St. Paul, MINN. – Representative John Huot (DFL-Rosemount) today introduced legislation that would create an emergency medical services task force charged with evaluating and making recommendations on how to improve and modernize emergency medical services in Minnesota.
Rep. Huot held eight EMS listening meetings across the state focused on recruitment and retention of volunteer emergency first responders, aiming for quicker response rates in emergency situations. NBC reported last year that 57 million Americans face an EMS shortage. The legislation announced today is a result in part of these conversations. Rep. Huot, a former EMT, was inspired by the stories of emergency medical workers and individuals impacted by long wait times for an ambulance.
“Minnesotans expect and deserve fast and reliable emergency services in times of crisis,” said Rep. Huot. “To move forward with solutions, we must understand the financial constraints volunteer EMS workers are facing, and other barriers preventing local community members from volunteering, such as training costs.”
The bill would also appropriate grant funding to the Department of Employment and Economic Development for developing ambulance service personnel training programs for high schools and school district community education programs. Additionally, it allocates funding for state colleges to expand existing ambulance service personnel training programs.
The bill awaits a committee hearing in the House Health and Human Services Finance Committee. State Senator Andrew Lang (R-Olivia) is carrying the companion legislation.