In-Depth Study of Pennsylvania EMS OKed

HARRISBURG, Penn. — The state’s emergency medical services (EMS) system will undergo an in-depth assessment under legislation sponsored by Rep. Martin Causer (R-Turtlepoint) and approved by the state House today.

“Efficient and effective EMS services are vital to the health and safety of all Pennsylvanians,” said Causer, a former dispatcher and emergency responder. “I think our providers do a fantastic job, but as a Legislature we have a responsibility to ensure we make the most of the opportunities presented by improved technology, management systems, infrastructure and communications capabilities. That is the purpose of this study.”

House Resolution 315 calls on the Legislative Budget and Finance Committee (LBFC) and the Joint State Government Commission (JSGC) to study both the financial and administrative effectiveness of the state’s EMS system. The LBFC will focus on a performance audit of the EMS operating fund, while the JSGC will focus on the EMS delivery system and its operation in the Commonwealth. Administration of the state’s EMS system costs approximately $11.8 million annually.

“As a former dispatcher and emergency responder, I know a quick and coordinated response can mean the difference between life and death,” Causer said. “I look forward to working with the EMS community to support them in their mission.”

According to Causer’s resolution, the committees specifically are charged with exploring enhancement of the current system through use of existing government and private sector programs, institutions, facilities and infrastructure resources. The committees are directed to make use of nationally recognized associations and organizations to identify opportunities to make use of the state’s college and university systems to boost training, recruitment and retention. Finally, they will study the possibility of streamlining and restructuring the regional EMS councils and make recommendations based on their findings.

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