Farm Bureau delegates want harmful first responder tests eliminated

Wisconsin’s Farm Bureau delegates say a commonly-used national test for emergency responders is hurting volunteer fire departments. 

Brent Sinkula farms in Manitowoc County and is a volunteer firefighter.  He tells Brownfield many municipalities in and out of Wisconsin use the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians or NREMT test to determine if trained medics can use their skills while serving in local volunteer departments. “This is above and beyond a local test when they already do their training and a refresher test that they take. This is a nationally submitted test. The problem with this test is it is not the same test.”

Sinkula says the national test also includes questions designed for people seeking more advanced emergency medical training, such as a full-time firefighter, and it’s making recruiting hard for rural volunteer departments. “What it’s doing then is hurting, on the volunteer level, where some EMS people are throwing up their hands and saying I’m not doing it, I’ve gone through my basic training, I’ve done all of my refreshers, and now you’re throwing another level of bureaucracy and test-taking on there? It’s turning people away from a volunteer organization.”

Wisconsin’s Farm Bureau delegates voted Monday to support efforts to eliminate the NREMT test to help the short-staffed rural fire departments recruit more first responders.

Brent Sinkula discusses the problems with the NREMT first responder testing and how it affects volunteer fire and EMS departments with Brownfield’s Larry Lee 12/5/22

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