NASEMSO issues statement on racial bias, unity

The National Association of State EMS Officials announced its commitment to eliminate racism and promote racial equality

By Laura French

FALLS CHURCH, Va. — The National Association of State EMS Officials (NASEMSO) has issued a statement on unity and equity, saying it will implement steps to eliminate racism and bias. 

The organization stated that recent events "have illustrated, in vivid detail, the brutality endured by people of color simply because of their race" and further noted racial disparities in the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

"According to Atlantic's COVID Racial Data Tracker, 'Black people are dying at a rate nearly two times higher than their population share.' Similarly, Native American and Hispanic populations have seen infection rates that are among the highest in the country," the statement reads.

NASEMSO continues by asserting "unequivocally" that racial bias exists and permeates the fabric of society, that bias inevitably influences the way people interact with others, including in the provision of emergency medical care and access to healthcare, and that bias cannot exist in a society that truly strives toward equality. 

The association "recognizes and accepts our responsibility to help renounce and eradicate racism and bias of any type and manifestation," according to the statement. 

"We must assure that each facet of the emergency medical system is inclusive, informed, and committed to end racial inequality and racism. We must identify any biases within ourselves, and have the courage and empathy to fully commit our platform and resources to create an inclusive, diverse society with the cornerstone of equality for all," NASEMSO said in its statement. 

The organization committed to standing and speaking against racial injustice, using its resources to identify racial disparities in each of its member states and territories, and identify and implement "actional steps that eliminate racism and bias." 

"We are a beautiful nation, comprised of an endless array of colors, ethnic backgrounds, and cultures. It is who we are as a nation, and who we will always be. When one color is not allowed to shine as brightly as another or is actively diminished or suppressed, then we are all made less," the statement concludes. "We see those colors. We hear you and join you on our journey to unity and equity." 

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