News & Resources

Bill will mandate background screening for emergency workers

Feb 10, 2011 Matt Roesly

The New Mexico state Senate is moving closer to passing a bill that will mandate background screening for paramedics and other emergency workers, the Las Cruces Sun-News reports. Under the Emergency Medical Services Act, all applicants and license holders will be subjected to a national background check. The bill is currently moving through the state Senate and will be presented to a second endorsing committee before it becomes a law, the Sun-News details. Additionally, those undergoing screening will be responsible for the cost up to $75. According to the news source, the bill stems from the case of an Albuquerque EMT worker who was found to have a criminal record after he was stopped by the city's police. "People needing emergency care in their homes are in a very helpless situation," state Senator Sander Rue told the paper. "They need to feel confident that the people they are allowing in when they are most vulnerable are not criminals who could do them more harm." Screening EMT workers is a common occurrence in other states. According to the Billings Gazette, EMT staff and volunteers, including firefighters, in Lockwood, Montana, must submit to screening before participating in training that can run $2,200 per person.