Solid, strong leadership is a quality that every organization and company seeks and appreciates. “A leader leads by example, whether he intends to or not,” said John Quincy Adams, who also said, “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.”
General Dwight D. Eisenhower defined leadership as the art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it. Management guru Peter F. Drucker further defined leadership by contrast: “Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.” These are wise words from wise leaders. But how do they apply to EMS?
Leadership is so important to everything we do in EMS, from our actions on the street in our communities and in our EMS agencies, to how we are trained, to the laws and regulations that govern our work within our states and our country.
We expect our EMS leaders to make sound decisions and then have the strength and fortitude to implement decisions, particularly those that might be difficult or unpopular. Good decision-making requires a knowledge base of the pros and cons of any choice; however, in the end the decision must be made without knowing exactly how it will affect the organization or individual.
Of course, leadership is not a singular action. Leading takes others to believe in the leader’s ability to set the right course and make the right choices. Sound execution of the decision and the ability to adjust course as needed during the process helps build confidence and trust in our leaders.
Ultimately, the final test of a leader is that he or she leaves behind in other people, the conviction and the will to carry on. In this context, the importance of EMS leadership is immeasurable. While we must continue to build and expand the clinical ability of EMS practitioners, it is incumbent upon our profession that we build within our ranks the ability to lead our profession into the future.
The number and diversity of EMS leadership training opportunities has increased in recent years. Below is a listing of some leadership training opportunities along with contact information to help you get started.
The Emergency Medical Services Field Training and Evaluation Program (EMS-FTEP)
This program is offered by the National EMS Management Association. It is based on the “San Jose Model” field training and evaluation program that is ubiquitous in the law enforcement community. EMS-FTEP presents a structured program for transitioning new employees into the EMS agency. It is designed and constructed to provide both the employee and the agency with the greatest possible chance of success, by providing a framework that assures employees understand, develop, and can demonstrate those skills and behaviors that the employing agency considers essential. EMS-FTEP consists of two parts – a Basic Field Training Officer Course and a program management course entitled Developing and Managing the EMS Field Training and Evaluation Program. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
EMS Leadership Academy
This program, offered by Aarron Reinert and John Becknell, is a dynamic, four-level educational program designed to prepare participants to lead and manage today’s emergency medical services. It is designed for current leaders, new leaders, and anyone with an interest in the leadership and management of EMS. The Academy program gives students the basic tools and information needed to quickly and successfully assume the role of leader. The program is offered in four levels: Managing and Leading the EMS Organization, Showing Up as a Leader, Moving Your Organization Forward, and Your Specific Role and Challenges: A Retreat. Each level is a two-day program presented on consecutive days. For additional information, contact email@example.com.
Fitch and Associates
This organization offers several programs that provide EMS leadership training.
Beyond The Street workshop – shows new supervisors how to think and act like leaders. Participants master essential management skills, from working effectively with different generations in the workforce and handling conflict to building trust with peers, bosses and other agencies. In this two-day workshop, attendees learn when to be directive, when to coach and when to delegate - and how to earn respect from the EMS field personnel they once worked alongside. Additional strategies include handling complaints effectively and building customer satisfaction.
Ambulance Service Manager - For aspiring, new and experienced managers who wish to develop their leadership competencies and sharpen essential management skills, the Ambulance Service Manager program provides a broad foundational curriculum that matches cutting edge management theory with real-life practical applications. The core faculty includes experts in the art and science of EMS management, as well as distinguished guest faculty representing current leaders in emergency medical services management. The American Ambulance Association, the leading ambulance service advocacy organization across the United States, sponsors this program.
For more information, visit www.fitchassoc.com.
EMS Leadership Podcasts
Hosted by Chris Cebollero, this site produces podcasts on a variety of EMS leadership topics that you can view at your convenience at www.emsleadership.com.
TEEX EMS Leadership Academy
The Texas Engineering Extension Service provides public safety and health care providers with management and leadership knowledge and skills to lead and direct EMS systems in today’s dynamic, ever changing environment. Content is focused on how to be people oriented, performance measured, and outcome driven. Using proven core competencies, this program provides leadership training at basic supervision, mid-level management, and senior management levels.
TEEX also offers a Leadership Symposium designed for fire and EMS service staff and command. The symposium program provides up-to-date information on leadership, management, safety, budgeting and other relevant topics for these challenging times.
For more information, visit the TEEX website.