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EMS on the Hill Day Grant Recipients Announced

Mar 12, 2012

To assist active members in attending EMS on the Hill Day, the nation’s only EMS advocacy event, NAEMT awards grants of up to $1,200 each to four active members. Our 2012 grant winners are:

Ryan Greenberg, EMT-P, Hewlett, N.Y. - Region 1

Emery (Paul) Roberts, EMT-P, Canton, N.C. - Region 2

Jason Scheiderer, EMT-P, Indianapolis, Ind. - Region 3

Eugene Dicksion, EMT-P, Lexington, Okla. - Region 4

“The leaders and innovators of yesterday have built the amazing prehospital care framework we call with pride ‘emergency medical services.’ As we have progressed so much in such a small period of time, we are still the youngest of the public safety branches,” says Greenberg, EMS Division Chief, Hackensack University Medical Center EMS. “Yesterday’s leaders have gotten us to where we are today, and it is our role as today’s EMS leaders to ensure we continue to promote the importance, professionalism and growth of EMS into the future.”

Greenberg says that he is honored to be chosen for a grant, as “the more we help our congressional leaders understand about the unique needs of EMS practitioners, the diversity of our roles in each of our communities, and the expectations of those we serve, the better those leaders can make informed decisions on the Hill to help us achieve our goals into the future.” Greenberg is proud to be a 20-year volunteer and a 15-year career EMS practitioner with diverse experience, and as such, believes he is a good resource and representative of EMS to federal lawmakers. He believes today’s top EMS issues are defining a lead federal agency for EMS, providing adequate financial support of EMS operations, and nationally recognizing EMS as a public service and supporting EMS practitioners as professionals and public servants.

Roberts, Assistant Supervisor, NuCare Ambulance, notes that he has been involved in EMS on the Hill Day since its start in 2010, and that he enjoys serving as a voice for EMS practitioners and the public they serve. He explains that often when he speaks to federal representatives, it’s their first real exposure to EMS and the needs of its practitioners. He says, “I have continued to be a voice for EMS even when not in D.C. I have met with local, state and federal leaders and lawmakers to promote the EMS field and its large and small issues.”

He, too, believes that a single lead federal agency for EMS is needed. With a lead agency, he says, “We would have a stronger and united voice with which to speak, rather than multiple federal agencies trying to regulate a field that is dynamic and fluid. We need to have a fair and complete field of play so we can provide the best possible vital community services, and have the needed regulations and same opportunities as other public safety groups.”

Scheiderer, EMS Educator, Indianapolis EMS, and NAEMT’s state advocacy coordinator for Indiana, is looking to increase communications with his state’s congressional representatives at the event as well as network with other EMS practitioners working in Indiana. He says, “The top issue that needs to be brought to the attention of Congress is to urge them to continue providing funding to EMS agencies through Medicare. It is important to the budgets of all EMS agencies that they are reimbursed for services provided. EMS services can’t continue to function without covering their costs of equipment and personnel at a fair wage.”

He reiterates the need for a lead federal agency for EMS, saying, “There needs to be a consistent, strong national leader to guide EMS.” If there is additional time in the visits to federal leaders, Scheiderer also would like to address providing death benefits to all members of the EMS community. “It doesn’t matter if we are paid, volunteer, private or public – we are all serving the needs of the community and should be provided with the same benefits as other agencies that serve the community.”

Dicksion, Director of EMS Operations, Valley View Regional Hospital EMS, Ada, Okla., has strongly supported EMS education as an NAEMT instructor. “I believe it’s of the utmost importance to be in an association of like-minded individuals, with the goals and foresight to move EMS as a whole forward… and it’s very important to be involved,” he says.

His top concerns, he says, are, “From the top down, how do we recruit quality employees to choose EMS as a career? How do we retain these assets once we’ve trained them? How do we secure funding? How do we change Medicare reimbursements so they can fund smaller EMS services?” He says number one on his list is, “How do we as EMS providers have our voices heard by elected officials so the problems can even be addressed?” Dicksion notes that EMS on the Hill Day is such a great chance to visit with elected officials and discuss the problems – “just to sit down and visit about the critical state of EMS in America,” he says.