Advancing the EMS profession

Top News

All News

Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness and Advancing Innovation Act (PAHPA) Heads To President for Signing

Jun 04, 2019

Today, the House of Representatives passed S. 1379, the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness and Advancing Innovation Act (PAHPA), bipartisan legislation to strengthen our nation’s existing preparedness and response programs. The bill now heads to the President for signing into law. 

NAEMT is pleased that the House and Senate acted on this legislation which is critical to EMS preparedness and response, and the safety of our communities, during natural disasters or biological, chemical, radiological and nuclear threats to our public health and national security.

S. 1379 will ensure that health care professionals—including EMS practitioners—are trained to respond to possible pandemic outbreaks, prioritize the further development of our national stockpile of vaccines, medical equipment and diagnostics, and establish new advisory groups focused on protecting vulnerable populations such as older adults and people with disabilities during public health threats and emergencies.

Specifically, the bill includes NAEMT's legislative priorities, as well as other issues of importance to EMS:

  • Mission Zero Act—authorizes the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) to award grants that would enable military trauma care providers and trauma teams to provide trauma care and related acute care at civilian trauma centers. This training has the dual benefit of maintaining military surgical battle readiness between wars while at the same time improving civilian access to trauma care;

  • Good Samaritan Act—protects health care professionals, including EMS practitioners, from liability for harm caused by any act or omission if: (1) the professional is serving as a volunteer in response to a disaster and (2) the act or omission occurs during the period of the disaster, in the professional’s capacity as a volunteer, and in a good faith belief that the individual being treated is in need of health care services;

  • Authorizes the Regional Health Care Emergency Preparedness and Response System—developed by the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) with input from the Trauma Coalition, will improve emergency response by creating regional systems of trauma centers, hospitals, and other public and private entities;

  • Increased funding for the Hospital Preparedness Program (HPP)—supports regional collaboration by encouraging the development of health care coalitions. The HPP provides funding through cooperative agreements and grants to states, territories, and eligible municipalities to improve the capacity of the health care system to plan for, and respond, to medical surge events. HPP, the only source of federal funding for health care delivery system readiness, is intended to improve patient outcomes, minimize the need for supplemental emergency funding, and enable rapid recovery. By reauthorizing the HPP with additional funding, Congress has improved the U.S. health care system’s ability to save lives during emergencies and disaster events.