Abbott moves to increase EMS personnel

Gov. Greg Abbott has suspended regulations in order to increase the amount of EMS workers and first responders in Texas in response to COVID-19.

Local medical directors for licensed EMS providers can now permit individuals who are qualified, though not formally certified, to provide critical emergency response services for patients treated and transported by the EMS provider.

According to a news release, Abbott has also suspended certain skills testing requirements for EMS personnel in Texas and for out-of-state advanced emergency medical technicians seeking reciprocity in Texas so that these individuals who are qualified, but currently unable to take the skills test, are able to provide essential EMS services.

The governor has also suspended regulations to allow first responder organizations to delay submission on their renewal application and completion requirements for licensure.

“Our EMS providers and first responders play a critical role in the front-line fight against COVID-19, and these suspensions remove barriers that could otherwise prevent a much-needed availability of essential EMS workers and first responders in our communities,” Abbott said in the news release. “The State of Texas is committed to supporting the EMS and first responder workforce and maximizing the number of available response services for Texans.”