Cut, Paste, and Send to Congress

For the next two weeks or so, our members of congress will be campaigning in their home districts before the upcoming election.  What better time to let them know how inconsistently EMS is delivered across the country, how pissed off we are about it, and how hard we are working to fix it.

Start by asking them to support and/or co-sponsor HR 3144: The Field EMS Quality, Innovation, Cost-effectiveness Improvement Act.  You can copy and paste this in an email to them:

H.R. 3144 will improve access to essential and life-saving EMS services and better integrate EMS within the larger health care system. The bill addresses many of the challenges impeding our ability to best fulfill public expectations so that all patients with emergency medical conditions can depend upon EMS in their greatest hour of need.

I added a few sentences to mine with examples about how EMS is so fragmented. The response to a call for chest pain in my neighborhood looks completely different from the one in the large city up the road from me.  Both responses  look completely different one to my parent’s house 400 miles away.  The differences include variations in skill and competence levels among providers to the capabilities of the hospital patients are taken to. Today we have no way to measure which community gets the best service, or which parts of each response type are effective.  HR 3144 is a start to help figure that out, and to share best practices across the country.

Follow up with a phone call, and read that paragraph to their staffer.  Remind them that it will not increase the federal deficit.  Even better, ask to schedule a meeting with them.  Let them know EMS exists, that we’re angry, and that we vote.

Better yet, join NAEMT.   If you don’t agree with some of its positions, great! Get active with the organization and work to change them.  Politicians get really scared by angry cops, firefighters, and nurses.  It’s time they get scared of us, too.

I truly believe we are at a tipping point, and believe that there has never been a more exciting time to work in EMS.  The Field EMS bill will not fix everything, but it is a start.  A lot of good EMS people have worked hard to get it to this point, and we need unite to push it forward.

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