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Amidst EMS, Firefighter Shortages Biden’s OSHA Hamstrings Emergency Responders

Foxx Leads Letter Calling for Withdrawal of One-Size-Fits-All Rule

WASHINGTON – Today, Education and the Workforce Committee Chairwoman Virginia Foxx (R-NC), joined by 23 members, sent a letter to Acting Labor Secretary Julie Su urging withdrawal of a proposed rule that will jeopardize the ability of many emergency service organizations, such as fire and EMS departments, to operate. The one-size-fits-all proposed rule mandates massive administrative burdens and costs that will worsen existing challenges in recruiting and retaining emergency responders.
The signatories include: Reps. Brandon Williams (R-NY), Aaron Bean (R-FL), Glenn “GT” Thompson (R-PA), Dan Meuser (R-PA), Mike Bost (R-IL), Ralph Norman (R-SC), Richard Hudson (R-NC), Burgess Owens (R-UT), Andrew Garbarino (R-NY), Russ Fulcher (R-ID), Erin Houchin (R-IN), Tim Walberg (R-MI), Elise Stefanik (R-NY), Jim Banks (R-IN), Joe Wilson (R-SC), Michael Lawler (R-NY), Rick Allen (R-GA), Russell Fry (R-SC), Larry Bucshon (R-IN), Eric Burlison (R-MO), Chuck Edwards (R-NC), Harriet Hageman (R-WY), and Scott Perry (R-PA). 
In the letter, the members write“Specifically, the proposed rule establishes a one-size-fits-all regulatory regime that does not take into account the resources in a given community, imposes massive administrative and cost burdens, and includes untenable requirements that will exacerbate existing retention and recruitment challenges from emergency service organizations (ESOs).”
The members continue: “The proposed rule would also harm covered private sector employers in industries such as manufacturing, oil and gas, and warehousing. It fails to take into account existing emergency response-related standards from OSHA and other agencies that are in place and that private sector employers have long been following. The proposed rule does not consider that many of these employers have robust emergency response plans tailored to the needs of their workplace that have been effective in preventing accidents. Therefore, the additional requirements in the proposed rule would do little to enhance safety in these workplaces and would simply create more paperwork.”
The letter concludes: “Further, the increased medical and physical requirements under the proposed rule are overly burdensome and could disqualify a number of volunteers despite their skills and relevant experience. These requirements, as well as the expanded education requirements, would also make it more difficult to recruit and retain EMS workers. This would particularly harm rural communities, as the United States is experiencing a well-documented shortage of EMS personnel, which has led to increased call times in rural areas. Local governments, municipalities, and private sector employers are doing everything they can to recruit and retain qualified emergency responders. The federal government should support this effort rather than exacerbating existing challenges as the proposed rule would do.”  
To read the full letter, click here.


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