“We must efficiently become emergency medical services rock stars”
I have an advantage many others in EMS leadership do not have: my emergency medical services career started in late 1972 at the local volunteer fire and EMS station in my hometown. Many years ago, on the west coast, a survey was done to see what people expected from their emergency medical services and the three most important things on people’s minds at that time were: comes quickly, looks professional and is nice to me.
I think our leadership embraced the three most important things on people’s minds many years ago, but today, we need to add trust to that list. Our patients need to be able to trust that we will deliver the most up-to-date patient care, using the most modern equipment, and the best possible trained and educated paramedics and EMTs. (An EMS educator once told me there is a huge difference between training and education. She put it to me this way, “Would you want your child to come home from school and tell you they had sex training or sex education?” We must do all of this while arriving quickly, looking good and being nice.
Trust should be at the heart of every EMS service. The communities that we serve must trust us as well as our patients must trust us. Much of this is accomplished by making the patient our first and foremost consideration on every ambulance trip. Many of the following things are done every day in our organizations but do the people we serve and our community leaders we work for know and understand that we are doing them? We must demonstrate in our communities, constant improvement, performance assessments and an ongoing willingness to consider and act upon patient feedback.
Our organizations need to demonstrate strong business ethics as well as strong patient care ethics. We must always be patient advocates as well as develop methods to deliver and meet the performance standards of today while looking forward to future needs and requirements. In today’s world, in order to survive, we must efficiently become emergency medical services rock stars.
Yes, we must do all these things while responding quickly, looking good and being nice!
Zealously supporting Ohio’s third-service EMS agencies and chief officers,
Vincent T. Gildone, OEMSCA president