Keith Edmonds

Keith Edmonds

As everyone is aware, the Arkansas General Assembly is in session to approve budgets for the State of Arkansas. The Session began on February 5, 2010 and the only decisions to be made this year are budgetary decisions.

The Arkansas EMS Profession was hit hard with budget cuts at the end of the 2009 fiscal year costing $5,000,000 to our Profession that was set aside at the beginning of the Trauma Funding to be dispersed among all EMS services in Arkansas for preparation of the Trauma System. This money was set aside in the budget under Category B subsection 1, which means that it is not guaranteed to be funded. All Category A budgets were funded, allowing for several grants to be made available to our EMS services and educational facilities.

We, as EMS Professionals, are very aware that all money is tight with the current economical situations that are being faced each day. EMS will see several of these situations arising in the next year even more so than we have in the past with the cuts in Medicare reimbursements.

I am asking for a favor from all of our EMS Professionals in the Great State of Arkansas. I ask that we all pull together to show our strength as equal to the Hospital Association, Nursing Association and the Physician Associations in asking for our part in funding for fiscal year 2010.

I ask that you join me in contacting both your State Representative and your State Senator in asking for the $5,000,000 that was cut in fiscal year 2009 Trauma Budget, Category B subsection 1, be funded in fiscal year 2010 under Category A.

If you are unsure who your Representative or Senator is, you can locate all of the Legislators at www.arkleg.state.ar.us.

The benefits of this funding will assist our Profession to grow with the Trauma System and not be behind all other services that are being funded.

Should you have any questions, please feel free to email me at keithedmonds@marioncounty.com and thank you for your efforts in promoting the greatest Profession in the World, Arkansas EMS.