Legislation sponsored by Assemblyman Bob Andrzejczak to allow municipal firefighters to also provide paramedic services was advanced by an Assembly committee on Thursday.
The bill (A-2309) would authorize paid and part-paid members of municipal fire departments who are trained as paramedics to staff advanced life support units when they are not working in their capacity as firefighters. The measure also would authorize departments to retain such units on their premises.
“Firefighters in many New Jersey municipalities who are trained as paramedics would be willing to fulfill both roles if given the opportunity,” said Andrzejczak (D-Cape May/Atlantic/Cumberland). “By hiring the firefighters they already have available as paramedics instead of contracting with private entities, municipalities can make more efficient use of taxpayer dollars.”
Specifically, the bill would authorize a municipality to allow its fire department to develop and maintain on its premises a mobile intensive care unit, which paid or volunteer firefighters who are certified as mobile intensive care paramedics would staff when not on duty as firefighters.
The measure was advanced by the Assembly Homeland Security and State Preparedness Committee.