Senate bill limits fire fighter representation on state EMS Advisory Board

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ROGERSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) –  A bill in the hands of a senate committee could limit the number of members on the state’s Emergency Medical Services Advisory Board.

Senate Bill 387 would cut membership down from 25 members to 11. Many of the proposed cuts represent the state’s fire departments.

“We deserve a voice on that EMA committee,” stressed Rogersville Volunteer Fire Department Assistant Chief Morris Lentz. “An equal voice, not a majority voice, but an equal voice with the others.”

The bill was introduced last week by Senator Paul Sanford. It’s currently in review by the Senate Committee on Health and Human Services.

“Reducing that voice of the fire fighters to one statewide, is not a good idea,” said Lentz. “That EMS committee makes recommendations to the state EMS department, and we have a lot of volunteer fire departments in the state who respond to a lot of EMS calls.”

Lentz said last month, 70 percent of the calls the team responded to were EMS related. For all of Lauderdale County, 50 percent of the calls departments received were EMS calls.

“EMS is a response that we do quite often here in the county and statewide,” Lentz explained. “It just doesn’t make sense for us not to have an equal voice, and let me stress that – we’re not asking for the majority – we’re just asking for an equal voice.”

Assistant Chief Lentz also said his guys are often the first on the scene to a medical call, making their role even more vital. That’s why he wants the community to contact their senators, to vote against the bill that limits their voices.

Other representatives  cut from the board would be those from the Department of Public Safety and Emergency Management Council, just to name a few.