NASEMSO Statement on Unity and Equity

June 19, 2020

The last several weeks have illustrated, in vivid detail, the brutality endured by people of color simply because of their race. Our society’s progress towards racial equality is clearly and appallingly inadequate, and far from the ideal espoused under the Constitution of the United States that all persons are created equal.

We have witnessed acts inflicted on people of color that have completely disregarded the basic tenets of humanity, security, ethics, and justice that we tell ourselves we and our country value. The tragedy does not end there. Racial minorities have suffered far worse from the COVID-19 pandemic than the white population. According to the Atlantic’s COVID Racial Data Tracker, “Black people are dying at a rate nearly two times higher than their population share.” Similarly, Native American and Hispanic populations have seen infection rates that are among the highest in the country.

The National Association of State EMS Officials unequivocally asserts:

  • That racial bias exists, and permeates the very fabric of our society;
  • That bias inevitably influences the way we interact with other people to include, but not limited to, the provision of emergency medical care and access to health care; and
  • That bias cannot exist in a society truly striving toward equality.

The National Association of State EMS Officials, as an association representing emergency medical care across all the states and territories, and whose membership is itself a diverse community of leaders from numerous ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds, recognizes and accepts our responsibility to help renounce and eradicate racism and bias of any type and manifestation. We must assure that each facet of the emergency medical system is inclusive, informed, and committed to end racial inequality and racism. We must identify any biases within ourselves, and have the courage and empathy to fully commit our platform and resources to create an inclusive, diverse society with the cornerstone of equality for all.

To that end, the National Association of State EMS Officials commits to:

  • Consistently stand and speak against racial injustice;
  • The use of our resources to identify racial disparities, not only nationally, but in each of our member states and territories; and
  • The identification and implementation of actionable steps that eliminate racism and bias.

Furthermore, we call upon our colleagues and other associations involved with the provision of emergency care to stand with us in speaking for those who cannot speak for themselves or whose voices have fallen on the deafened ears of biased persons with closed minds and uncaring hearts.

We are a beautiful nation, comprised of an endless array of colors, ethnic backgrounds, and cultures. It is who we are as a nation, and who we will always be. When one color is not allowed to shine as brightly as another or is actively diminished or suppressed, then we are all made less.

We see those colors. We hear you and join you on our journey to unity and equity.