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Policy Dynamics and the First Responder Policy Agenda

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By Allison G. S. Knox
Contributor, EDM Digest

On January 20, Donald J. Trump was sworn in as the 45th President of the United States. While there are many different issues under discussion in the American political arena right now, some of the most important issues concern emergency management, law enforcement and first responders.

The importance of these issues is certainly not debatable, but they have been eclipsed by numerous other policy issues that need to take center stage. Throughout his campaign, Trump specifically voiced support for law enforcement and other first responders.

By making this statement, Trump clearly indicated that he supports many of the first responders’ policy initiatives. For many advocates of first responders, this is the time for emergency management policy initiatives.

Possibilities for Policy Entrepreneurs

Prior to the election of President Trump, many policy initiatives had gained traction in the federal government. Legislation like the H.R. 1818 Veterans EMT Support Act, for example, allowed military personnel to simply switch from the military to the civilian world, taking their medical training with them instead of being required to retrain for a civilian position.

This policy addresses emergency medical technician shortages. While this legislation is less controversial than others, support from President Trump might create a number of opportunities for policy entrepreneurs to back legislation in support of first responders and emergency management.

Just this week, the new president held a luncheon at the White House for first responders. The gathering certainly spread the notion that the President and his administration largely support first responders.

Now Is The Time for New Policy Initiatives

Considering the federal government changes that have taken place, this is the time to start new policy initiatives to strengthen police, fire and emergency medical service agencies and to give them the assistance they need at local, state and federal levels of government. This support could be a key aspect of positive change for these agencies.

However, new policy initiatives will need advocates if these policies are to be enacted at the local, state and federal levels. President Trump's support could be the catalyst to create the opportunities needed for policymaking on behalf of first responders and emergency management.

Allison G. S. Knox Passionate about the issues affecting ambulances and disaster management, Allison focuses on Emergency Management and Emergency Medical Services policy. Allison has taught at the undergraduate level since 2010. Prior to teaching, she worked in a level-one trauma center emergency department and for a member of Congress in Washington, D.C. She holds four master’s degrees in Emergency Management, National Security Studies, International Relations, and History; a Graduate Certificate in Homeland Security; and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science. Allison is an Emergency Medical Technician, Lifeguard, and Lifeguard Instructor, and is trained in Technical Large Animal Emergency Rescue. She serves on the Board of Trustees for Pi Gamma Mu International Honor Society as Chancellor of the Southeast Region, Vice Chair of the Tactical Emergency Medical Support Committee with the International Public Safety Association, and serves as the Advocacy Coordinator of Virginia with the National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians. She is also a member of several committees including the Editorial Committee with APCO, the Rescue Task Force Committee with the International Public Safety Association, and the Advocacy Committee with the National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians. She also serves as Chair of the Leadership Development Program for the 2020 Pi Gamma Mu Triennial Convention. Allison has published several book reviews and continues to write about issues affecting ambulances, emergency management, and homeland security.