“EMS on the Hill” is Your Chance to Be Heard
EVERY YEAR IN APRIL hundreds of EMS colleagues head to Washington, D.C., as an exercise in democracy. Their vision: to speak with one voice, to ensure lawmakers and their staffs understand the role of EMS and to promote legislation that enables a better system of emergency care.
“EMS providers over the years have been reluctant to pat themselves on the back and share the many success stories that occur [across] the country every day,” says Terry David, EMS director of Rice County in central Kansas, who also serves as the NAEMT Advocacy Coordinator Kansas. “This is an excellent opportunity to begin the dialogue or continue already established relationships with your national elected officials,” he continues. “They do value your opinion and EMS on the Hill is a great opportunity to meet other EMS professionals from across the country and present a unified front,” he adds.
“What impressed me the most was how well EMS was represented,” says Chris Cebollero, EMS Chief for Christian Hospital’s EMS Division in St. Louis, about his experience at EMS on the Hill. “EMS professionals from fire-based, hospital-based and private agencies were all there to work toward the common goal of bringing EMS forward. This was truly a proud moment for me.”
“If you are not well versed in meeting and greeting your elected officials, the NAEMT has an excellent orientation program,” says David. “They also make all of the appointments, which in itself is a significant task, so that all you have to do is show up, shake some hands o,nd sell your profession and the EMS legislative platform.” •
MORE INFORMATION ABOUT EMS ON THE HILL
ALL EMS PROFESSIONALS are encouraged to make their voices heard during EMS On The Hill Day in Washington, D.C. In 2017, it will be held April 25 (with a briefing on April 24). The National Association of EMTs sponsors the event. “Health-care changes and raised awareness of the EMS profession make it more important than ever for EMS advocates to educate legislative decision makers;’ says Don Lundy, NAEMT president. “Emergency medical professionals across the country should engage others in an effort to overcome today’s challenges, while educating lawmakers for the continued advancement of EMS:’ To get more information about this year’s efforts as well as upcoming events, go to naemt.org.