NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that The Council of State Governments supports the establishment of the Recognition of EMS Personnel Licensure Compact (REPLICA) and encourages its member jurisdictions to consider the new interstate agreement as an innovative policy solution to the challenge of interstate EMS personnel emergency and life-saving operations.

When Hurricane Sandy hit the mid-Atlantic and East Coast in late October 2012, it not only killed more than 200 people and caused tens of billions of dollars in damage. It altered the way this country manages disasters. Congress passed the Sandy Recovery Improvement Act of 2013 in late January. In addition to providing almost $51 billion for recovery and other projects, it amended the Stafford Act and key aspects of federal disaster assistance programs. Beyond the legislation, the hurricane also provoked debate on the underfunded National Flood Insurance Program, climate change and its impact on rising sea levels, the growing economic losses from disasters, community resiliency and rebuilding stronger versus not re-building at all. The country hasn’t witnessed this kind of national discourse related to a natural disaster since Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Yet even as these discussions took place, the harsh undercurrent of fiscal battles, partisan politics and citizens who require help persisted. Together, they have created an intense struggle that won’t be resolved any time soon.
 

Storms and disasters are going to happen in every state sooner or later. A plan is the most important thing to help save lives and minimize damage, energy experts say.

Storms and disasters are going to happen in every state sooner or later. A plan is the most important thing to help save lives and minimize damage, energy experts say.

Attendees joined state and federal emergency management and homeland security officials for a discussion on policy and technology developments related to preparing for and ensuring emergency communications to coordinate disaster response.

Attendees joined state and federal emergency management and homeland security officials for a discussion on policy and technology developments related to preparing for and ensuring emergency communications to coordinate disaster response.

The National Homeland Security Consortium (NHSC) is calling on leaders at all levels of government and the private sector to come together to address the increasingly complex and interdependent issues facing the nation. “With the 2012 elections behind us, now is the time for apolitical, non-partisan collaboration to advance national safety and security goals,” said John Madden, director, Alaska Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management. Madden is one of the tri-chairs for the NHSC, a voluntary group of 22 national associations formed in 2002 in an effort to collaboratively address homeland security issues.
 

A significant cyberattack in this country is inevitable, so states should take steps now to mitigate, manage and recover from it. Otherwise, officials will be caught unprepared while still being expected to successfully handle both the attack and its consequences, which could include everything from grounded air transportation to a compromised electrical grid, from faulty water treatment plants to unworkable ATMs. 

While states have had the authority to license emergency medical services personnel since the 1970s, the EMS industry has changed considerably in recent years.  It is becoming increasingly more common for EMS emergency services personnel to cross state lines to provide services in non-declared states of emergency, meaning in some instances EMS professionals are practicing medicine without a license.  While there have been limited efforts to address the problem—notably border states entering into memorandums of understanding to allow EMS personnel to work across state lines—a more permanent and wide-reaching solution has not been found. One possible way to solve this growing problem may be the formation of an interstate compact, which would allow member states to self-regulate the existing system for licensing EMS personnel.

Almost 60 years of federal record-keeping passed before this country reached its highest number of major disaster declarations, 81 in 2010. It took only one more year to shatter that record, with 99 in 2011. State emergency management handled the growing number of events even as the average operating budget slid for the second year in a row. While Congressional scrutiny over federal spending persisted in Washington, D.C., state emergency management showed the initiative and proposed a substantial restructuring of related federal grants, one that promotes flexibility and accountability. The backdrop to all of this is national elections, which can turn every issue—including better preparation for the next disaster in order to save lives and protect property—into a political football.

Chapter 9 of the 2012 Book of the States contains the following articles and tables:

Book of the States 2012

Chapter 9: Selected State Policies and Programs

Articles:

  1. Elections, Greater Federal Grant Scrutiny and Ongoing Disasters Continue to Test Management System
  2. ...

Pages