NAEMT names Ill. Sen. Dick Durbin EMS Legislator of the Year

The National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians honored Sen. Dick Durbin for his legislative work on behalf of rural EMS providers

By EMS1 Staff

CLINTON, Miss. — The National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians selected Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., as the 2019 NAEMT EMS Legislator of the Year for his work benefitting the first responder community.

In a press release, NAEMT highlighted Durbin’s legislative work on behalf of EMS providers, including the Supporting and Improving Rural EMS Needs (SIREN) Act, which created a grant program to support recruitment, retention, education and equipment needs of EMS agencies in rural areas. The SIREN Act was signed into law as part of the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018.

“I’m honored to accept this award, but the real award goes to all of our first responder in Illinois and across the country who get up every day ready to protect the communities they bravely serve,” said Durbin, who was presented with the award April 10 during EMS On The Hill Day. “As with passage last year of the SIREN Act, I will always look for ways to make sure our rural health leaders have the tools and resources they need to tackle the challenges their jobs throw at them. Thank you to NAEMT for your advocacy partnership and recognition.”

Matt Zavadsky, president of NAEMT, said the award was hard earned.

“Passage of the SIREN Act into law was made possible by consistent collaboration among EMS leaders and focused meetings with members of Congress,” he said in the release. “It is an EMS victory due to the efforts of many and the tremendous leadership of Sen. Durbin and his congressional colleagues for which we are very grateful. He is a true champion of rural EMS practitioners across the country and in his home district of Illinois.”

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