By Ruth Brown, Idaho Reports
Sen. Mark Harris, R-Soda Springs, introduced a concurrent resolution Tuesday regarding emergency medical services in Idaho to commit to continuing to make a plan regarding a growing statewide concern.
In the state of Idaho, EMS is not classified as an essential service and EMS receives no state general funds. Each county funds emergency medical services differently. The resolution, sponsored by Harris and Rep. Megan Blanksma, R-Hammett, is a commitment to encourage the Department of Health and Welfare to develop a plan and draft legislation to address the statewide concern.
The concurrent resolution includes a total of $700,000 of EMS dedicated funds to be used for planning activities split between Fiscal Year 2023 and FY 2024. The EMS dedicated fund has an adequate balance to cover all expenses needed for fulfilling the resolution, according to its fiscal note.
The resolution states “the existence of a reliable EMS response throughout Idaho is vital to the well-being of all those who live, work and recreate in Idaho.”
It goes on to outline that the demand for EMS is rapidly increasing and the rising costs cannot meet the demand for residents. It asks the IDHW convene in cooperation with the EMS Sustainability Task Force and Legislative Services to draft legislation for the 2024 legislative session.
Idaho Reports spent the summer talking to rural EMS providers. That package can be found below.