Washington, DC – Senator Susan Collins today introduced legislation to help increase and improve federal support for community-based emergency medical services (EMS) in Maine and across the country. The Emergency Medical Services Act would enhance coordination among the federal agencies involved with state, local, tribal, and regional emergency medical services and 9-1-1 systems. It would help federal agencies coordinate their EMS-related activities and make the best use of established funding to support local and state efforts. This legislation would also ensure that experienced EMS providers at the state and local levels have input in regulatory discussions among federal agencies.

“We must ensure that Federal agencies coordinate their efforts to support the dedicated men and women who provide EMS services across our nation,” said Senator Collins. “A comprehensive, coordinated emergency medical services system is essential to assure prompt, quality care to help individuals when they need it, whether due to an automobile crash, a traumatic medical emergency, or a terrorist event. The emergency medical services system serves as one of the most important parts of our health care safety net.”

New York University’s Center for Catastrophe Preparedness and Response today released an important report, titled “Findings from a National Roundtable to Improve Emergency Medical Service’s Homeland Security Preparedness,” that details concerns and recommendations from more than 50 representatives of national EMS organizations and federal agencies. The report underscores the need for Collins’ legislation. The report’s top recommendation is to improve EMS homeland security preparedness. The Center released a statement today saying, “Senator Collins deserves to be commended. Her proposed legislation is welcome news. It will go a long way towards ensuring the best possible emergency medical response in the event of a major terrorist attack and routine emergencies.” The report is available at:

Senator Collins’ legislation would establish a Federal Interagency Committee on Emergency Medical Services to improve coordination of all federal effort to strengthen EMS preparedness efforts. It would also establish an advisory committee consisting of EMS organizations and practitioners.

The EMS Act is supported by: Advocates for EMS, American Ambulance Association, American Heart Association, Association of Air Medical Services, Emergency Nurses Association, National Association of Emergency Medical Services Educators, National Association of Emergency Medical Services Physicians, National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians, National Association of State Emergency Medical Services Directors, and National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians.