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Carter, Castor, Joyce, Schrier introduce Emergency Medical Services for Children Reauthorization Act of 2024

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Representatives Earl L. “Buddy” Carter (R-GA), Kathy Castor (D-FL), John Joyce (R-PA), and Kim Schrier (D-WA) today introduced the Emergency Medical Services for Children (EMSC) Reauthorization Act of 2024, a critical piece of legislation that will ensure children receive appropriate health care during a medical emergency.

Established in 1984, EMSC is the only federal program focused on enhancing emergency care for children and adolescents. From providing tailored medical equipment to recommended dosage requirements for prescription drugs, the EMSC program enables health care professionals to meet the specific needs of young patients and has decreased pediatric injury-related death rates by more than 40 percent.

“We owe our children the highest quality care possible, and the EMSC program ensures that all hospitals, regardless of their size or specialty, can meet the needs of young patients. As a pharmacist, I understand how critical it is that children receive care that is specialized to their unique needs. The EMSC program has proven that it is an effective approach to saving lives, and I am proud to lead this important bill reauthorizing the program,”
said Rep. Carter.

“Children require unique, specialized medical care in emergencies, including the more than 2 million kids in Florida who visit an emergency room each year,” 
said Rep. Castor. “For nearly four decades, the national Emergency Medical Services for Children (EMSC) initiative has improved the quality of care for children by recognizing the important physical, developmental, and psychological differences between pediatric patients and adults. I was proud to lead the last reauthorization of EMSC, which built on the initiative’s success to ensure that more of our kids get the right care when they need it. I’m thankful to work with bipartisan colleagues in introducing this reauthorization, which will increase EMSC funding to support continued improvements to pediatric emergency medical care and save the lives of countless children across the country.”

“When it comes to care and treatment, a child is not just a miniature adult. Children have unique medical needs and ensuring that they receive the correct care from the moment that an ambulance is called is critical to help save lives. For decades, the Emergency Medical Services for Children Reauthorization Act has helped protect our most vulnerable when they're in need,”
said Rep. Joyce.

"The Emergency Medical Services for Children Reauthorization Act is vital to getting pediatric patients the care that they need in the emergency department. As a community pediatrician, this program has greatly supported my work and my patients through research, training, grant funding, and data collection that has resulted in better emergency care and a decline in pediatric injury-related deaths by over 40% since the program began in 1984. I am proud to sponsor this bill with my colleagues in both parties, and am looking forward to the passage of this clean reauthorization that will benefit children nationwide,”
said Rep. Schrier.

EMSC funding is used to ensure that hospitals and ambulances are properly equipped to treat pediatric emergencies, provide pediatric training to paramedics and first responders, and improve the systems that allow for efficient, effective pediatric emergency medical care.

Supporting Organizations: Academic Pediatric Association, American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), American Ambulance Association, American College of Emergency Physicians, American Pediatric Society, Association of Maternal & Child Health Programs, Association of Medical School Pediatric Department Chairs, Children's Hospital Association, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Emergency Nurses Association, First Focus Campaign for Children, March of Dimes, National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians (NAEMT), National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners, National Association of State EMS Officials, National League for Nursing, Nemours Children's Health, Pediatric Policy Council, Society for Pediatric Research, The National Alliance to Advance Adolescent Health, and The Paramedic Foundation.

“Emergencies involving children can occur anytime, anywhere, and children need specialized care during an emergency. Thankfully, the Emergency Medical Services for Children (EMSC) program does just that, and the 
Emergency Medical Services for Children (EMSC) Reauthorization Act of 2023 will ensure it can continue for another five years. The American Academy of Pediatrics endorses this legislation, urges its swift passage, and thanks Representatives Buddy Carter (R-GA), Kathy Castor (D-FL), Dr John Joyce (R-PA), and Dr Kim Schrier (D-WA) for their work to champion this program,” said AAP President Ben Hoffman, MD, FAAP.  

Read the full bill text