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EMT Tests in Jeopardy?

EMT's and paramedics need to take a written test to become certified, but all exams scheduled after March 31 are in jeopardy.
They are the people you count on in an emergency, but there may not be enough of them soon.

EMT's and paramedics need to take a written test to become certified, but all exams scheduled after March 31 are in jeopardy.

"The issue is a matter of timing and our real disappointment is that in the 30 years that I have done EMS we have never had a contract glitch like this," said Mark Tornstrom of Monroe-Livingston Regional EMS Council.

Professional Exam Services administers the tests. Their current contract with the state lasts until March 31. According to Tornstrom, the State Comptroller hasn't paid the company...meaning no new contract or tests.

Monroe Ambulance offers classes for future first responders. The current contract negotiation is a real concern for students.

"Right now, everything is kind of up in the air. The students know that they have to take an exam but they are concerned because New York State has told them they might not be able to take their exam when the time comes," said Aaron Horowitz, Monroe Ambulance Director of Training.

And instructors...

"They are tasked with now creating a contingency plan with a way to keep the students fresh with the material that they learned so when it eventually comes time for them to test, that material is something they can get back out and be successful with the test," said Horowitz.

For now, all first responders can do is wait it out.

"As the community's need for EMS increases, so does the need to have trained people to provide that service so if that service is temporary stalled because of testing dates, the community might not have that need filled," said Horowitz.

First responders wanting to become instructors would also be affected if the problem is not resolved.


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