Author: Meghan Winesett

2022 AAA Board of Directors Election Results

The winners of the 2022 AAA Board of Directors election are listed below. The term for each position will begin on January 1, 2023. For regions 1 and 3, two directors were chosen due to vacant positions. Please join us in thanking all candidates for their service to the American Ambulance Association.

President-Elect

Jamie Pafford-Gresham
Pafford EMS
Hope, AR

 


Treasurer

Julie Rose
Superior Air-Ground Ambulance Service, Inc.
Ashtabula, OH

 

 


Secretary

Wayne Jurecki
Bell Ambulance Service, Inc.
Milwaukee, WI

 

 


Region 1 Director – 3 Year Term

Dennis Cataldo
Cataldo Ambulance Service
Somerville, MA

 

 

 

Region 1 Director – 1 Year Term

Mike Addario
Global Medical Response
Baldwinsville, NY

 

 


Region 2 Director – 3 Year Term

Chuck Kearns
Mercy Ambulance Service, Inc
Savannah, GA

 

 


Region 3 Director – 3 Year Term

Tom Tornstrom
Gundersen Health System-Tri-State Ambulance
La Crosse, WI

 

 

Region 3 Director – 1 Year Term

Kyle Wolber
Superior Air-Ground Ambulance Service, Inc.
Winfield, IL

 

 


Region 4 Director – 3 Year Term

Allyson Pharr
Acadian Ambulance
Lafayette, LA

 

 


Region 5 Director – 3 Year Term

J.D. Fuiten
Metro West Ambulance
Hillsboro, OR

 

 

 

 


Ethics Committee

Hanan Cohen
Empress EMS
Region 1

 

 

 

Ron Quaranto
Acadian Ambulance
Region 4

CALL TO ACTION: Medicare Extenders Expiring

The temporary Medicare ambulance increases are scheduled to expire at the end of the year at a time when our industry is facing unprecedented financial challenges. In addition to extending the Medicare add-on payments for five years, the AAA is asking Congress to increase the 2% urban rate to 3.4%; the 3% rural rate to 4.3%; and the super rural 22.6% rate to 26.7% to help address the crisis.

The Protecting Access to Ground Ambulance Medical Services Act of 2021 (S. 2037, H.R. 2454) by Senators Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), Susan Collins (R-ME), Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Congresswoman Terri Sewell (D-AL), Congressman Markwayne Mullin (R-OK) and Congressman Peter Welch (D-VT) would extend the temporary Medicare ground ambulance increases of 2% urban, 3% rural and the super rural bonus payment for five years and help ensure that rural zip codes remain rural under the Medicare fee schedule following the upcoming zip code reclassification based on 2020 Census data.

These bills are essential to ensuring access for all patients to vital emergency and non-emergency care, but they still do not bring payment rates up to a level that covers the increased cost of labor and other expenditures. We ask that you write to your members of Congress to cosponsor S. 2037 or H.R. 2454 and support increasing the percentages to 3.4% urban, 4.3% rural and 26.7% for the super rural bonus payment.

Contact Your Legislators

Senate Appropriators Address AAA’s Request for Workforce Assistance

Message from AAA President Shawn Baird

The paramedic and EMT shortage has become a top policy priority of the AAA as we pursue several short and long-term initiatives to address this unprecedented crisis. Over the last several months, the AAA has been working closely with Members of the Senate Appropriations Problem Committee and the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) to secure a grant program that would assist ground ambulance service organizations in hiring and retaining paramedics and EMTs. I am extremely pleased to report that the Fiscal Year 2023 Senate HHS appropriations package includes the program language for which the AAA has been advocating.

The language in the Senate Report reads:

EMS Preparedness and Response Workforce Shortage Program.— The Committee recognizes that our Nation is facing a crippling EMS workforce shortage which threatens public health and jeopardizes our ability to respond to healthcare emergencies on a timely basis. ASPR should prioritize ensuring a well-trained and adequate ground ambulance services workforce in underserved, rural, and Tribal areas and/or addressing health disparities related to accessing prehospital ground ambulance healthcare services, including critical care transport.

In the House, the AAA’s efforts contributed to House appropriators increasing the ASPR account funding for the Hospital Preparedness Program (HPP) (more than $30 million). We anticipate that ASPR would focus its efforts to address the ground ambulance workforce shortage through the HPP, so this increase in funding is also a critical component of the AAA’s efforts.

Although the appropriations process has many more steps to go through before final passage, having the EMS workforce shortage highlighted in the Senate report is a critical step toward achieving our goal to provide ground ambulance services across the country with the help they need during this unprecedent time.

The AAA will continue to work closely with Congressional champions and the ASPR team as they shepherd this language through the next steps in the process. I would like to thank Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Chair Patty Murray (D-WA), Senators Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Susan Collins (R-ME), Shelly Moore Capito (R-WV), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS), Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and Ranking Members Richard Shelby (R-AL) and Roy Blunt (R-MO) for championing and supporting the effort.

AAA President
Shawn Baird

 

Application Period Extended for FY 2021 Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) Program

Please see the below notice from FEMA on the extension of the Assistance to Firefighter Grant (AFG) Program:

“FEMA has been working with the General Services Administration to resolve interface issues related to SAM.gov that were affecting some applicants’ ability to begin inputting their federal fiscal year (FY) 2021 Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) Program applications into the FEMA GO System. Specifically, this issue included applicants that received error messages stating their organizations were not found and that their Unique Entity Identifier (UEI)/Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) combination did not exist despite the applicants’ SAM.gov accounts being fully active.

As this issue is ongoing, the FY 2021 AFG Program application period will remain open until January 21, 2022 5:00 p.m. ET. All applicants will automatically be granted this extension. This ensures that applicants affected by the UEI/EFT issue will have sufficient time to complete the online application. The extension to the application period will not affect the award timeline. In the meantime, FEMA continues to strongly encourage applicants to review the FY 2021 AFG Program Notice of Funding Opportunity and the associated tools posted on the FEMA website here: FY 2021 Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) Application Guidance Materials | FEMA.gov. In preparation for application submission, applicants may also draft their narratives separately and cut and paste them into the appropriate areas of FEMA GO once the SAM.gov interface issue is resolved. The questions that are asked in the narrative section may be found in the FY 2021 AFG Program Narrative Get Ready Guide.

Fire Grants Help Desk: If you have questions about the NOFO or application process, call or email the Fire Grants Help Desk. The toll-free number is 1-866-274-0960; the e-mail address for questions is firegrants@fema.dhs.gov.The Fire Grants Help Desk is open Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. ET. “

 

Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program- Non Affiliated EMS Organizations Are Eligible

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program (AFG) applications are open. The goal of the grant program is to assist fire departments and non-affiliated emergency medical service organizations in meeting their needs to serve their communities. The grant assists these organizations in obtaining equipment, protective gear, emergency vehicles, training and other resources. Non-affiliated EMS organizations including non-hospital based (private or public) nonprofit, or governmental organizations are eligible to apply. Applications close on Friday, December 17, 2021 at 5pm ET.

Eligible organizations can review the help documents linked below:

If you need assistance in completing your grant application or have any questions you can call or email the Fire Grants Help Desk at 1-866-274-0960 or firegrants@fema.dhs.gov Monday-Friday from 8am-4:30pm ET.

2021 AAA Board of Directors Election Results

The winners of the 2021 AAA Board of Directors election are listed below. The term for each position will begin on January 1, 2022. In compliance with our updated association bylaws, the candidate who received the most votes in each region will serve a one-time three year term and the candidate with the second most votes will serve a two-year term. Please join us in thanking all candidates for their service to the American Ambulance Association.

Region I

Director (3 year term)

Jim O’Connor
Vice President
Empress EMS
White Plains, NY


 

Director (2 year term)

Ron Quaranto
Executive Vice President of Operations
Cataldo Ambulance
Somerville, MA

 

Region II

 

Director (3 year term)

Terence Ramotar
Director of Government Affairs- Southeast Region
Global Medical Response
Tampa, FL

 


 

Director (2 year term)

Mike Thomas
Director of Safety & Government Relations
Jan-Care Ambulance
Beckley, WV

 

Region III

Director (3 year term)

Chris Anderson
Director of Operations
Bell Ambulance, Inc.
Milwaukee, WI

 

 


 

Director (2 year term)

Tom Schmiedeknecht
Director of Operations / President
Professional Med Team
Muskegon, MI

Region IV

 

Director (3 year term)

Angie McLain-Johnson
Chief Compliance and Revenue Officer
Pafford EMS
Edmond, OK

 

 


 

Director (2 year term)

Tom Fennell
Regulatory Officer
Mayo Clinic Ambulance
Rochester, MN

 

Region V

Director (3 year term)

Paul Main
President / General Manager
American Ambulance of Visalia
Visalia, CA

 


Director (2 year term)

Chris Archuleta
CEO
Superior Ambulance Service, Inc
Albuquerque, NM

 

Ethics Committee

Allyson Pharr
Acadian Ambulance

Scott Mickelsen
Bell Ambulance, Inc.

2021 Ambulance Ride-Along Toolkit

AAA ambulance emt member legislation

2021 Ride-Along Toolkit Now Available!

Educating your members of Congress about ambulance industry issues makes them more likely to support our policy efforts. An easy and effective way to educate them is to invite them to participate in a local Ambulance Ride-Along!

Congress has adjourned for summer recess and members have returned home to their districts and states. This is the perfect opportunity for you to educate your members of Congress about our issues, in particular our Medicare Ambulance Bill, Balance Billing, and access to the Provider Relief Fund, which are all essential to your service.

The most effective way to deliver these key messages is to host your member of Congress or their staff on a tour of your operation and an ambulance ride-along. While COVID-19 has made a traditional ride-along difficult, you can still host them for a virtual site visit to show your operation and how you are handling the public health emergency. The AAA has made the process of arranging a ride-long or scheduling a meeting easy for you with our 2021 Congressional Ride-Along Toolkit.

Everything you need to arrange the ride-along or schedule a meeting during this time of social distancing and virtual participation is included in the Toolkit. Act now and invite your elected officials to join you on an Ambulance Ride-Along!