Senator Hall

(AP Photo/Office of Sen. Isadore Hall)

State Sen. Isadore Hall III of Compton called for a new California state law Friday requiring all firefighters and other emergency responders in the state to be certified as emergency medical technicians.

His proposal proceeds a Los Angeles Times investigation that found about 1 in 4 firefighters in the Compton Fire Department lacks a valid EMT card, an important credential required by other local fire agencies.Compton Fire Department

“I was outraged” with the news, Hall declared in a radio appearance. “I will be taking action.”

Since the mid-1970’s, fire departments across the United States have shifted from fighting fires to mostly responding to 911 calls for emergency medical help.

Out of the 15 busiest fire agencies in Los Angeles County, LA Times found that Compton is the only one without an official rule requiring every firefighter be a certified EMT.

Since there is no state law that requires firefighters carry an EMT card, local officials said departments largely monitor their own by conducting in-house trainings.a

Senator Hall had asked his staff to prepare legislation that would require every emergency rescuer to maintain EMT certification. He said he plans to file a bill in the next several weeks.

To become an EMT in California, students must learn how to handle patients with severe trauma, properly dress wounds and deliver shocks to cardiac arrest victims. Continuing education is required every two years.

The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH) introduced the Aerosol Transmissible Disease Standard in August of 2009 designed to most especially protect first responders, as well as healthcare and other workers exposed from aerosol transmitted diseases. The Standard was developed to address the various risks involved with such exposure including agents that cause Tuberculosis (TB), Measles, Pertussis (Whooping Cough) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). Also covered is pandemic influenza including the H1N1 virus commonly known as Swine Flu as well as other airborne infectious disease.

Aerosol Transmissible Diseases Poster


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