WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Chris Coons (D-DE), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Tom Cotton (R-AK), Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) yesterday re-introduced 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. First responders' steadfast commitment to others, at a moment’s notice and despite risk, exemplifies the finest traditions of American spirit. Thus, a memorial commemorating the service of EMS professionals is well-deserved.”
“First responders put so much on the line to serve their communities,” Senator Capito said. “From devastating disasters like last year’s floods in West Virginia to daily acts that make a world of difference for a single person, these brave men and women work tirelessly and selflessly to improve and save lives. While we may not be able to repay first responders for all that they do, we can certainly honor their service and sacrifice through a national memorial. The National Emergency Medical Services Commemorative Work Act will help make that possible, and I am proud to join my colleagues in introducing this bipartisan legislation.”
"Given all that first responders have done for our country, I think it's more than fitting that we build a memorial in their honor,” said Senator Cotton. “It will stand as a testament to their sacrifices and remind us all how much we owe to these brave men and women."
“Every day first responders disregard risks and put their lives on the line to protect our communities and our country,” said Senator Bill Cassidy, M.D. “Creating a commemorative work will allow us, as a nation, to honor our first responders.”
"New Hampshire's first responders work tirelessly every day to make sure Granite State communities and families are safe," said Senator Shaheen. “Our EMS personnel are also critical in the fight to combat the opioid epidemic and do an extraordinary job of quickly getting to individuals and saving lives. A National EMS memorial is a well-deserved recognition of EMS professionals’ sacrifices.”
“Hundreds of thousands of EMS workers put their lives on the line every day, serving families all over this country,” said Senator Warren. “They rush headfirst toward dangerous conditions to help people who urgently need care and to save lives. We owe them our deepest respect and sincerest thanks for their selfless service.”
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.
“Public service as an emergency medical services provider is honorable,” said Chief Larry Tan. “It is appropriate that we honor those EMS personnel who have fallen and those who bravely continue, and acknowledge their service to their communities and the nation.”
"Every day, Americans continue to rely on the enduring ideals of commitment, service, and sacrifice embraced by the nation’s emergency medical service providers,” says Katie Orsino, Executive Director of the National EMS Memorial Foundation. “These same providers should be able to rely on us as a nation to remember this ongoing commitment and service to our country, and more importantly, the ultimate sacrifice already made by more than 650 members of the nation’s EMS personnel. It is time to remember. We are very fortunate to have the leadership of these Senators associated with this project; the entire EMS community appreciates the introduction of this bill in the U.S. Senate."
This bill 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 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), and Congressman Timothy J. Walz (D-MN).