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Bradford, PA 16701
Phone: 814-362-4400
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Room 1
Coudersport, PA 16915
Phone: 814-274-9769
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Kane, PA 16735
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150 Main Capitol
PO Box 202067
Harrisburg, PA 17120-2067
Phone: 717-787-5075
Fax:  717-705-7021

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Causer, Lawmakers Renew Efforts to Rescue PA Fire, EMS Services
HARRISBURG – Rep. Martin Causer (R-Turtlepoint) stood with nearly three dozen lawmakers and first responders at the state Capitol Monday to kick off legislative efforts to support fire and ambulance services across the Commonwealth.

“We are facing many challenges in our state right now, but ensuring the viability of our emergency response organizations should be at the top of the list, especially in rural areas like the one I represent,” Causer said. “Emergency responders save lives, and we need to do all we can to ensure they can continue to serve our communities.”

Listen to Rep. Causer’s comments following the Capitol press conference here

During Monday’s press conference, lawmakers highlighted a package of 16 bills they hope to advance in support of first responders, including two bills Causer will introduce to address the financial challenges plaguing emergency medical services across the state.

One measure aims to increase funding available through the Emergency Medical Services Operating Fund (EMSOF) by increasing the surcharges assessed upon moving violations and providing guidelines for how a portion of the fees would be used. Under the bill, the surcharges would increase to $20 for moving violations and $50 for driving under the influence convictions, the first increase in more than 20 years. The bill also would require not less than 30 percent of the fund be used for EMS training needs in rural Pennsylvania and not less than 10 percent be used for equipment needs for individual ambulance companies.

“The lack of affordable and easily accessible training options is having a serious impact on efforts to keep existing EMS volunteers or recruit new ones,” Causer said.

Causer’s second measure seeks to increase the Medicaid reimbursement rates for emergency medical services, which haven’t been increased since 2004. The current rates for Advanced Life Support (ALS) and Basic Life Support (BLS) are $200 and $120 per trip, respectively. Causer’s bill proposes to increase the rates for the 2017-18 budget by as much as 50 percent.

“The current rates are more than 200 percent below Medicare and commercial insurance reimbursements and do not come close to covering the real cost of transporting Medicaid patients,” Causer said. “For our ambulance companies to remain viable, the reimbursement rates must be increased.”

Other measures aim to promote recruitment and retention by offering online training to make the process more convenient, providing loan forgiveness to attract volunteers, and developing a pilot program to offer firefighter training in secondary schools; provide tax credits to businesses that excuse their employees when they need to respond to emergencies or undergo training; and provide new billing options for fire departments and EMS organizations.

Click here to see a full list of bills in the Firefighter/EMS Support package.


Representative Martin T. Causer
67th District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Patricia A. Hippler
717.772.9846 /
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