Legislative Action Alert

EMS Week Legislative Action Alert: Support needed for National EMS Memorial

The National EMS Foundation asks all EMS providers to contact their elected representatives to support House Resolution 2274 and Senate Bill 2628

WASHINGTON — The National EMS Memorial Foundation calls on all EMS providers, as well as the citizens of the communities that they serve, to honor and memorialize EMS workers who suffer a line of duty death in the course of their daily work.

“EMS Week provides an excellent opportunity for the EMS community to actively participate in establishing the National EMS Memorial in Washington DC,” Executive Director for the National EMS Memorial Foundation Katie Orsino said.

In alignment with the Commemorative Works Act of 1986, legislation has been introduced into both houses of Congress to authorize the National EMS Memorial Foundation to continue the collaborative process necessary to complete this project under the requirements of the Commemorative Works Act.

Congressman Stephen Lynch, D-Mass., introduced bill H.R. 2274 in the House May 12. Co-sponsored by Peter King, R-N.Y., H.R. 2274 was referred to the Subcommittee on Federal Lands.

Senator Christopher Coons, D-Del. introduced bill S. 2628 in the Senate March 3. Co-sponsored by Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., S. 2628 was referred to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.

National Park Service Deputy Director Peggy O’Dell testified that the National Parks Service supports S. 2628 during the hearing before the Senate Energy and Natural Resource Committee and National Parks subcommittee May 17.

Furthermore, The National EMS Memorial Foundation has already completed the process required to achieve approval from the National Capital Memorial Advisory Commission.

The National EMS Memorial Foundation calls upon everyone in the United States to contact their congressional representatives to voice their support for H.R. 2274 and S. 2628. This bipartisan effort will not use federal funds (taxpayer money) to build or maintain the EMS Memorial.

While public safety officers from law enforcement and the fire service have been recognized for their sacrifice with national memorials, the men and women of EMS have gone without recognition. EMS providers should be able to rely on America to never forget their ongoing commitment and service to their country, and their ultimate sacrifice already made by more than 650 members of the nation’s EMS, their families and their loved ones.

President Obama, in his Presidential Proclamation for National EMS Week 2016, highlighted the risks EMS providers take on behalf of their communities. “EMS providers brave danger and uncertainty, and their efforts deserve our most profound appreciation,” Obama said.

“We rarely know when tragedy will strike, and in our most vulnerable moments, we rely on these dedicated professionals. During Emergency Medical Services Week, let us celebrate and support the EMS professionals who demonstrate the values at the heart of the American spirit, and let us thank them for their heroic work.”

EMS is one of the most dangerous jobs in the United States. Recent statistics show that EMTs and paramedics experience an injury rate of virtually 100 percent during the course of their careers and are two times more likely to suffer a line of duty death than any other profession.

Every day, EMTs and paramedics leave their loved ones at home and head out to help people they have never met. Each year in America, dozens of EMS providers are killed in the line of duty.