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EMS leaders gather on our Congressional leaders’ turf to advocate for EMS

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EMS leaders are gathering in Washington, D.C., today for the first EMS on the Hill day in person in 3 years. EMS1’s Rob Lawrence catches up with NAEMT President Susan Bailey and NAEMT President-Elect Chris Way as they kick off the event.

Bailey tells EMS1, there are 237 people registered, and “I’m looking to see this room filled with 237 people and all of us on the hill tomorrow advocating for EMS.”

Way notes this is a unique opportunity for EMS as a profession to come and get to talk to our Congressional leaders both in the House and the Senate here in Washington, D.C.

“Coming to Washington and being here with them in their office with their staff, where they’re looking at us and we’re wearing our uniforms and we’re making an impression – we’re talking about those important issues that really matter,” Way said. “We’re talking about things like funding for EMS; we’re talking about growing the profession; we’re talking about workforce shortages; we’re talking about things that matter and are current issues for us that we’re facing in our profession. I think there’s nothing that can be matched by doing that.”

Also, follow along as the California delegation briefs legislative staff on the value of EMS and the services needed, with Captain Chris Ottolini, Marcie Addy and Captain Scott Holman.

Rob Lawrence has been a leader in civilian and military EMS for over a quarter of a century. He is currently the director of strategic implementation for PRO EMS and its educational arm, Prodigy EMS, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and part-time executive director of the California Ambulance Association.

He previously served as the chief operating officer of the Richmond Ambulance Authority (Virginia), which won both state and national EMS Agency of the Year awards during his 10-year tenure. Additionally, he served as COO for Paramedics Plus in Alameda County, California.

Prior to emigrating to the U.S. in 2008, Rob served as the COO for the East of England Ambulance Service in Suffolk County, England, and as the executive director of operations and service development for the East Anglian Ambulance NHS Trust. Rob is a former Army officer and graduate of the UK’s Royal Military Academy Sandhurst and served worldwide in a 20-year military career encompassing many prehospital and evacuation leadership roles.

Rob is a board member of the Academy of International Mobile Healthcare Integration (AIMHI) as well as chair of the American Ambulance Association’s State Association Forum. He writes and podcasts for EMS1 and is a member of the EMS1 Editorial Advisory Board. Connect with him on Twitter.