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Legislation sponsored by Assemblyman Ralph Caputo, making it easier for municipalities to employ emergency medical technicians who have been laid off for economic reasons has been signed into law.

“Emergency medical technicians are the ones we turn to when most in need,” said Caputo (D-Essex). “They tirelessly work long hours protecting and saving lives, and they deserve every consideration we can give them in this tough economy. This law is the right thing to do to help keep these courageous public servants on the job as much as possible.”

Under the new law (S-2411/A-3484), municipalities with paid EMTs will be permitted to appoint permanent status EMTs who were laid off for reasons of economy to vacant positions.

Caputo has also sponsored similar bills to help laid off police (A-207) and firefighters (A-2031), both of which have been signed into law.

“These laws are a commonsense approach to helping the brave men and women who protect our safety each and every day, but they’re also valuable tools when it comes to property tax relief,” Caputo said. “Making it easier for local governments to hire laid-off EMTs, police and firefighters also helps save money on training costs that won’t have to be incurred. The taxpayers win at every angle.”

Under the new law, laid off EMTs will get priority status for reemployment for 60 months.

The law permits municipalities that employ EMTs to hire EMTs who have been laid-off for reasons of the economy before completing their working test or probation period and granted permanent employment status, though a nonpermanent EMT appointed under this program must complete the remainder of any probationary or field work test period.