NAEMT, AAA call for Congress to include EMS in COVID-19 relief package
The organizations urged supporters to contact their representatives and ask for measures including reimbursements, tax deduction and direct funding
By Laura French
WASHINGTON — EMS associations are calling for Congress to includes emergency medical services in the third phase of its COVID-19 stimulus and relief package in order to help fund response efforts and provide access to PPE and testing.
The National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians (NAEMT) and the American Ambulance Association (AAA) have both published calls to action on their websites urging supporters to contact their lawmakers and ask for EMS relief measures, including COVID-19 response reimbursements, tax deduction for EMS personnel and direct funding for ambulance and medical equipment.
“None of the proposals offered so far on an economic stimulus package to address the impact of COVID-19 include our specific provisions to provide ambulance relief,” the AAA wrote in a blog post. “There are provisions in the packages that would help businesses, first responders and Medicare providers and supplies. However, the AA is advocating for specific help for ambulance services with the prioritization of COVID-19 resources, coverage of services, as well as direct financial assistance.”
The organizations are also asking for priority access to PPE and prehospital medications, and priority testing for EMS personnel and their families.
Both associations offered resources for contacting members of Congress, including a tool for supporters to identify their respective representatives by entering their address, letter templates and online contact forms.
“EMS is playing a critical role in the nation’s response and management of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) as an essential frontline medical provider. EMS is currently operating with little, to no funding or protection due to the pandemic,” the NAEMT’s sample letter reads. “EMS needs immediate relief to ensure it can continue to serve its communities and respond to the pandemic crisis.”
Congress was unable to come to an agreement on the nearly $2 trillion relief package over the weekend. Negotiations were expected to continue on Monday, according to the Associated Press