EMS Insider, Legislative Update

Special advisor to president says EMS lead agency will be announced by end of year

The Hon. Richard A. Reed, special assistant to the President for Homeland Security and senior director for Resilience Policy told attendees at the National Association of State Emergency Medical Services Officers (NASEMSO) annual meeting in October that a federal lead agency for EMS will be named this year. Reed says the original goal was to make a decision by September. “But that didn’t happen,” he says.


The advantages of a federal lead agency for EMS to the entire healthcare system are clear, he told the gathering in Madison, Wis. EMS can directly affect the quality of services downstream and, if done right, can provide overall savings. “We need a federal home for what we do,” he says. “Before the end of this calendar year, we will have an executive order.”


Reed would not say who he thought would become the lead agency. The good news, he says, is that EMS has several suitors. The question is: Which would be better suited to enable EMS as a system to be sustainable over time?


Don’t expect big dollars to appear along with the announcement. “On the funding piece, you’ll never have enough money to do what you want to do,” Reed says. “[However,] there are ways to do it.”


Although he couldn’t give an exact date, Reed said to expect a big roll out. “It’s an executive order signed by the President,” he says.