Last year, the SIREN Act was signed into law on December 20, 2018, as part of the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018. The law creates a grant program for public and non-profit EMS agencies in rural areas, many of which are at the forefront of the opioid epidemic— to support recruitment, retention, education, and equipment for EMS personnel specifically in rural areas.
Rural EMS agencies face unique challenges in delivering quality patient care to the communities in their area. While patients in rural areas have the same acute and chronic medical conditions requiring EMS response, treatment, and transport, the operational and geographic challenges for rural EMS agencies make patient care even more difficult. Rural EMS agencies may be the only healthcare providers in their area. Most rural agencies also face challenges in maintaining adequate coverage during prolonged transport times, obtaining qualified medical oversight, and are increasingly filling the gap left by the elimination or reduction of community healthcare resources.
Even if your agency does not serve a rural area, assisting your fellow EMS practitioners by contacting the committee is needed. A win on funding of the SIREN Act is a win for the entire EMS community. Click on the Take Action button below.