Law named for local EMT signed by Obama
By Patrick McArdle
Staff Writer | January 03,2013
BENNINGTON - Named for a Bennington emergency medical technician who died on duty in June 2009, the “Dale Long Act,” which will provide benefits for EMTs killed or injured in the line of duty, was signed into law on Wednesday as part of the defense authorization act.
The Dale Long Emergency Medical Service Providers Protection Act had been strongly promoted by Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., who wrote the legislation.
Long’s brother, Rich Long, said on Thursday that he thought his brother would be humbled by the law and pleased that his legacy would aid other EMTs. Long said he and his wife, Colleen, had become EMTs themselves in Colchester after being inspired by Dale’s death.
The new law will extend a federal benefits program to paramedics and emergency medical technicians and their families, in cases where the EMT works or volunteers for nonprofit ambulance services. Previously, the benefits were only provided for EMTs working for government-related ambulance services.