HD 19 Candidate Justin Berry Pauses Campaign to Discuss Texas EMS Policy
Texas House candidate Justin Berry (R) took a moment Saturday to discuss Texas EMS policy with ATEMSP leaders.
“It’s important for candidates to understand the complex nature of Texas EMS policy,” said ATEMSP Executive Director Daniel Owens. “It means a lot when a potential policy maker takes time to engage and understand this complexity.”
Berry is running for the newly drawn Texas House District 19, which includes Blanco, Burnet, Kendall, and Gillespie Counties and a portion of Western Travis County.
“HD 19 is a unique district,” said Owens. “EMS is provided by municipal, nonprofit, fire based, and tax district delivery models. Air Medical may be provided by a public, private, or nonprofit entity. Each of these delivery models have their own policy concerns that require unique policy approaches.”
Public safety policy is not a new domain for Berry. He’s actively served 14 years as an Austin Police Officer and has participated in numerous policy initiatives at both the local and state level. He helped pass SB 923 during the 84th Texas Legislative Session and was awarded the Distinguished Civic Leadership Award in 2018, for efforts related to Hurricane Harvey.
In Saturday’s meeting, ATEMSP leaders discussed the unique nature of EMS policy within the public safety domain. Specific topics included challenges facing the Texas EMS workforce, ESD funding of Community Paramedicine, EMS exclusion from public safety legislation, and the need for greater rural EMS grant funding.
“I’m committed to ensuring that public safety is a priority for our district,” said Berry. “As a police officer, I understand how vital seconds count when responding to an emergency. That begins with ensuring we have adequate police, fire, EMS, and dispatch services readily available to response when the next call to 911 is made.”
The next representative will take part in the 88th Texas Legislative Session, where numerous public safety policy initiatives are expected to emerge.
“The decreasing Texas EMS workforce, lessons from COVID-19, and the expansion of the EMS scope of practice will create significant policy issues going into the 88th,” said Owens. “We need policy makers willing to understand and address these issues.”
The Texas primary election takes place on March 1st. Voters can find their registration status and nearest polling locations here. Voters can also find further information about Berry and his campaign here.
“I would be honored for your vote to be the next State Representative for House District 19,” said Berry.
ATEMSP is the public policy voice for Texas EMS. All candidates and legislators are invited to discuss EMS policy needs specific to their districts. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to connect with an ATEMSP representative.