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Big Win On The Hill For EMS: SIREN ACT PASSES!

Dec 13, 2018

We are very pleased to report that yesterday the SIREN Act passed both the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate as part of the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018, and is on its way to the President for final signature into law.  
Congratulations to our members for helping to push this important legislation over the finish line!
The Supporting and Improving Rural EMS Needs (SIREN) Act (S. 2830/H.R. 5429), introduced by Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Pat Roberts (R-KS) and Representatives Greg Gianforte (R-MT) and David Loebsack (D-IA) in the House, reauthorizes a federal grant program to directly support rural EMS agencies, many of which are at the forefront of the opioid epidemic, in recruiting and training personnel and purchasing equipment for everything from naloxone and first aid kits, to power stretchers or new ambulances. 
We deeply appreciate our congressional sponsors for their leadership as champions of this important EMS legislation. “Rural EMS agencies are the backbone of their communities. When I met with EMTs and fire chiefs across Illinois this year, they explained how they’re asked to do so much – responding to the opioid crisis and the needs of an aging America – often with scarce resources and tight budgets. The bill I sponsored with Senator Roberts will provide rural EMS agencies with new funding that will help them better serve their communities. Whether it’s training and recruiting staff, purchasing new equipment, or providing courses to employees that can help them gain more certifications, including this bill in the final Farm Bill is a boost to local emergency response efforts,” Durbin said. 
NAEMT worked side-by-side with the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) and our congressional sponsors to get this legislation introduced and passed. We deeply appreciate the leaders and members of the IAFC for their partnership, as well as the International Association of Firefighters (IAFF) and the National Volunteer Fire Council for their consistent support in getting the SIREN Act passed. 
“The SIREN Act is another great example of the strength of EMS when we work together to achieve our goals. Getting federal legislation passed requires a clarity of purpose, persistent determination, and also the willingness to compromise for the good of our profession and the patients we serve. I applaud the leadership of our congressional champions, and the great advocacy efforts of the members of all organizations involved in getting this important bill passed,” noted NAEMT President Dennis Rowe.