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Military Medics Fast Track EMT Certifications

Will The New Law Help Veterans Fly Faster?

In case you missed it, important news for veterans was announced this week.

The Veteran Emergency Medical Technician Act of 2016, was signed into law in late July.

The purpose of the new law is training for military medics transitioning to civilian careers. Trained military medics will now be put on an accelerated track to receive state EMS certification and licensure.

What does this mean in the real world?

Will this new law help veterans start flight medic careers faster? This article answers these questions.

Giving Credit Where Credit Is Due

Before I answer the questions, I want to give credit to the National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians (NAEMT). It’s no exaggeration to say the law would not exist if not for the efforts of NAEMT and its members.

According to NAEMT President Conrad “Chuck” Kearns, “The bill’s passage is a direct result of advocacy efforts by thousands of EMS professionals and other supporters of military-to-civilian transition programs. We applaud all who contributed to the bill’s passage by visiting their representatives, by sending emails and letters requesting congressional support, or by walking the halls of our nation’s Capitol during EMS On The Hill Day on April 20. Our efforts provided the momentum to achieve today’s victory, and honors the bravery and sacrifice of our military veterans.”

The bill was a key priority of NAEMT, who will help create the transition program for trained military medics to meet state EMT certification and licensure requirements.

What It Means In The Real World

How does the new law work in the real world? Will it help transitioning military medics become flight medics faster?

Yes and no.

A second important purpose of the law is to help fill the shortage of EMTs in the United States. I believe the law will help fulfill this need.

But it’s important to realize EMT and paramedic are two different certifications. The focus of the new law is EMT certification and licensure. There is no provision for paramedic certification.

In the real world, this means the law will help aspiring flight medics reach EMT certification faster, but that’s where the help ends. Other requirements for becoming a flight medic  — paramedic certification, minimum of 3 years experience in critical care, etc,  — are still the full responsibility of the flight medic candidate.

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    9 replies to "Announcing The Military Medic To EMT Fast Track Law"

    • Avatar Rhianon

      But nothing said about CARA???? Which they got this passed as a coat tail bill…I would HATE for the Medics knowing how they REALLY got what they deserved….through the devil’s eye!!!!

      • Avatar Troy Shaffer


        You’re right. The military medic to EMT accelerated training law passed on the “coat-tails” of The Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act of 2015 (CARA). The point of this article is to spread the positive news of the military medic to EMT training law, not to discuss CARA or the politics behind CARA.

        I didn’t intentionally dismiss or delete CARA; but I did make a conscious effort to focus solely on the proposed benefits for veterans in this article.

        Thanks for sharing your perspective. It matters.

        Clear Skies & Tailwinds

        • Avatar Marc

          Did I miss something. I thought all military medics are trained to the emt- basic level.

          • Avatar Troy Shaffer


            Great question.

            An accelerated process was never in place for military medics to transition to civilian EMTs…until now.

            Clear Skies & Tailwinds

          • Avatar Cody Winniford

            They have heir NREMT Basic but no state credentials. The program is designed to streamline the process to reciprocity at the EMT level and get the soldiers out on the streets faster. However to get to the intermediate and paramedic levels they will still have to repeat a lot of their military training.

            Flight medics who go through the Army school now graduate with paramedic and flight paramedic credentials, they will also be able to take advantage of the law in that they have a streamlined process to reciprocity certification in the states they are seeking certification. Previously Army flight medics were only certed at the EMT level and got the medic part of their training in the school at Fort Rucker. The impetus of this new flight medic program is covered in depth in the book Selfish Prayer (author escapes me right now and I do apologize).

            • Avatar Seann Mullen

              The United States Army 68W Healthcare Specialist/Combat Medic obtain their EMT Certification in Advanced Individual Training. They are required to maintain the EMT license through the duration of their time working as a 68W.
              The United States Navy Corpsman have much of the same training however they DO NOT obtain their EMT Certification.

              Source: I am a 68W.
              Foxtrot Co. 232 MED BN, Nov 2013

            • Avatar Troy Shaffer


              Thanks for the information. Our readers sincerely appreciate your input, and so do I.
              A long time ago I started my medical and aviation career as a 91A – Combat Medical Specialist.

              Your post brought back some nice memories.

              Clear Skies & Tailwinds

      • Avatar Eduardo Perez

        Military medics are already NREMT, with advance directives when deployed.

    • Avatar Moe8404

      Army and Air Force medics have EMT-B from the start.
      This Bill only helps Navy Corpsmen, if only slightly. Currently, upon successful completion of a short (I think two day?) Emt recertification course Corpsman can get theirs too.
      This bill is honestly mostly worthless, as a token gesture to appear to be addressing a problem that has been there for over 50 years; there is basically no utilization of the 11,000 Corpsmen and Medics in the civilian sector. And frankly, telling any field experienced military medic or corpsman getting out that he is an EMT-B equivalent is insulting. The PA progession was invented to address this. Now with the PA pathways becoming(ironically) less attainable for military medics just separated, it is even more urgent that people start to give a shit about this critical need. We’re all spending the money training and equipping these guys for years, and then throwing them away afterwards. To sugar-coat it or put a positive spin on anything less than meaningful progress betrays the interests of a lot of dudes who have put more on the line than anyone knows.

      Source: Navy HM

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