It’s a struggle many rural portions of Washington face; manning their volunteer EMT staff to ensure when an emergency happens help is on the way. Colfax representative Joe Schmick has proposed legislation he thinks will make serving as an EMT more attractive. House Bill 2450, which he said he patterned after a similar bill in Virginia, would offer free hunting and fishing licenses to EMTs with five years of experience.
“It’s not earth shattering, but it is an incentive, and I believe for a lot of our folks in eastern Washington, it is an incentive they will take advantage of, and hopefully it will help us retain these folks in the rural areas who help their communities by their services as an EMT.”
Schmick added the number of people trained to be EMTs in rural portions of the state are down anywhere between 33%-40%.
Schmick said he has serious concerns about what farmers and small business owners will face in this short session.
“I think we’d all agree it’s great we have a great economy in the Puget Sound area, but we’re just getting back to where we were in the last recession in the rural areas. And some of those small towns never did recover from that. And so that’s why I say it’s so important that we do no harm. In fact we should be doing things that help our small businesses.”
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