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.