Ky. bill would allow inmates to keep EMT licenses upon release

Opponents of the bill say the safety factor is not being considered in the proposed legislation

By Rachel Engel

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — A recently proposed bill would allow individuals who earn their EMT license while in prison to keep that certification after being released.

Kentucky State Sen. Karen Berg said the change would guarantee those former inmates had a job option available immediately.

“This is literally a way for somebody to get released from prison and go directly into a job – a job that we need their services and they need a job,” she said in an interview with WDRB.

Currently, licenses earned in prison are revoked upon release.

Opponents of the bill say the safety factor is not being taken into account.

“Patients that are experiencing emergencies should not have to worry about the criminal past of those that are in their home alone with them at 3 a.m.,” Chuck O’Neal, the deputy executive editor of the Kentucky Board of Emergency Services, said. “They should not have to worry about their personal belongings being taken while EMS professionals are in their home.”

The bill will be considered by lawmakers in 2022.

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