WASHINGTON, D.C. – This week, Congressman Stephen F. Lynch (D-Boston) and Congressman Peter T. King (R-New York) introduced H.R. 1037, A Bill to Establish a National EMS Memorial. Each year, the 850,000 first responders of the Emergency Medical Services (EMS) answer more than 30 million calls serving 22 million patients in need of life-saving care at a moment’s notice without reservation. The men and women of the EMS are our country’s first line of defense in the prevention and mitigation of risk from terrorist attacks, man-made incidents, and natural disasters. This bipartisan legislation creates a National Emergency Medical Services Memorial Foundation to establish a commemorative work on federal land in the District of Columbia to honor the ongoing commitment and sacrifice of the EMS members across the country.
“Americans rely on the courage and selfless sacrifice of the men and women of the Emergency Medical Services. I deeply appreciate their commitment to maintaining safety and security in our country. We cannot forget the risks that these first responders face from high injury rates to more than 600 professionals who gave their lives protecting their communities,” said Congressman Lynch. “I am proud to introduce H.R. 1037alongside my friend, Pete King of New York, in order to honor the members of the EMS and memorialize the sacrifice made by first responders and their loved ones.”
“The men and women of EMS put their lives on the line to save our families and loved ones. Unfortunately, too many of these heroes have made the ultimate sacrifice. I am proud to work with Congressman Lynch to make sure the EMS community is given the proper memorial to recognize their sacrifice and commitment,” said Congressman King.
In particular, H.R. 1037 authorizes the National Emergency Medical Services Memorial Foundation to establish a commemorative work recognizing the commitment and service represented by the EMS under the Commemorative Works Act. The legislation notes that “the scope of responsibility assumed by the men and women of the Emergency Medical Services is broad and unique and their sacrifice and commitment in service to our Nation are deserving of a commemorative work that recognizes such.”
“As a nation we rely on the men and women of EMS to respond to every one of our calls without hesitation. We know that our lives mean something to them, so much so that they are willing to give up their own to help us. We cannot ignore or forget the commitment, service and sacrifice of those who would give so much for others. All we want is to let them know that their lives mean something to us,” said Katie Orsino, Executive Director of the National EMS Memorial Foundation.
H.R. 1037 is cosponsored by Representatives Raul Ruiz (D-CA), Daniel Lipinski (D-IL), Jeff Duncan (R-SC), Denny Heck (D-WA), Katherine M. Clark (D-MA), Timothy J. Walz (D-MN), James P. McGovern (D-MA), Kathleen M. Rice (D-NY), William R. Keating (D-MA), and Joseph P. Kennedy III (D-MA).