A Letter from Executive Director Derrick Congdon (#FY16)
Below is an excerpt for the letter Executive Director Congdon sent to State Representatives and Senators regarding the Regional EMS Council cuts and the Governor's veto of the Amendment that would have added some money for the Regions back into the State Budget for FY 2016.
I want to applaud you and your colleagues for the work that you did in sending the Governor a well thought out budget for the new fiscal year. Unfortunately not all of the components that were in the budget that was forwarded to the Governor were kept. As you are aware he vetoed many of the components that the legislature thought were essential for the operation of the Commonwealth and served a benefit for the residents.
One of the line items that is critical for Emergency Medical Services (EMS) is Line Item DPH 4510-0790. This line item is for funding to the Regional EMS Councils...The Governor’s budget originally cut regional funding by $200,000 for FY 16 but through the work of you and your colleagues the legislature restored $100,000 to our line item. Unfortunately the Governor vetoed that restoration of funding last week.
If the Governor’s veto is allowed to stay in place many of the core EMS activities that all the Regions focus on like quality patient care; continuing education; unaffiliated EMT recertification; education course monitoring; informational and educational resources; the coordination and operation of the Central Medical Emergency Direction (CMED) radio and communication system, statewide EMS treatment protocol development; disaster response; operational and preparedness planning, and support may be severely impacted. EMS is a coordinated and collaborative effort between many public health and public safety entities. It is a collaborative combination of public, private, 3rd service, call/volunteer, college, healthcare and public safety professionals...EMS is the bridge between public health and public safety. If the Governor’s veto is left in place much of the intimate and direct work with many of the partners of the healthcare system...will not be able to be accomplished and we will not be able to affect greater change and coordination through partnerships and coordination of all the various EMS components.
...I would request that you and your colleagues vote to overturn the Governor’s veto of Line Item DPH 4510-0790 and restore the funding that was originally proposed by the legislature for FY 16. If this $200,000 cut stays in place it will greatly impact future improvements and current operations with regards to the EMS system as well as coordination of the many disparate parts of that system. Your support is greatly appreciated.