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June 26, 2017
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General News: New Legislation Introduced

March 15, 2017

3/10/17
Assemblyman Skoufis: prospective EMTs will now be screened for sex offense convictions

Assemblyman James Skoufis (D-Woodbury) announced that legislation he authored will take effect on March 14th requiring prospective emergency medical technicians (EMTs) to submit to screenings against the sex offender registry (Ch. 429 of 2016).

“EMTs are vital members of our community who should be applauded for their hard work and dedication,” Skoufis said. “This law helps companies better vet potential hires and keeps the public safe.”

Skoufis introduced the bill after similar legislation passed requiring volunteer fire departments to screen for sex offense convictions when hiring. Local EMTs saw the new law and reached out to Skoufis’ office hoping he could sponsor legislation for the same issue but for EMT’s. This oversight was dangerous because EMTs often work with children and other vulnerable residents such as senior citizens, who are at greater risk. In addition, EMTs are often around children at school or community events, noted Skoufis.

“Allowing EMS agencies to check potential members for sexual crimes is extremely important to the safety and welfare of patients and staff members,” said Pat Conques, president of Woodbury Community Ambulance. “Most ambulances operate with two attendants, one being a driver, and a single EMT in back with the patient. Woodbury Ambulance operates with a youth squad ages 16-18 years, which are an integral part of many teams. Families need to have confidence that their loved one is safe and receiving the best care on their worst day.”

Skoufis has long fought to protect public safety and worked with ambulance associations to craft the legislation, which requires ambulance companies to screen potential emergency medical technicians and volunteers against the sex offender registry.

“This was a cooperative effort to keep Hudson Valley families safe,” Skoufis said. “EMTs do invaluable work that should never be tarnished by the wrong job candidates slipping through the cracks.”


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