Washington, D.C. — On March 22, 2014, S. 2400, the Field EMS Innovation Act (Field EMS Bill) was introduced in the U.S. Senate by Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Sen. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) and Sen. Tim Johnson (D-S.D.). This Senate bill is the companion to the Field EMS Bill introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives on February 26, 2013, as H.R. 809 by Congressman Larry Bucshon (R-Ind.).
H.R.809 - Field EMS Quality, Innovation, and Cost Effectiveness Improvements Act of 2013
The Field EMS Bill addresses many of the challenges EMS systems face while trying to fulfill public expectations that all who need EMS can depend upon the highest quality of care and transport to the most appropriate clinical setting. The first bill to seriously look at EMS issues since the 1960s, the act would improve access to essential and life-saving EMS services and better integrate EMS within the larger health care system.
“Our nation’s medical first responders are saving lives on a daily basis and can make all the difference in emergency situations,” Senator Michael Bennet said. “This bill will help
emergency medical responders in the field address a number of challenges so they can continue providing the best possible care to patients. Improving response times, promoting better coordination among providers, and preparing technicians for disasters will hopefully help save even more lives.”
“EMS providers play an integral role in our nation’s health care system,” said Crapo. “This legislation recognizes the prudent need to ensure life-saving EMS professionals have the
adequate resources to maintain their capability to effectively respond to medical emergencies.” EMS responds to a wide range of emergency medical conditions (including trauma, stroke and cardiac arrest) through first response, field medical response, and medical transport.
EMS providers conduct nearly 25 million transports per year (predominantly by ground, but also by air), which represents more than 8% of the U.S. population. Regardless of the model of EMS care delivery – whether governmental, nonprofit, private or volunteer – all EMS providers fulfill an essential public function for all patients in need. This function is carried out to the best of their ability and in spite of limited resources. The Field EMS Bill puts patients first by promoting highquality and evidence-based care for all patients in need of emergency medical care.
“The South Dakota Emergency Medical Services Association (SDEMTA) extends our gratitude to Senator Tim Johnson for his willingness to support EMS in the state of South Dakota and our nation,” said Andrew Binder, SDEMTA District VI President and NAEMT State Advocacy Coordinator. “With Senator Johnson's support of the Field EMS Bill Senate introduction, EMS systems and providers across the nation are one step closer to fulfilling the recommendations of the landmark 2007 Institute of Medicine (IOM) Report, Emergency Medical Services At the Crossroads.”
The National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians (NAEMT) has taken the lead within the EMS community to support passage of this important legislation. NAEMT President Don Lundy stated, “NAEMT deeply appreciates the leadership of Senators Bennet, Crapo and Johnson in introducing this critical piece of legislation. As NAEMT moves forward, the Senate Bill only solidifies our resolve to ensure that EMS obtains the support needed to effectively serve our patients and communities. We will continue to build consensus with other national organizations on this important legislation.”
The following organizations support passage of the Field EMS Bill:
Alabama Emergency Medical Technician Association, American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, American Association of Neurological Surgeons, American College of Emergency Physicians, American College of Surgeons, American Heart Association, American Trauma Society, Arkansas Emergency Medical Technician Association, Arkansas Governor's Advisory Council, Association of Air Medical Services, Association of Critical Care Transport, Delaware State Emergency Medical Services Association, Eagle County Paramedic Services (CO), Emergency Medical Services Association of Colorado, Emergency Nurses Association, Florida Ambulance Association, Gold Cross/Mayo Clinic Transport, Indiana Emergency Medical Services Association, The Iowa Emergency Medical Services Association, Kansas Emergency Medical Services Association, Louisiana Association of National Registered Emergency Medical Technicians, Maryland Emergency Medical Services Program, Michigan Association of Ambulance Services, Michigan EMS Practitioners Association, Missouri Ambulance Association, Missouri Emergency Medical Services Association, MONOC Mobile Health Services of New Jersey, National Association of Emergency Medical
Technicians, National Association of Emergency Medical Service Educators, National Association of Emergency Medical Service Physicians, National Association of State Emergency Medical Service Officials, National Emergency Medical Service Management Association, Nebraska Emergency Medical Services Association, New Hampshire Association of Emergency Medical Technicians, New Jersey Association of Paramedic Programs, North Dakota Emergency Medical Services Association, Northwest Arkansas
Community College EMS Advisory Council, Oregon Emergency Medical Services Association, PHI Air Medical, Professional Ambulance Association of Wisconsin, Putnam County Operations Life, South Carolina Emergency Medical Services Association, South Dakota Emergency Technician Association, Tennessee Ambulance Service Association, Trauma Center Association of America, and Wisconsin Emergency Medical Services Association.
Formed in 1975 and today more than 40,000 members strong, the National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians (NAEMT) is the only national association dedicated to
representing the professional interests of all emergency medical services (EMS) practitioners, including Paramedics, advanced emergency medical technicians, emergency medical
technicians, emergency medical responders and other professionals working in pre-hospital emergency medicine. NAEMT members work in all sectors of EMS, including government service agencies, fire departments, hospital-based ambulance services, private companies, industrial and special operations settings, and in the military.