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Norcross/Ruiz Bill To Help Out-Of-Work EMTS Approved By Senate

A view of the Senate Chambers from the 2010-2011 Senate Reorganization.

Measure Would Allow Municipalities to Give Laid-Off EMTs Priority Hiring Status For 60 Months Following Job Loss, Save Local Officials Training-Related Costs

TRENTON � Legislation sponsored by Senators Donald Norcross (D-Camden/Gloucester) and Teresa Ruiz (D-Essex/Union) to help emergency medical technicians get back to work sooner while at the same time saving hiring agencies training-related costs was approved today by the full Senate.

The bill (S-2411) would allow municipalities to hire laid-off EMTs without having to use Civil Service Lists, provided the termination occurred within the preceding 60 months. It would also allow the hiring of EMTs who have been laid off before completing a working test or probationary period but had not yet received permanent status at their previous place of employment. However, under these circumstances, a non-permanent EMT would be required to complete the remainder of any probationary/field work test period.

�This legislation would not only make it possible for municipalities to give laid off EMTs priority hiring status, but also create an incentive for towns and cities to do so,� said Senator Norcross. �Hiring emergency responders who already have experience in the field will save municipal officials training costs, which will ultimately benefit taxpayers. This is a win for emergency officials and residents alike.�

�Emergency medical technicians go out of their way to provide life-saving care to residents in our communities every single day they�re on the job,� said Senator Ruiz. �This bill will make it easier for those who have been laid off to get back to work sooner, and at the same time save taxpayer dollars. This is simply good public policy.�

A municipality hiring under the provisions of the bill would have to give first priority to its own residents and second priority to residents of the county not residing in the municipality.

The measure is similar to legislation sponsored by Senator Norcross � and signed into law � to help firefighters and law enforcement officers affected by budget cuts resulting from the economic downturn. The bill (S-1799) to allow the hiring of laid-off firefighters within 60 months of their job loss, without requiring the use of Civil Service lists, was signed into law in July. A similar measure (S-1800) concerning certain law enforcement officers was signed into law early this month.

The bill cleared the Senate by a vote of 37-0.

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