The following is a news release from CSG Affiliate The National Emergency Management Association (NEMA)
April 9, 2020
Lexington, KY – The state of California is sharing lifesaving ventilators this week with at least 6 other states to support patients being treated for COVID-19, including New York, New Jersey, Illinois, Maryland, Delaware, Nevada, as well as the District of Columbia. These ventilators are owned by California and loaned through the Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC) – a nationally adopted mutual aid agreement. Two additional states have shared Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and a public health incident management team.
States sharing resources with each other during emergencies and disasters is very common through EMAC, but mutual aid in response to COVID-19 has been limited. “States have been understandably hesitant to share health and medical personnel, equipment, and supplies because of the critical need to have those resources immediately available to take care of their own citizens,” says Trina Sheets, Executive Director, National Emergency Management Association. “As some states start to turn the corner, we hope they’ll be able to help others who are nearing or may not have reached their projected peak of coronavirus cases.” The sharing of ventilators by the West Coast is a good sign.
EMAC can also be used by states to expand their healthcare capacity by allowing physicians to treat patients in other states, both in-person and virtually. This is possible because the law provides protections for tort liability and licensure reciprocity. An EMAC for Telehealth fact sheet and template for a governor’s executive order has been developed by NEMA.
Joyce Flinn, EMAC Committee Chair and Director of Iowa’s Homeland Security and Emergency Management commented, “During this unprecedented time in our country’s history, I’m proud to see states are utilizing EMAC to request and provide needed resources. A sincere thank you to all EMAC members for the great work you are doing in your state and for reaching out across the nation.”
Established in 1996, EMAC was ratified by Congress and signed into law (Public Law 104-321). It is the first national disaster-relief compact to be ratified by Congress since the Civil Defense Compact of 1950. All members must pass state legislation approving their participation in EMAC. The compact is administered by the National Emergency Management Association (NEMA).
For more information on NEMA, contact Karen Langdon, Media Coordinator, at [email protected].
NEMA is the association of professionals dedicated to enhancing public safety by improving the nation’s ability to prepare for, respond to and recover from all emergencies, disasters and threats to our security. NEMA is an affiliate organization of The Council of State Governments, headquartered in Lexington, Kentucky.
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