Did you know that according to the U.S. Fire Administration’s National Fire Department Census that only 20.5% of the 26,482 Fire Departments in the United States provide EMS? Did you know that – according to the same census – only 55.21% of Ohio’s 1,143 registered fire departments provide ambulance service?
Why is this information important? On April 1, 2014, Governor John Kasich signed House Bill 51, merging the Ohio Medical Transportation Board (OMTB) into the State Board of Emergency Medical Services. The merged boards were retitled the State Board of Emergency Medical, Fire and Transportation Services, and the OMTB staff was merged into the Division of EMS to create a single lead agency for EMS, fire, medical transportation and trauma in the state of Ohio.
While this merger created a one‐stop‐shop for EMS, it did so while excluding the leaders of third service EMS agencies, and in fact loaded the board with representatives from fire departments and private ambulance companies.
This might seem an odd decision at first glance, but it was caused by the lack of any meaningful representation of Ohio’s third service government EMS agencies and departments. Since November 2012, representatives from third service departments throughout Ohio have been working to change that, and we are now proud to take this grass roots effort to the next level and create OEMSCA, the Ohio Emergency Medical Services Chiefs Association.
The mission of OEMSCA is to provide zealous representation for third service EMS agencies in the state of Ohio. Our goal is to provide a sustained and collective voice to our elected officials, professional associations, and the general public about the needs and continued viability of third service EMS. We also strive to provide career and volunteer EMS chiefs, chief officers, and managers with innovation and leadership through vision, information, education, services and representation to enhance their professionalism and capabilities.
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