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Why every EMS provider needs to support legislation for a National EMS Memorial

Call on your elected officials to support legislation pending in the U.S. Congress to set aside federal land for a National EMS Memorial

Every year, 850,000 EMS providers respond to over 30 million calls for service, treating 22 million patients without regard to color, gender or socioeconomic status. Ironically, we don’t toot our own horns very often. We don’t consider ourselves to be heroes. It’s just the line of work we chose to perform.

The work though comes at a significant cost. From career-ending injuries, poor wages and short career ladders, to bearing witness to the worst of the human experience, EMS is not a job for most folks. And for at least 32 EMS providers this past year who died in the line of duty, the work came at the price of the ultimate sacrifice.

There have been different ways for EMS workers to honor their fallen comrades. The National EMS Memorial Bike Ride, also known as the Muddy Angels, sponsors several rides throughout the country to raise awareness and pay tribute to the fallen. The National EMS Memorial Service is an annual event where surviving family members and EMS professionals gather to pay tribute.

Over the past year, these two valuable organizations have joined forces with the National EMS Memorial Foundation to advocate for a national EMS memorial, located in the nation’s capital, to recognize EMS line of duty deaths.

Now you too can help with this effort!

There are two bills currently in the U.S. Congress that, if enacted, will set aside federal land for the establishment of a National EMS memorial. House Bill 2274 and Senate Bill 2628 need your support. The bills provide no federal funds for the construction of a memorial. That will come from a separate fundraising effort.

However, it’s crucial that the EMS memorial be constructed on federal land, to underscore the critical role of EMS providers to protect the health and safety of the nation’s citizens.

Now, more than ever, your help is critically needed.

Moreover, the cost of your help is a mere email or phone call to your representatives in the House and in the Senate. By spending a few minutes expressing your support for the National EMS Memorial bills, you can help secure the votes necessary to pass this legislation.

If you are not sure who your representatives are, simply go to and type in your home ZIP code. Your house representative and senators will appear, along with their contact information.

This is National EMS Week. Honor your profession and your colleagues by taking a few minutes to urge your federal representative to vote for the National EMS Memorial.

Art Hsieh, MA, NRP teaches in Northern California at the Public Safety Training Center, Santa Rosa Junior College in the Emergency Care Program. An EMS provider since 1982, Art has served as a line medic, supervisor and chief officer in the private, third service and fire-based EMS. He has directed both primary and EMS continuing education programs. Art is a textbook writer, author of “EMT Exam for Dummies,” has presented at conferences nationwide and continues to provide direct patient care regularly. Art is a member of the EMS1 Editorial Advisory Board. Contact Art at and connect with him on Facebook or Twitter.