by Damon Boughamer
Public Radio Capitol News, serving Pennsylvania
Harrisburg, Penna. (PRCN, 12 April 2007) – A western Pennsylvania lawmaker is pushing a plan to allow military veterans to put first responder training to use right away.
Here’s Representative Jim Casorio’s rationale: American soldiers receive world-class emergency medical training as they are deployed in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere.
So why would Pennsylvania need to force them to undergo additional training – and pay for it – if these soldiers want to be EMTs when they come home?
"I thought that was just – one, silly; two, ridiculous; three, a waste of time; and four, why should we treat our veterans like that? So that’s what brought us to this point in the legislation," Casorio says.
Casorio – a Westmoreland County Democrat – says his bill would cut out unnecessary steps.
Casorio says veterans’ groups support his legislation.
He introduced this bill last session. It died in committee but may stand a better chance this year because Casorio’s party is now in the majority.