11.20 Lightford 2.jpg rSPRINGFIELD – Recognizing staff shortages in the EMS workforce, Senate Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford led a new law to attract and retain EMS workers.

“The pandemic further exacerbated how vital the EMS professionals are,” said Lightford (D-Maywood). “We need to expand the workforce by prioritizing recruitment and retention of highly-skilled workers.”

Senate Bill 761 works to tackle the emergency medical field workforce shortage head on by allowing more flexibility for EMS directors to use alternative staffing models and creating a task force to bring greater training, recruitment and retention to the field.

Currently, there is a shortage of EMS instructors in particular. Lightford’s law will allow people interested in becoming an instructor to bypass taking an IDPH-approved course if they have sufficient experience to become a director. This will help recruit individuals from other states by eliminating unnecessary hoops when moving to Illinois.

“There are plenty of well-trained people who are ready and willing to step up to lead,” said Lightford. “Let’s put that opportunity in reach. Helping EMS workers helps our community.”

Senate Bill 761 was signed into law Friday.