In today’s world, it is more important than ever to speak up and let your voice be heard. Whether you want to protest an existing policy or fight for the implementation of a new one, it is vital that you make your stance known. EMS On the Hill Day offers EMS providers the open invitation to do just that. Specifically, this annual, national event gives EMS providers the unique opportunity to speak with congressional leaders and their staff about upcoming legislation.
Scheduled to take place on April 10-11, 2018, this year’s focus is upon three different requests that are of particular concern to EMS providers and the greater EMS community. Whether or not you are able to attend the event itself, EMS On the Hill Day grants an open invitation for EMS providers from anywhere and at any level to inform Congress about EMS, including the issues faced by these vital healthcare providers every single day.
2018 Requests to Congress
There are three key requests that will be brought to congress in the near future, and these requests are the focus for this year’s EMS On the Hill Day. In brief, the requests are as follows:
- Good Samaritan Health Professionals Act of 2017
EMS providers are requesting co-sponsorship of H.R. 1876/S. 781, also known as the Good Samaritan Health Professionals Act of 2017. This request would add a layer of protection to healthcare professionals from liability, under federal or state law, when such professionals are volunteering their services during a federally declared disaster.
- Veteran Reimbursement for Emergency Ambulance Services Act
The second request for 2018 is that of co-sponsorship of H.R. 1445, the Veteran Reimbursement for Emergency Ambulance Services Act (VREASA). This act would grant veterans reimbursement for ambulance transports in situations where the average person would reasonably expect that a delay in medical attention would be detrimental to the health or livelihood of the veteran.
- Supporting and Improving Rural EMS Needs (SIREN) Act
Co-sponsorship is being requested for the SIREN Act, a bill that reauthorizes rural emergency medical services training and equipment assistance programs. The aim of this act is to provide the support and grant funding needed for rural EMS services to deliver adequate training and advanced equipment for its providers.
Ways to Participate
If you have the resources, time, and drive to do so, you are welcome to actively participate in EMS On the Hill Day by going to Washington, D.C. and speaking with congressman yourself. The NAEMT website offers countless resources that will help you understand where to go, the day’s schedule, how to speak with legislators, and other valuable details like parking and food information.
Even if you cannot be in attendance, there are other ways in which you can promote EMS On the Hill Day and the rights of EMS professionals. One such way would be to contact your state advocacy coordinator and ask about their year-round political involvement. These coordinators have in-depth knowledge of current issues and are there to help advocate for the needs of EMS professionals. When you contact your coordinator, further ask what initiatives you could assist with.
With EMS On the Hill Day just around the corner, now is a great time to become informed about current issues in EMS. Whether you are a provider who has intimate knowledge of the workings in EMS or are a political leader yourself and know little about the needs of EMS, the overall initiative should ultimately be advocacy and the promotion of positive change.
To learn more about EMS On the Hill Day, visit naemt.org.