Letter to the Editor: EMS, Taxpayers Should Not Bear Burden of Transporting Prisoners

In an emergency, when we need medical help, we call 911. We have come to expect that highly trained EMS personnel will arrive in a timely manner to help those who need medical assistance.

Tragically and increasingly, our EMS responders do not have the resources they need. Simply put, our EMS agencies are underfunded and understaffed. They struggle with issues of recruitment and retention, but also issues like fleet maintenance, supply shortages, and adequate training. In addition, in the 24th Senatorial District that I represent, area EMS companies are not being fully reimbursed by the state Department of Corrections for transporting prisoners. It is unacceptable that struggling EMS responders and local taxpayers should bear the burden of paying to transport those who have been convicted of committing a crime.

During the recent hearings in Harrisburg about our state budget, I asked the Pennsylvania Department of Health why the state is not reimbursing EMS companies to transport prisoners to hospitals. Sadly, the answer was “I’ll get back to you”.

It’s time for the Shapiro Administration to adequately fund our EMS companies and reimburse them for the important and vital work they do every day in our communities.

Pennsylvania Senator Tracy Pennycuick, 24th District
Senator Pennycuick’s district includes Montgomery and Berks Counties  

CONTACT: Lidia Di Fiore (215) 541-2388

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