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By Allison G. S. Knox
Contributor, EDM Digest
The EMS Caucus is a very small committee within the House of Representatives dedicated to discussing issues associated with emergency medical services. Traditionally, it has been difficult for emergency medical services to gain a political foothold. Emergency medical service issues are a subset of numerous policy issues, including healthcare, homeland security and emergency management.
As a committee, the EMS Caucus works to address the specific issues of emergency medical services. Also, the EMS Caucus helps to further conversations about emergency medical services between federal congressional representatives.
However, the caucus must be reassembled after each congressional election. The elections make it more difficult to keep members of Congress on the committee.
Role of NAEMT in EMS Caucus
The National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians (NAEMT) is part of the policy initiative. Emergency medical technicians and paramedics associated with NAEMT have asked their members of Congress throughout the year to join the EMS Caucus and talk about policy issues affecting emergency medical services.
Congressional Lawmakers Sign Up for the Caucus
Last week, NAEMT sponsored "EMS on the Hill," an event which gave EMTs and paramedics the opportunity to meet directly with members of Congress and their staff to discuss three legislative initiatives and the EMS Caucus. As of Tuesday, April 17, the following Democratic and Republican lawmakers signed on to the EMS Caucus:
- Congressman Jackey Rosen (D-NV)
- Congressman Darin LaHood (R-IL)
- Congressman Bill Posey (R-FL)
- Congressman Dave Brat (R-VA)
- Congressman John Faso (R-NY)
- Congressman Bill Johnson (R-OH)
- Congresswoman Elise Stefanik (R-NY)
The work of the EMS on the Hill advocates was a tremendous first step. These additional caucus members are a useful step in the right direction for promoting more important policy initiatives that will shape emergency medical services in the United States.