Proposed Study of Pa. EMS Services Earns Approval

HARRISBURG, Pa. — The following information was released by Pennsylvania House of Representatives, Republican Caucus:

Working to ensure the health and safety of the Commonwealth’s citizens, a House committee today approved Rep. Martin Causer’s (R-Turtlepoint) resolution calling for an in-depth assessment of the emergency medical services (EMS) system statewide.

House Resolution 315 calls on the Legislative Budget and Finance Committee (LBFC) and the Joint State Government Commission (JSGC) to study the financial and administrative effectiveness of the state’s EMS system. The House Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee, of which Causer is a member, voted unanimously to support the measure.

“As a former dispatcher and emergency responder, I know a quick and coordinated response is vital to saving lives,” Causer said. “Improved technology, management systems, infrastructure and communications capabilities present many opportunities to enhance EMS services, and it is the responsibility of the Legislature to make sure we take advantage of those opportunities for the benefit of the people we serve.”

Under the measure, 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.

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.

The resolution now goes to the full House for its consideration.

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