State to offer $1 million in tuition assistance for EMS workers

Milford. Funding has been secured through the Fireworks Tax Act for the next three years.

| 21 Feb 2024 | 03:59

Acting Secretary of the Department of Health Dr. Debra Bogen this week announced a new $1 million tuition assistance program to help recruit and retain emergency medical services (EMS) professionals.

“Emergency medical services professionals are an essential part of the health care system,” said Bogen. “Knowing that you will have well-trained and qualified individuals arriving to your door 24/7 in the event of an emergency is a safeguard that we want for all Pennsylvanians. The Shapiro-Davis administration is committed to helping people enter and remain in this vital profession, and this tuition assistance program supports these workforce efforts.”

Administered by the Department of Health, this program is funded by $1 million from the Fireworks Tax Act each year for the next three years. Pennsylvania residents who obtained a Pennsylvania state certification as an emergency medical responder (EMR), emergency medical technician (EMT), advanced emergency medical technician (AEMT), or paramedic after July 1, 2023, are eligible to have a portion of their tuition reimbursed.

In addition, Pennsylvania-licensed EMS agencies are eligible to receive reimbursement of expenses related to recruitment and retention efforts, up to $1,250 per fiscal year.

The 2023-24 state budget also included $20.7 million to increase mileage rates for ambulance services, so that EMS workers and first responders are properly reimbursed for their services. According to state data, Pennsylvania manages nearly 24 million 911 calls each year and 26% of residents live in rural areas.

More information about how to obtain reimbursement is available at the Department of Health’s website.