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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Advocating for EMS

Paramedics
Photo by Provided
Paramedics

When it comes to creating new legislation regarding medical care and  public safety, paramedics and EMTs are often overlooked. The Association of Texas EMS Professionals is setting out to change that. 

Many Texas A&M University graduates serve as leaders in ATEMSP, working to change the way EMS professionals are viewed within the legislature as lawmakers often misdefine and pass over EMS professionals when laws are creater or updated. 

According to Brandon Means, ATEMSP president and Class of 2016, the individual EMS worker’s best interests are not accounted for during the legislation process. 

“A lot of times laws that get passed benefit or protect public safety individuals and don’t include EMS workers,” Means said. “And the same goes for healthcare. They may include doctors, nurses and other healthcare providers and not necessarily paramedics or EMTs. We set out on a mission to basically achieve some political wins and get us a seat at the table with the healthcare providers and public safety providers.”

For Matt Short, civilian training officer and Class of 2001, ATEMSP’s purpose is to give a voice to forgotten first responders. 

“When you think of first responders, a lot of times people tend to gloss over the EMS people,” Short said. “We are healthcare providers and first responders, and we kind of that bridge between the two. We give a voice to that forgotten first responder, the EMT and the paramedic.” 

On-campus EMT Eric Leland said ATEMSP is creating positive change in communities all around Texas. 

“There has never been a cohesive lobbying effort for EMS, and it’s very advanced across Texas,” Leland said. “Departments may be very advanced or very poor, and there’s never been an effort to standardize. Nearly every profession has an advocacy group, and they’re the driving force of positive change. Without them, roles are stagnant and our perception in the community is nothing, so having these advocacy groups is how we intend to change that.”

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