Governor Abbott Suspends Regulations To Increase EMS, First Responder Workforce

April 2, 2020 | Austin, Texas | Press Release

Governor Greg Abbott today suspended regulations to increase the amount of Emergency Medical Services (EMS) workers and first responders in Texas during the state's response to COVID-19. Under the Governor's direction, local medical directors for licensed EMS providers can permit individuals who are qualified, though not formally certified, to provide critical emergency response services for patients treated and transported by the EMS provider.

The Governor has also suspended certain skills testing requirements for EMS personnel in Texas and for out of state Advanced Emergency Medical Technicians seeking reciprocity in Texas so that these individuals who are qualified, but currently unable to take the skills test, are able to provide essential EMS services. Additionally, Governor Abbott has also suspended regulations to allow first responder organizations to delay submission on their renewal application and completion requirements for licensure. 

"Our EMS providers and first responders play a critical role in the front-line fight against COVID-19, and these waivers remove barriers that could otherwise prevent a much-needed availability of essential EMS workers and first responders in our communities," said Governor Abbott. "The State of Texas is committed to supporting the EMS and first responder workforce and maximizing the number of available response services for Texans."