Although meeting with your congressional leaders in Washington, D.C. is a direct and effective way to advocate for our profession, there are many opportunities outside of our Capitol for you to advocate on behalf of EMS.
Get to know your congressional delegation. It’s easy to find information about your Senators and House leaders simply by looking for them on most commonly used search engines, such as Google, Yahoo, Bing, or MSN. You can also find information through NAEMT’s ENGAGE! website.
Find the committees and sub-committees of which your congressional leaders are members. All legislation is reviewed by committees and sub-committees in the Senate and House. Be prepared to discuss EMS related legislation being considered by their committees or sub-committees. Here is a basic breakdown of how legislation is reviewed.
Schedule meetings with your Senators and House Representative in their District Office when they are at home. Try to schedule meetings around holidays, such as Easter, Independence Day, August recess, or Election recesses. Congressional leaders are more often at home on Friday through Monday, as votes are most often taken in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday-Thursday. Build relationships with congressional staff who work in your district office.
Attend town hall meetings. Participation in these meetings not only allows you an opportunity to share your concerns with your congressional leaders, it gives the members of your community to also learn about the issues that are impacting EMS.
Send letters and make phone calls. Letters, emails and phone calls do have an impact. Make sure when communicating with your congressional leaders that you clearly indicate your name, position that you hold in EMS and the service at which you work.
Promote your EMS service in your local paper. Your congressional delegation reads the local newspapers FIRST, then the Washington Post. So, work with your local newspaper to generate positive placements – stories about how local EMS practitioners save lives, challenges, successes.
Engage State and Local Elected Officials (“Grass-Tops”)
Make it easy for your “Grass Tops” to help you by
Join your state EMS association. Many state associations already have legislative programs in place in which you can become involved. Click here for a listing of state EMS associations.
Join NAEMT's state advocacy network. NAEMT has established a network of state advocacy coordinators to help build and support national EMS advocacy efforts within their respective states.Click here to connect with your state's advocacy coordinator.