A bill introduced to the New York State Senate in March proposes designating Emergency Medical Services in the state as an essential service.
Senate Bill s8432A, sponsored by State Senator Shelley B. Mayer, aims to create an EMS quality and sustainability assurance plan, an EMS training program and a "statewide comprehensive emergency medical system plan." The bill would additionally set EMS standards in the state as well as broaden benefits for EMS personnel, including expanding state health insurance and state pension eligibility to volunteer and non-profit EMS providers.
"Emergency Medical Service are services that everyone in the state expect to be available at all times and in all locations. These services are essential and are often a matter of life and death," the bill states. "Unfortunately, many EMS providers are struggling to find and retain staff. EMS feel that they are undervalued and under respected. This bill takes steps to recognize EMS as an essential service that must be provided in every area of the state."
The bill, which has not yet passed, currently sits in the Senate Local Government Committee. Supporters of the Make EMS Essential movement who reside in New York are encouraged to submit the New York Senate form in support of the bill.