CT Legislators Commit to Workforce Development in EMSHARTFORD, CT - In a press conference held Monday morning, Connecticut State Senator Saud Anwar addressed a multitude of concerns over EMS system failings. The senator acknowledged issues facing first responders across the state from personnel shortages to insufficient reimbursement rates, clunky interactions between hospitals and private providers, and even over-reliance on volunteers.
Critically, the senator acknowledged the failure of low wage rates in Connecticut stating,
“..pay is becoming an increasingly pressing issue for EMS systems around the state…the reimbursement rate for transportation of acute medical and nonemergency cases has decreased; it is not keeping pace with salaries and worker needs.” – Sen. Saud Anwar
“If this issue is not addressed, our systems run the risk of attrition on top of what has already been, placing more strain on fewer workers in a downward spiral; it has already led to a reduced workforce and reduced services..” – Sen. Saud Anwar
While no specific bills or legislation were mentioned in the address, the South Windsor democrat did refer to both short-term and long-term goals of the party in EMS. Short-term goals discussed Monday morning largely centered around the issue of pay and workforce development. These targets being counteractive measures against lengthy response times as well as burnout among active first responders.
Long-term goals discussed in the press conference aimed to address aging demographics of Connecticut, referencing that “(Connecticut is)..the seventh-oldest, as of 2021.” Collaborations with other state services were also mentioned as a longer term goal calling back to what Senator Anwar dubbed “EMS deserts.” This referring to numerous rural districts in Connecticut where in some cases only volunteer EMS service is available for residents.
IAEP National Director Phil Petit and Connecticut based IAEP National Representative Peter Zera met with Senator Anwar after the press conference to discuss the future of CT EMS. Director Petit had this to say about the day’s events,
“This address was a great example of Senator Anwar and the Connecticut legislature’s willingness to stand behind first responders. We are already targeting multiple bills with the anticipation of several more soon to be released. Today was just the start of our advocacy for change in Connecticut EMS in 2023.” – IAEP National Director Phil Petit
Read the full address by Connecticut State Senator Saud Anwar here.
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