February 29, 2008 (Falls Church, Va.) -- The recently released Advocates for EMS (AEMS) Annual Report highlights five years of success. In October 2007, AEMS passed the five-year mark as an organization and has assembled a solid list of accomplishments in a relatively short period of time.
Key five-year highlights include:
-Advocated for a greater share of homeland security first responder funding, and for Congressionally-mandated reports from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to the Appropriations Committees that demonstrated that EMS organizations are only receiving four percent of homeland security and fire grant funding. Appropriations Committee directives have included having DHS conduct national EMS needs assessments and require states to provide a justification if they are spending less than 10 percent of homeland security grants on EMS.
-Advocated for restoration of the Public Health and Health Services Block grant at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The Bush Administration has proposed elimination of the program for the past three years, and AEMS has worked to save it each time.
-Advocated for funding for the NHTSA Office of EMS to support the National EMS Information System. By the end of 2008, 28 states will be submitting information to the National EMS Database.
-Advocated for the enactment of FICEMS legislation to enhance the impact of this committee, and advocated for the creation of a non-Federal advisory committee to FICEMS through administrative authorities. The non-Federal committee (NEMSAC) includes several AEMS members.
-Provided testimony and information to the Institute of Medicine committee that contributed to the report "The Future of Emergency Care in the United States Health System." -Established the first EMS Caucus in Congress to focus on EMS-related issues.
The complete AEMS Annual report is available on the Web site at http://www.advocatesforems.org/_resourceContent/AEMS_07_Annual_Report.pdf.
Advocates for EMS is a membership organization and welcomes pledges/contributions from individuals, businesses, or other interested parties. Information on joining the organization or contributing is available on the Web site at www.advocatesforems.org.
Established in November 2002, Advocates for EMS (AEMS) has grown into a coalition working with 26 national and regional emergency medical services-related organizations and corporate sponsors. AEMS is the single voice that represents the broad range of EMS components in Washington policy discussions. With AEMS, all components of the national EMS community have a strong, concerted presence in policy decisions.