Lawmakers aim to help veteran medics get jobs

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WILLIAMSON COUNTY, Texas (KXAN) — Daniel Sturdevant spends much of his time in an ambulance.

He’s been a paramedic for 15 years, four in Williamson County, after serving as a medic in the United States Air Force.

“Having to treat children who were injured by mines blowing up, you know those types of injures,” remembers Sturdevant of his time as a medic in Afghanistan.

Transitioning out of the military to become a paramedic can be a challenge for veterans like him.

“Having to go through a semester of college where you’ve already received the training that you’ve been practicing for your many years in the service, having to go through that training can be difficult,” he says. “It can be time-consuming, it can cost money.”

That is why lawmakers are trying to help. The U.S. House of Representatives has passed the Veteran Emergency Medical Technician Support Act of 2016. The legislation directs the Department of Health and Human Services to create a transition program for military medics. It would help them meet state EMT requirements, to get them in ambulances faster.

Sturdevant knows it’s a step to help veterans during one of their most difficult times after the military.

He says, “After their honorable service, [they] can transition back into the civilian life easier which relieves a burden on them.”

It’s a way to help veterans who are returning the favor one ride at a time.

H.R. 1818 passed the U.S. House last week. The legislation was received by the U.S. Senate and is currently being discussed in the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions committee.

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