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Coronavirus In Texas: State Effort Underway To Increase Number Of EMS, First Responders During Pandemic

AUSTIN , Texas (CBSDFW.COM) - The coronavirus pandemic has brought with it an increased need for not only personal protective equipment for medical workers, but a greater need for more emergency responders.

With that in mind, Governor Greg Abbott on Thursday suspended regulations in order to increase the amount of Emergency Medical Services workers and first responders in Texas during the state's response to COVID-19.

Under the Governor's direction, local medical directors for licensed EMS providers can permit individuals who are qualified, though not formally certified, to provide critical emergency response services for patients treated and transported by the EMS provider.

The Governor has also suspended certain skills testing requirements for EMS personnel in Texas and for out-of-state Advanced Emergency Medical Technicians seeking reciprocity in Texas so that these individuals who are qualified, but currently unable to take the skills test, are able to provide essential EMS services.

"Our EMS providers and first responders play a critical role in the front-line fight against COVID-19, and these suspensions remove barriers that could otherwise prevent a much-needed availability of essential EMS workers and first responders in our communities," said Governor Abbott. "The State of Texas is committed to supporting the EMS and first responder workforce and maximizing the number of available response services for Texans."

The Governor has also suspended regulations to allow first responder organizations to delay submission on their renewal application and completion requirements for licensure.

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