Truckee Meadows Community College (TMCC) Emergency Medical Services (EMS) faculty, including Professor Stephanie Mead, Instructor Lauren Miller, Clinical and Field Coordinator Dennis Nolan, and Director of Public Safety Programs, Michael Schulz, recently participated in the thirteenth annual EMS Day on the Hill in Washington, D.C. from March 25–27, 2023.
The event, hosted by the National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians (NAEMT), provided an opportunity for EMS professionals from around the nation to meet with members of Congress, Senate, and their staff to campaign for the vital role of EMS in communities, and promote legislation to reinforce the EMS workforce and patients.
Endorsing EMS Education and Advancement
During their time in Washington, D.C., the TMCC EMS faculty met with several state representatives in Congress and Senate to discuss the challenges facing the industry and the importance of education in addressing these challenges.
In his role as Director, Schulz expressed to the legislators the urgency of the situation, stating, "We are at the tipping point, where 'the bridge is out in our industry,' and those of us in EMS and Fire who care deeply about our communities are standing, waving warning flags. As our state's population keeps progressing toward growth, our EMS and Fire providers are struggling to keep up."
Schulz continued, "Increasing the number of newly educated providers is how to repair that bridge; TMCC is prepared for that challenge."
The TMCC EMS faculty emphasized the need to sustain training and address the growing demand for EMS services in communities. They highlighted TMCC's commitment to preparing well-educated professionals who can effectively serve their communities and meet the evolving needs of the field.
"EMS education is critical to ensure that our providers are equipped with the knowledge and skills to provide high-quality care to patients in emergency situations. We are proud to represent TMCC at EMS Day on the Hill and advocate for increased support for EMS education," Schulz said.
In addition to striving for growth, the TMCC EMS faculty also discussed the challenges faced when traversing the legislative process.
"Many EMS professionals are far more comfortable navigating the roads of their local communities than the hallways of Capitol Hill," Schulz explained.
However, he emphasized the relevance of being actively engaged in their profession and with patients, and the significance of building relationships with members of Congress to ensure that they understand the value of EMS in providing critical care to communities.
The team’s participation in EMS Day on the Hill comes at a crucial time, with over 80 new members of Congress who may not be familiar with its value in communities.
"We have no time to spare in educating them about what we bring to our communities and building those relationships that are so important when it comes time for them to vote," Schulz said.
Our faculty's efforts at EMS Day on the Hill are part of TMCC's ongoing commitment to promoting the interests of EMS professionals and ensuring that they have the resources and aid they need to provide the best possible care to patients.
Their participation offered an excellent opportunity to advocate for EMS education and support by emphasizing the urgent need for increased assistance for instruction to address the challenges facing the industry. This advocacy also aims to ensure that professionals are well-equipped to serve their communities. Some of the topics discussed were:
- Saving the EMS Workforce.
- Supporting H.R. 1666, the Protecting Access to Ground Ambulance Medical Services Act of 2023.
- Promoting FY24 funding for SIREN and S. 265, the SIREN Reauthorization Act.
- Reimbursing EMS for Treatment in Place and Transport to Alternate Destination.
- Joining the EMS Caucus.
- Bringing a new training space to Nevada.
For further information about TMCC's EMS programs and advocacy efforts, please call 775-336-4270.