Legislative Task Force on Emergency Medical Services convenes first meeting
SAINT PAUL, MN – Today, the Legislative Task Force on Emergency Medical Services (EMS) convened its public meeting in St. Paul. The task force, co-chaired by Rep. John Huot (DFL-Rosemount) and Sen. Judy Seeberger (DFL-Afton), was established to review the delivery of and obstacles to Minnesota’s EMS system and to receive public testimony from Minnesotans on the current and foreseeable needs in locations across the state.
“Our neighbors deserve quality emergency care when seconds count,” said Co-Chair Huot. “I encourage Minnesotans to contact us with personal stories and experiences they’ve had with emergency medical services; and what we can improve upon with EMS delivery in Minnesota. Let’s get to work.”
“As a paramedic myself, I’ve seen firsthand the calls that our EMS workers are answering every day in rural, suburban, and urban communities throughout Minnesota,” said Co-Chair Seeberger. “Unfortunately, Minnesotans are waiting longer for responses to these calls, and some are going unanswered due to the crisis before us. That’s why this task force is vital, and I look forward to working together with my colleagues, partners in public safety, and community members to find a solution.”
According to the Office of the Legislative Auditor’s 2022 Emergency Ambulance Report, in 2021, more than 250 licensed ground ambulance services responded to approximately 540,000 calls to 911 for medical emergencies in Minnesota.
Dr. Mike Wilcox is an emergency medicine physician from New Prague, Minnesota and medical director of various EMS organizations across the state for over 30 years. Currently, Dr. Wilcox also trains rural EMTs and provides medical direction for EMS organizations statewide.
“The expectations of our citizens, both metro and rural, is that EMS will be there if they have a medical or traumatic injury that demands that service,” said Dr. Wilcox. “We need to find a way to shore it up to have that service available for all Minnesotans.”
Minnesotans can sign up or email notification of all Task Force meetings and announcements here.
Next week, the task force will convene its first public field hearing at the Northeast Service Cooperative in Mountain Iron. Materials can be found on the task force’s webpage. A video recording of today’s hearing can be found here.