Assemblyman James Skoufis (D-Woodbury) announced that his bill requiring potential emergency services technicians and paramedics to be checked against the sex offender registry was signed into law earlier this month (Ch. 429 of 2016). The legislation was carried by Senator John Bonacic (R-Mt. Hope) in his chamber.
“Emergency medical technicians treat people after some of the most traumatic and vulnerable moments of their lives,” said Assemblyman Skoufis. “This important law provides ambulance companies with additional tools to better vet their EMTs who are among the most well-respected and trusted members of our society.”
“Our local volunteer emergency services technicians, who are heroes in my mind, as on the front lines protecting our communities,” said Senator Bonacic. “This legislation will give ambulance companies the ability to better screen their applicants, while also protecting the safety of the public.”
This new law, which the New York State Volunteer Ambulance and Rescue Association (NYSVARA) and United New York Ambulance Network supported, requires prospective ambulance workers to submit to background checks for any sex offense convictions. It then provides the ambulance company’s chief officer the authority to deny a prospective EMT’s application if any sex offense is found.
“It is of critical importance that emergency responders that encounter patients are appropriately screened and vetted for criminal offenses, and in particular sexual offenses,” said Michael Mastrianni, President of NYSVARA. “Our organization is extremely grateful to Assemblyman Skoufis for responding to our long-held concerns and fighting until this bill became law.
Assemblyman Skoufis worked in conjunction with the Woodbury Community Ambulance (WCA) to craft the legislation. “On behalf of the entire Woodbury Community Ambulance, I would like to truly thank Assemblyman Skoufis for his constant support of our efforts, including advocating for this common sense legislation,” said Pat Conques, President of the WCA.
The new law will take effect in early March.