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EMS on the Hill Day: Officials Discuss How to Improve Services

EMS on the Hill Day: Officials Discuss How to Improve Services

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By Allison G. S. Knox
Contributor, EDM Digest

The National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians (NAEMT) hosted EMS on the Hill Day last week, during which EMS practitioners from all over the United States discussed legislation that will affect the profession.

Meeting with members of Congress and their staff, EMTs and paramedics advocated for legislation that will benefit emergency medical services agencies nationally. While legislation takes time to pass, it is important to note that the very presence of EMTs and paramedics on Capitol Hill helps to further the conversation about these policy initiatives.

The Importance of Capitol Hill Meetings and EMS on the Hill Day

Individual Americans rarely experience emergencies. As a result, few people think about ambulances or understand the myriad policy issues associated with them.

That’s why it is particularly important for members of Congress and their staff to meet with EMTs and paramedics to become much more aware of the issues that affect ambulance services. Without meetings like these, the issues that affect emergency medical services can be a nebulous web of complications.

Continuing the Conversation for Policy Improvement

Complacency and apathy are detrimental to organizational change. These two attitudes create people who do not care to make changes. That leads to a standstill with little or no change for the future. It is one of the reasons why advocacy is important. But it is also necessary to continue the conversation beyond advocacy, to where new ideas emerge and may bring forth policy changes.

EMS on the Hill Day is a vehicle of change from a policy standpoint and from the standpoint of organizational change. Between meetings with legislators, EMTs and paramedics talk about the various issues that affect their line of work. This dialogue allows for an exchange of ideas forcing individuals to contemplate policies and potential organizational changes.

In addition, meetings by EMTs and paramedics from other states allow everyone to compare notes and to become familiar with patterns and trends throughout the country.

Events like EMS on the Hill Day are particularly important to promote legislative and organizational changes in the emergency medical services community. These conversations become the seeds of real changes on a national level and are important to changing EMS for the better.

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.