7 U.S. House members introduce bill to address EMS challenges
The "Supporting Our First Responders Act" would include $50 million in grants to cover hiring, training, equipment and vehicles
By Leila Merrill
By EMS1 Staff
WASHINGTON — Seven members of Congress introduced the Supporting Our First Responders Act last month.
According to a news release from New Jersey Rep. Andy Kim, the bill would:
1. Authorize $50 million per year for five years to establish a grant program under the Department of Health and Human Services which would allow public, private, and nonprofit EMS agencies that provide medical services to apply for grants to:
- Hire, recruit, and retain trained medical personnel
- Support the well-being of EMS personnel
- Provide reimbursement for required training
- Modify existing facilities
- Purchase new equipment, medication, and vehicles
2. Authorize $5 million in technical assistance to assist EMS agencies with navigating grant processes.
3. Require the Secretary of HHS to provide Congress with a report detailing the challenges, disparities, and inadequacies in providing federal and private reimbursement for EMS and recommend action.
4. Require a report detailing the challenges specific to rural EMS departments and to nonaffiliated EMS departments provided by the Secretary of HHS, then develop action plans to address those challenges through grants and other administrative action.
The bill was referred to the House committee on energy and commerce on Sept. 28.
Kim is a member of the bipartisan EMS Caucus.