Monday, November 8, 2010

Re-shaping the future of EMS

After last week's EMS Garage, I have decided to express my "ideas" on what EMS should be. I will start with today's post. It is a summary of sorts regarding a few key items WE need to work on. I will go into more detail with each one in future posts. What I would like is feedback from you the readers. Tell me what you think. What do you agree with? Please, post replies, send me a message, a smoke signal, whatever.


A set of standards for all ems agencies

Whether we are paid, volunteer, rural, urban…we need a set of standards that ALL of us must follow. Standards for safety, Protocol development, QA/CQI. Response times (because there is a point when it is irresponsible)


Improvements in the education system for ems providers

If we are to play a significant role in healthcare, our education has to be improved. There are too many medics on the street who were smart enough to make it through a class, not piss off the preceptors, and pass an exam. Is this really all we are asking of a healthcare professional? Apparently it is in EMS. EMS needs to become a "licensed profession", and not a "certified trade".


As an industry we need to move away from the "Mother may I?" concept of patient care

After forty years, we should be beyond this type of service protocol. We have come a long way in the treatment we are able to provide. Yet, services still exist that require you to contact medical control to administer pain meds for a fracture. Really?


More stringent standards for medical director involvement

There are services who have a medical director who plays an active role. They work with the development of policies and procedures, they have a part in protocol development. They respond in the field or do a ride along once a month. I believe these are services that would stand out from those who have a medical director that signs the paperwork each year.


Develop "One Voice" for ems

We need one entity to represent us and go to battle for us.  EMS is too splintered right now. You have the NAEMT, which is a fantastic organization. But…not all providers support the NAEMT through membership. You have the American Ambulance Association, yet another great organization. However, for some providers, these are not the groups they believe are doing the most to further our cause. To some, organizations such as NEMSA are the one pushing forward to make ems more of a profession.


Thanks for reading and to quote Hill Street Blues…"Be Careful Out There".


  1. There's some very good ideas in here...ideas that have been floating around in some shape or form for quite some time now, especially in "our" section of social media.

    However, the way I see it, these changes won't be made easily. Why? Because they're all interconnected.

    We want to be able to do our jobs with asking our medical director for everything, but they're scared to let us because of the uneducated medics out there. The ones that just made it through the class and passed the exam.

    We want more education, but other people don't see the need for it because we're at the stage where people have to call their medical director to administer pain meds for a fracture.

    It's hard to change one without changing the other first.

    As for having one voice, #EMS2point0 is the voice. We just need to get everyone else on board. In my opinion, the only way you can make the big changes happen is to make the attitudes change on the local level and work your way up. I'm not saying it can't happen, it will just take time and a group of dedicated people to make it happen.

  2. Thanks Lizzie. I agree with you. It will be a very difficult road ahead of us. It will be a HUGE change in the way we function. I am hoping that us 2.0ers are the ones who will make the change happen.