EMS $1M tuition aid short-term fix for a long-term problem

(The Center Square) — A long-term funding fix for EMS agencies across the commonwealth remains elusive — but Pennsylvania will offer $1 million in tuition assistance for emergency responders to recruit and retain workers.

The program will draw from the Fireworks Tax Act for three years and make grants available to Pennsylvania residents certified as an emergency medical responder, emergency medical technician, advanced emergency medical technician, or a paramedic.

EMS agencies can also apply for $1,250 in reimbursement for recruitment and retention expenses.

“Emergency medical services professionals are an essential part of the health care system,” Acting Secretary of Health Debra Bogen said in a press release. “Knowing that you will have well-trained and qualified individuals arriving to your door 24/7 in the event of an emergency is a safeguard that we want for all Pennsylvanians.”

The administration also flagged the reimbursement rate increase for ambulance services last year, a long-standing concern for
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