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EMS Professionals Address Key Issues with Lawmakers at EMS on the Hill Day

Mar 22, 2012

On March 20 and 21, EMS professionals from across the nation attended EMS on the Hill Day in Washington, D.C. Now in its third year and hosted by NAEMT, EMS on the Hill Day is the only national EMS advocacy event open to all EMS professionals.

At the event, more than 198 EMS practitioners from 42 states and the District of Columbia attended 246 meetings with their U.S. Senators, House Representatives, and their congressional staff to inform them about and lobby for key EMS issues and legislation. This year's successful event included representation from all sectors of the EMS community, sent a consistent message on the important issues facing EMS in our country, and gave EMS professionals the opportunity to build and strengthen relationships with their congressional leaders.

EMS on the Hill Day included an informative pre-Hill Visit briefing to prepare participants for their congressional visits, and a networking reception, hosted by NAEMT, on March 20. As a bonus event for 2012, attendees were invited to participate, free of change, in the Reimbursement Task Force meeting of the American Ambulance Association that day. The meeting addressed reimbursement issues affecting EMS and discussed health care reform, Medicare ambulance relief and other hot topics.

On March 21, participants attended scheduled appointments with their Senate and House leaders and their staff, and then enjoyed a post-Hill visit reception hosted by NAEMT for all participants, congressional leaders and staff, and federal agency staff. The Washington Plaza Hotel served as headquarters for the event.

This year's legislative priorities included the Medicare Ambulance Access Preservation Act, Public Safety Officers' Benefits Improvements Act, and Field EMS Quality, Innovation, and Cost Effectiveness Improvements Act. Learn more here.

To subsidize the cost of participation in the event, NAEMT provided grants of up to $1,200 each to four active members. These grants were awarded to Ryan Greenberg, EMT-P, Hewlett, N.Y.; Emery (Paul) Roberts, EMT-P, Canton, N.C.; Jason Scheiderer, EMT-P, Indianapolis, Ind.; and Eugene Dicksion, EMT-P, Lexington, Okla.

View 2012 event sponsors here. NAEMT thanks them for their support of this important event.

“The participation of so many dedicated EMS professionals in this year's successful event helped ensure that EMS has a strong voice in government decisions that affect EMS practitioners and our ability to provide quality patient care to our patients,” says Jim Judge, Director, Region II, and NAEMT Advocacy Committee Chair. “We look forward to continuing to work with our congressional representatives throughout the year to ensure they hear and understand our issues and concerns, and we anticipate an even more successful EMS on the Hill Day in 2013.”

EMS practitioners who were not able to attend the event are urged to support EMS advocacy from home using NAEMT's Capwiz system. Through Capwiz, they can locate the district offices of their congressional leaders and then simply enter their ZIP codes to access their congressional leaders' contact information. They also can e-mail their congressional leaders from Capwiz through the "featured alerts" on the Capwiz home page.