On Monday, The Assembly Appropriations Committee in Trenton approved a bill that would regulate EMS services.
A similar bill was vetoed by Gov. Chris Christie about eight months ago due to the bill's fiscal impact.
Dan Sullivan, Captain of the Scotch Plains Rescue Squad, spoke to Patch about his feelings on the bill.
Sullivan said he has never heard of anyone being against the background checks.
What he and the volunteers see as the problem is the cost.
The Scotch Plains Rescue Squad is not a paid organization and they only hold one fundraiser a year in order to raise money.
Sullivan noted, to do a background check on each of the squad members would cost a substantial amount of money.
In Trenton on Monday, Assemblyman Herb Conaway (D-Burlington), supported the bill in hopes it would improve EMS services and mandate volunteers undergo background checks, as noted in The Star-Ledger.
"I hope a lot of good comes out of this," Sullivan said.
He said, if passed, he hopes the end result would be a clear playing field, with a better quality of care for the people and a quicker response time.
Also at the Assembly Panel, Assemblywoman Alison Littell McHose (R-Sussex), did not support the bill due the amount it would cost volunteer squads, as stated in The Star-Ledger.
Sullivan said he would be in support of the bill if they figured out a different way to do things.
He referred to his wife, a nurse, and his daughter, a teacher, as examples.
Sullivan noted when his daughter began student teaching in college she was finger printed in New Jersey. Then when she received a job, also in New Jersey, she was finger printed again. Each time costing $75.
Currently Sullivan is part of four volunteer EMS organizations, he brought up the question that if this bill were to pass, would he have to be finger printed four separate times?
Sullivan said he would feel much more comfortable if volunteers were checked, he has even already conducted some, but the problem is it is an expensive procedure.
He recalled a past issue about an EMS volunteer in South Jersey who was able to serve, even with a record, since a background check was not required. This instance called for some controversy regarding the fact his criminal past was hidden.
Sullivan called on the state to have a more active role when it comes to these costs or find a way to carry over fingerprints, such as signing a waiver to have them released.
The next step will be for the bill to presented and voted on in front of the entire Assembly.