For immediate release:
April 30, 2013
INDIANAPOLIS - For Rep. Dan Forestal (D-Indianapolis), the highlight of his freshman session was passing his own legislation for emergency medical providers through a Republican-dominated legislature to the governor’s desk.
Despite being a member of the superminority, Forestal convinced the Indiana General Assembly of the need for Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) certification for military veterans.
“This bill calls for the Emergency Medical Services Commission to develop rules that will allow the certification board to issue EMT and paramedic licenses to applicants who have met training standards through their military service,” Forestal said.
“The purpose is to help our veterans get employed much easier because they can avoid going through the redundancy of training they have already had,” he continued. “These men and women should be allowed to use the training they’ve received while serving our country to help find employment when they return. By removing the government red tape we’re making it easier for them to do what they love and help the community.”
Forestal also coauthored a bill signed by the governor that allows members of the Mobile Support Unit to be considered temporary employees of the state for the purposes of worker's compensation law and worker's occupational diseases law. Mobile Support Units respond to a disaster, public health emergency, public safety emergency, or other emergency situation.
“This bill makes sure the state of Indiana covers its obligation to our men and women who help people in times of disaster,” he said. “It gives back to those who sacrifice their safety to help fellow Hoosiers.”
In addition to his work on legislation for emergency responders, Forestal pushed 10 other bills through the Indiana General Assembly.
Another notable bill provides communities with tools to combat the abandoned housing crisis.
“With the governor’s signature, Senate Bill 433 will help law enforcement better secure abandoned houses,” Forestal said. “It also will expand the Good Samaritan law to allow neighbors to paint over graffiti on abandoned houses. My hope is that this helps keep communities nicer and safer.”
According to Forestal, his first session was an overall positive experience.
“The tone of the session was positive and both parties came together to work on a lot of legislation,” he said. “I am excited to continue those bipartisan efforts through the summer during our study committees and into the next session. Indiana deserves a legislative body that can look past internal differences and work to make our state a better place to live.”