Office of Government Affairs

The Office of Government Affairs (Government Affairs) is dedicated to advancing EMS by cultivating collaborative partnerships between relevant constituents and State government. As MIEMSS’ liaison with the Executive and Legislative branches, Government Affairs helps to develop effective statutory and regulatory approaches and solutions to a variety of prehospital emergency and health care issues. It works on proposed legislation that affects all components of the statewide EMS system, the emergency care system, and Maryland’s healthcare system as a whole. By partnering with EMS clinicians, physicians, nurses, hospitals, and other health care providers, Government Affairs ensures that EMS system issues are accounted for in legislation under consideration by the Maryland General Assembly.

The 2023 Legislative Session saw the creation of the Commission to Advance and Strengthen Firefighting and Emergency Medical Services within Maryland. The Commission is charged with studying and making recommendations for enhancing recruitment and retention efforts to support both career and volunteer firefighting and EMS in Maryland. It will report its findings to the Legislature by December 1, 2023. The Session also established the Commission to Study Trauma Center Funding in Maryland to study the adequacy of funding for designated trauma centers for their operating, capital, and workforce costs. The Commission will report its findings and recommendations to the Legislature by December 1, 2023. Beginning January 1, 2025, grocery stores and restaurants, with certain exceptions, will be required to place automated external defibrillators (AEDs) on premises and maintain the functionality of the devices. Restaurants and grocery stores subject to the AED requirement must register their AEDs with MIEMSS, and will be able to claim a State income tax credit in years 2023- 2027 for the first $500 of the AED purchase price. MIEMSS will report on the placement and applications of AEDs in restaurants and grocery stores to the Legislature.

This year, statutory language pertaining to peer-support programs for Fire, Rescue, and EMS programs was clarified to reflect work currently underway to review and report on best practices and professional standards for these programs. Finally, a public awareness campaign will be conducted to encourage use of mental health advance directives in Maryland. A study will examine mechanisms by which first responders and behavioral crisis providers can access mental health advance directives via the State-designated health information exchange.

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