“SWAT EMTs are a special breed of individuals,” Retherford said. “They are often employed by local fire departments as a paramedic or EMT and volunteer their time to be the medic for SWAT teams. These men and women are often part of weekly training, learning group SWAT tactics, participate in firearms training and when called out, can very much find themselves in harm’s way, the same as any other member of the team.”
Retherford has attempted to pass this legislation for the past three years, and he re-introduced the bill last February with Hagan, whose brother serves on a SWAT team in the Columbus area.
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“What most don’t know is that these medical professionals train shoulder to shoulder with their peers on the professional SWAT teams,” Hagan said. “I have spent time with our tactical training facility professionals in Alliance who are nationally recognized for their efforts. We discussed in great detail the need for this legislation with our officers who train alongside the nation’s elite, including the FBI.”
Nearly 80 lawmakers co-sponsored the bill from the House and Senate, and it received near-unanimous support in voting with a 92-2 vote in the Ohio House and a 31-0 vote in the Ohio Senate. The bill is also similar to what former Republican state lawmaker Courtney Combs introduced when he last represented the Ohio House district.