WASHINGTON, D.C. --- Congressman Leonard Lance (NJ-07) tonight released the following statement following House passage of H.R. 3685, the “Protecting Volunteer Firefighters and Emergency Responders Act.”

“Today the House took action and exempted volunteer fire and other EMS personnel from ObamaCare.  This overwhelming bipartisan vote is a victory for fairness and public safety and it shows that commonsense revisions to ObamaCare should be considered and not quickly dismissed by the U.S. Senate and the Administration.”

Under current law ObamaCare’s employer mandate will force volunteer fire, ambulance squads and emergency medical technicians nationwide to provide health insurance to their volunteers or block them from working 30 hours a week — the law's threshold for labeling workers as "full time.”  According to the National Association of Counties (NACO), 69 percent of U.S. firefighters are volunteers.  If municipalities and counties were required to provide health care coverage to volunteers, it would have forced some communities to close fire departments, the association said.