Not every EMS paramedic has access to physical, emotional, or psychological assistance

(Mar. 20) – The House Public Health Care and Human Services committee approved Rep. Tony Exum’s bill to create a statewide, self-financed program of peer-to-peer and professional assistance to help Emergency Medical Services (EMS) paramedics deal with the stresses of their job.

“Being an EMS paramedic is one of the most stressful jobs out there,” said Rep. Tony Exum, D-Colorado Springs. “This program will connect EMS paramedics with the services they need to deal with the many stresses of their jobs, and ensure that they are in the best shape physically and mentally to help save lives.”

SB19-065 creates a fund that will pay for a peer health assistance program that will evaluate, assist, and counsel EMS paramedics that are dealing with the stresses of their job. Whenever an EMS worker becomes certified or renews their certification, a small fee of $2.55 will be charged to create the program within the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE). The bill is also sponsored by Senate President Leroy Garcia, D-Pueblo.

Sometimes the toll and exposure to traumatic events in this position can frequently lead to depression, aggressive behaviors, substance abuse, and even suicide. If passed, this program can help EMS paramedics deal with many of these issues.

SB19-065 passed unanimously and now heads to the House Appropriations committee.

Leave a Reply