Budget cuts threaten EMS and emergency management agencies
Budget cuts to emergency management programs make it difficult for a community to be adequately prepared for a disaster
By Allison G. S. Knox, M.A., EMT-B, faculty member at American Military University
In the wake of the 2008 great recession, budgets and financial concerns have been at the forefront of policy making throughout the United States. Perhaps one of the most frustrating elements about working in emergency management and emergency medical services (EMS) are the constant threat of budget cuts.
[Related Article: How to be Prepared for Budget Cuts]
Cuts to Emergency Management
Budget cuts to emergency management programs make it difficult for a community to be adequately prepared for a disaster. Such agencies require resources to plan, prepare, respond, and recover from a disaster and when funding sources are slashed, communities often end up ill-prepared.
Citizens are also impacted by such budget cuts on a daily basis. For example, many communities are facing cuts to their 9-1-1 emergency system. Like many public safety programs, the 9-1-1 system cannot generate revenue, so it becomes a program that largely depends upon the government for funding and support. Liam Migdail-Smith writes in Emergency Management Magazine that the 9-1-1 system in Pennsylvania is experiencing rising costs—costs that the government simply can’t keep up with.
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