The National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians (NAEMT) Board of Directors has adopted a new position statement on EMS as an Essential Public Function. The position recognizes that the essential life-saving public function fulfilled by EMS necessitates support by all levels of government to ensure its viability. The statement was created primarily as a message for elected government leaders at the local, state, and especially, federal level.
Read the full message here.
Every day, thousands of people call 911 with the expectation that an ambulance will respond and emergency medical practitioners will treat and transport them in the event of a dangerous or life-threatening crisis. Despite this public expectation, and 25 million ambulance transports every yearin the United States, the essential public function of emergency medical services is not fully recognized at any level of government.
In addition to local responsibilities, EMS agencies are an integral component of each state’s emergency response system and are a critical element of our nation’s disaster and mass casualty response infrastructure. The vital role played by EMS in the Boston Marathon bombings, the Texas fertilizer plant explosion, Hurricane Sandy, and the Aurora and Tucson shootings just in recent history illustrates its significance in saving lives in the worst of circumstances.
Funding for EMS must be sufficient to ensure an effective response not only in daily operations, but also in disasters, mass casualty incidents and other public health crises. Failure to address EMS funding and integration inhibits the ability of EMS to effectively serve in these multiple capacities. Jim Judge, Chair of NAEMT’s Advocacy Committee, notes, “This position statement was written to serve as a tool for our members in advocating for EMS funding within their local communities, in state legislatures, and with their members of Congress. It makes the strong case that EMS is a shared responsibility between government at all levels. I hope our members will use this new statement in advocating for passage of the Field EMS Bill.”
Formed in 1975 and today over 32,000 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 prehospital 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.