Rural Iowans are suffering from longer wait times for emergency medical services (EMS). The process that county boards of supervisors must navigate to declare EMS an essential service is inefficient and costly. IHA supports a policy that expands rural access to EMS by allowing local governments to adopt a permanent system to fund EMS in their communities and expand training opportunities for Iowans wanting to become emergency medical technicians (EMTs).
The Legislature should allow counties to declare EMS an essential service without a special election and end the five-year sunset on such declarations.
The Iowa General Assembly should allow counties to declare EMS an essential service without a special election and end the five-year sunset on such declarations. This policy gives local governments control over their EMS needs. Instead of creating a one-size-fits-all policy, this policy allows counties to determine their needs and create a sustainable funding mechanism without relying on the general assembly for an appropriation. The policy also would give Iowans more opportunities to become EMTs at a lower cost.
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