WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Chris Coons (D-DE) and Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) celebrated the passage yesterday of the National Emergency Medical Services Commemorative Work Act, which would allow the National Emergency Medical Services Memorial Foundation to establish a commemorative work on federal land to pay tribute to the commitment and service represented by emergency medical services (EMS). The memorial would be constructed in the greater District of Columbia area.

Each year, 850,000 EMS first responders across the nation answer more than 30,000,000 calls to serve 22,000,000 patients in need of immediate life-saving care and comfort.  Many of these patients are alive today because of the selfless commitment of our first responders.  With little regard for their own safety and in the face of all hazards, the men and women of EMS respond to every kind of incident imaginable: from a single person’s medical emergency to naturally occurring or man-made disasters, including terrorist attacks that threaten the entire nation.

“During my time as New Castle County Executive, I worked to make sure that our EMS personnel were well-trained, responsive professionals,” said Senator Coons. “It was not only about the delivery of high-quality government services, but a matter of life and death for our community members. A memorial commemorating the service of EMS professionals is well-deserved, and I am delighted we were able to pass the bill this week. I look forward to working with our House counterparts to ensure this bill becomes law.”

“First responders risk their safety to serve our communities and help others, working selflessly and tirelessly to save lives,” Senator Capito said. “I’m so happy the Senate passed this legislation to honor their service with a national memorial. I’m proud to have introduced this bill and will continue working to see this project come to fruition.”

The National EMS Memorial Foundation extends its utmost gratitude to Senator Coons for his leadership on this important issue and to the entire Senate for taking this historic step towards honoring the commitment, service, and sacrifice of the nation's EMS providers.

This memorial proposal was first brought to Senator Coons’ attention by Delaware’s New Castle County EMS Chief Larry Tan and Paramedic Senior Sergeant Kenneth Dunn, Sr., a New Castle County paramedic for 34 years who also served as a member of the Delaware EMS Oversight Council.

The bill is also cosponsored by Senators Tom Cotton (R-AK), Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), and Tom Carper (D-DE). It is a companion bill to H.R. 1037, a Bill to Establish a National EMS Memorial, introduced by Congressman Stephen F. Lynch (D-MA) on February 14, 2017.  H.R. 1037 is co-sponsored by Congresswoman Katherine Clark (D-MA), Congressman Jeff Duncan (R-SC), Congressman Eliot L. Engel (D-NY), Congressman Denny Heck (D-WA), Congressman William Keating (D-MA), Congressman Joseph P. Kennedy III (D-MA), Congressman Ron Kind (D-WI), Congressman Peter T. King (R-NY), Congressman James R. Langevin (D-RI), Congressman Daniel Lipinski (D-IL), Congressman David Loebsack (D-IL), Congressman James P. McGovern (D-MA), Congresswoman Kathleen M. Rice (D-NY), Congressman Raul Ruiz (D-CA), Congressman Mike Thompson (D-CA), and Congressman Timothy J. Walz (D-MN).