Garamendi Wants To Mandate Background Checks for All EMTs
Lt. Gov. John Garamendi (D) this week called for mandatory background checks for California's 70,000 emergency medical technicians, the Sacramento Bee reports.
Garamendi, however, stopped short of saying the Emergency Medical Services Authority should license EMTs. The agency licenses and disciplines the state's 13,000 paramedics, but EMTs since 1980 have been licensed by county agencies.
California is the only state where EMTs are not licensed by a state agency.
Garamendi said, "If you want to have one big statewide agency based out of Sacramento, that's going to be a disaster." He added, "That's not to say I wouldn't go with it. But right now, I don't see the need."
A Sacramento Bee investigation earlier this year found loopholes within the state's licensing system in which applicants with criminal records were able to obtain EMT certification.
The state lacks the authority to intervene when a county agency does not take disciplinary action against an EMT (McIntosh, Sacramento Bee, 6/15).