Published On: Fri, Nov 22nd, 2013

EMS squads rally against broker system

Emergency Medical Service squads from across West Virginia gathered in a rally on Monday, Nov. 18 at the south-side steps of the West Virginia Capitol building to urge Gov. Tomblin to protect rural emergency medical services and reject a proposal for the state to contract with a broker for non-emergency medical transportation (NEMT).

Medical first responders, paramedics and emergency medical technicians depend on revenue they earn from non-emergency medical transportation to subsidize their emergency medical services. The state’s plan to contract with a broker to schedule NEMT runs threatens the EMS squads’ future in NEMT. Without NEMT, many of them would not be able to maintain their emergency ambulance services, which would threaten the health and safety of the West Virginians they serve, especially in rural areas.