WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Orrin Hatch and Rep. Jim Matheson have introduced legislation to reauthorize the Emergency Medical Services for Children, EMSC, program. Now in its 30th year, the EMSC program is dedicated to ensuring emergency medical services, EMS, are able to meet the unique needs of children and adolescents, such as smaller medical equipment or more limited doses of medication not common with EMS providers today.
The program has provided grants to all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and U.S. territories to improve existing EMS systems, and has provided grants to schools of medicine to develop and evaluate improved procedures and protocols for treating children. Hatch introduced S.2154 in the Senate along with Sen. Bob Casey, and Matheson introduced the companion bill in the House of Representatives, H.R. 4290, with Rep. Pete King.
The EMSC program has been a real success story and has undoubtedly helped save children’s lives across the country. Children require specialized medical care, and that specialized care comes with unique challenges. The EMSC program helps ensure that some of our country’s most vulnerable have access to the care they need, and I’ve been proud to support it all these years.
This program has expanded and improved emergency medical services for children needing trauma or critical care. The EMSC program will continue to play a vital role in ensuring our children receive the best care in hospitals and emergency care centers.
James M. Perrin, MD, FAAP, president, American Academy of Pediatrics, said:
Pediatric emergency services begin the moment a call is placed with 9-1-1 and extend until a child is safely returned home. The EMSC program is there for children during times when they are especially vulnerable and most in need of medical equipment, care and services designed especially for them. The American Academy of Pediatrics applauds Senators Casey and Hatch and Representatives Matheson and King for introducing bipartisan, bicameral legislation to reauthorize this landmark child health program.
The EMSC program promotes collaborative pediatric emergency research with national utility and application through the Pediatric Emergency Care Applied Research Network, PECARN. The National EMS Data Resource Center, NEDARC, helps states evaluate EMS system effectiveness and pediatric patient care. The EMSC National Resource Center, EMSC NRC, serves as a clearinghouse for EMSC data; and the National Pediatric Readiness Project, NPRP, works to measure and increase emergency department pediatric readiness.