Field EMS Bill introduced in Senate
The first bill to seriously look at EMS issues since the 1960s, the act would improve access to essential and life-saving EMS services and better integrate EMS within the larger health care system
This is a very important step in the professionalization of EMS in this country. Please contact your congressional senator’s officer to register your support for the Field EMS Bill. Your voice can make a difference, especially during National EMS Week!
Washington, D.C. — On March 22, 2014, S. 2400, the Field EMS Innovation Act (Field EMS Bill) was introduced in the U.S. Senate by Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Sen. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) and Sen. Tim Johnson (D-S.D.). This Senate bill is the companion to the Field EMS Bill introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives on February 26, 2013, as H.R. 809 by Congressman Larry Bucshon (R-Ind.).
The Field EMS Bill addresses many of the challenges EMS systems face while trying to fulfill public expectations that all who need EMS can depend upon the highest quality of care and transport to the most appropriate clinical setting. The first bill to seriously look at EMS issues since the 1960s, the act would improve access to essential and life-saving EMS services and better integrate EMS within the larger health care system.
“Our nation’s medical first responders are saving lives on a daily basis and can make all the difference in emergency situations,” Senator Michael Bennet said. “This bill will help emergency medical responders in the field address a number of challenges so they can continue providing the best possible care to patients. Improving response times, promoting better coordination among providers, and preparing technicians for disasters will hopefully help save even more lives.”
“EMS providers play an integral role in our nation’s health care system,” said Crapo. “This legislation recognizes the prudent need to ensure life-saving EMS professionals have the adequate resources to maintain their capability to effectively respond to medical emergencies.”
EMS responds to a wide range of emergency medical conditions (including trauma, stroke and cardiac arrest) through first response, field medical response, and medical transport. EMS providers conduct nearly 25 million transports per year (predominantly by ground, but also by air), which represents more than 8% of the U.S. population. Regardless of the model of EMS care delivery—whether governmental, nonprofit, private or volunteer—all EMS providers fulfill an essential public function for all patients in need. This function is carried out to the best of their ability and in spite of limited resources. The Field EMS Bill puts patients first by promoting high-quality and evidence-based care for all patients in need of emergency medical care.
“The South Dakota Emergency Medical Services Association (SDEMTA) extends our gratitude to Senator Tim Johnson for his willingness to support EMS in the state of South Dakota and our nation,” said Andrew Binder, SDEMTA District VI President and NAEMT State Advocacy Coordinator. “With Senator Johnson's support of the Field EMS Bill Senate introduction, EMS systems and providers across the nation are one step closer to fulfilling the recommendations of the landmark 2007 Institute of Medicine (IOM) Report, Emergency Medical Services At the Crossroads.”
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