IMPROVING EMERGENCY MEDICAL SERVICES
The IAFF supports efforts to improve the delivery of emergency medical services, and opposes efforts to undermine fire-service based EMS delivery systems. The IAFF opposes H.R. 809 / S. 2400, the Field EMS Act.
The vast majority of Emergency Medical Services (EMS) in the United States is performed by fire fighters who have been fully trained as paramedics and emergency medical technicians. Nationwide, fire-based emergency medical services is the predominate model of delivering pre-hospital medical care. Fire service-based EMS has been found to provide the safest and most comprehensive patient care, and is the most efficient and cost effective method of delivering emergency medical services.
Recently, proposals which undermine the improvement and discourage the use of fire-based EMS have surfaced in Congress. One specific proposal, the Field EMS Quality, Innovation and Cost Effectiveness Improvement Act, assumes and promotes EMS as a separate and distinct profession rather than a significant and crucial component of the work performed by first responders – most notably – fire fighters. By creating a powerful new agency within the Department of Health and Human Services and subsidizing for-profit entities, the legislation undermines the delivery of quality and cost-effective EMS by trained emergency responders.
Improving EMS delivery would be better-accomplished through the enhancement and improvement of existing programs, rather than creating a new federal bureaucracy.
H.R. 809, the Field EMS Quality, Innovation and Cost-Effectiveness
S. 2400, the FIELD EMS Innovation Act
H.R. 809 and S. 2400 would undermine fire-service based EMS delivery systems.
On February 25, 2013, H.R. 809 was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives and referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce as well as the Committee on Ways and Means.
On May 22, 2014, S. 2400 was introduced in the U.S. Senate and referred to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions.