and medics agree. They hope the bill will pass in the senate. Eakins says, "It would be extremely helpful. It would get a lot more medics on the streets faster, quicker. And it's a lot of double training that they don't necessarily have to do or should have to do. They've already been out there functioning, doing their jobs, and then they have to come home and repeat it all again."

Many see it as a double win – both helping veterans and bringing more emergency responders into the community.

Eakins says, "The more people that are EMT trained and EMS trained, the faster and better service any community will have."

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