As we enter the second decade of the 21st century our profession is presented with more opportunities for advancement than ever before. Advances in education have provided expanded opportunities for computer-based and distance education. New instructional technologies in the classroom have given students enhanced opportunities to learn and practice the skills necessary for effective prehospital emergency care. Advanced healthcare technologies are fundamentally transforming the way that EMS responds to emergencies and treats those in need. CPAP, laptop computers, GPS systems, automated CPR devices, and transmitted 12-lead EKGs are among the available technologies that have been shown to improve patient care and saves lives.
Unfortunately, technology and training is not cheap. EMS services across Georgia are suffering the same financial woes being experienced by most Americans during the current economic crisis. Difficulties with Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements, increases in self-pay and non-insured patients, and increases in many operating costs have combined to make new technology a desirable, but often unaffordable, addition to prehospital care.
The Georgia EMS Preparedness Foundation was created to help all EMS agencies in Georgia have the opportunity to benefit from enhancements in education and patient care. The mission of the new foundation was to provide education opportunities for emergency medical services personnel, to educate the general public regarding emergency medicine issues, and to take such other actions as are beneficial to the profession of emergency medical service personnel and public.
This mission is important work for EMS in Georgia and is long overdue. The work that the Georgia EMS Preparedness Foundation will do over the coming years will have a positive impact on emergency medicine and will serve as a model for other states to use in establishing similar not for profit foundations to obtain funding for EMS in their states. The Georgia EMS Preparedness Foundation, a Section 501(c) (3) organization, will seek to accomplish these goals through the use of private and government grants and through tax-deductible donations.
Our mission is supporting EMS through education and awareness and to provide a funding source for the men and women of EMS, so that they can better serve the citizens of Georgia.
The members of the Georgia EMS Preparedness Foundation Board represent EMS personnel from across the state. Board members were selected from EMS education, administration, and operations from services around the state.
As a Section 501(c) (3) organization the foundation will be able to gain the maximum benefit from each dollar received. The members of the Georgia EMS Preparedness Foundation board are working to continue the tradition of EMS excellence in Georgia for the professionals that answer the call and the citizens of the state that count on that response. For further information on the work of the Georgia EMS Preparedness Foundation go to www.georgiaems.org.