House Passes Emergency Medical Services for Children Reauthorization Act

May 16, 2024 Emergency Nurses Association ENA federal news Government Relations Legislation pediatric emergency care

For four decades, EMSC has funded pediatric readiness in emergency departments

SCHAUMBURG, Ill. (May 16, 2024) – The House of Representatives, in a bipartisan vote, approved the ENA-supported Emergency Medical Services for Children Reauthorization Act (H.R. 6960/S. 3765) on Wednesday.

The EMSC Reauthorization Act, introduced by Rep. Earl “Buddy” Carter, R-GA, is an ENA priority this year because of its importance as the only federal program dedicated to improving emergency care for children. Each year, 30 million children and adolescents visit emergency departments in the United States. This patient population presents unique challenges for health care providers during an emergency.

“Pediatric readiness is a growing priority around the country right now,” said ENA President Chris Dellinger MBA, BSN, RN, FAEN. “Those patients require specialized equipment and training. The EMSC reauthorization will ensure that EDs have access to those resources and can continue improving pediatric patients’ care.”

Last reauthorized in 2019, EMSC has provided EDs and pre-hospital emergency medical services personnel improved access to appropriate medication, equipment, training and systems for pediatric patients. But there is still work to be done to improve pediatric readiness. According to a 2021 study in JAMA Network Open, although progress has been made, many EDs do not fully meet national guidelines for pediatric emergency readiness, especially when it comes to the number of designated pediatric emergency care coordinators.

The EMSC program has received strong, bipartisan support since its enactment in 1984. It is also supported by a broad coalition of health care and patient advocate organizations. Because any disruption to EMSC funding would be detrimental to pediatric care, ENA encourages swift action in the Senate to pass EMSC so that it can be signed by the president before the current authorization for the program lapses on September 30.


The Emergency Nurses Association is the premier professional nursing association dedicated to defining the future of emergency nursing through advocacy, education, research, innovation, and leadership. Founded in 1970, ENA has proven to be an indispensable resource to the global emergency nursing community. With 50,000 members worldwide, ENA advocates for patient safety, develops industry-leading practice standards and guidelines and guides emergency health care public policy. ENA members have expertise in triage, patient care, disaster preparedness, and all aspects of emergency care. Additional information is available at

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