U.S. Senate bill includes section on EMS workforce shortages

The American Ambulance Association has been working to secure a grant program to help EMS agencies hire and retain paramedics and EMTs

By Leila Merrill

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee’s Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies bill includes language that highlights the EMS workforce shortage.

The U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee released its fiscal year 2023 appropriations bills on Thursday, the Kaiser Family Foundation reported.

Part of page 228 of the 437-page Labor HHS bill reads:

“EMS Preparedness and Response Workforce Shortage Program. — The Committee recognizes that our Nation is facing a crippling EMS workforce shortage which threatens public health and jeopardizes our ability to respond to healthcare emergencies on a timely basis. ASPR should prioritize ensuring a well-trained and adequate ground ambulance services workforce in underserved, rural, and Tribal areas and/or addressing health disparities related to accessing prehospital ground ambulance healthcare services, including critical care transport.”

The American Ambulance Association has been working with members of the Senate Appropriations Problem Committee and the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response to secure a grant program to assist ground ambulance service organizations in hiring and retaining paramedics and EMTs.

“Although the appropriations process has many more steps to go through before final passage, having the EMS workforce shortage highlighted in the Senate report is a critical step toward achieving our goal to provide ground ambulance services across the country with the help they need during this unprecedent time,” AAA President Shawn Baird said in a statement.

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