Building the Image and Prestige of EMS Providers


Building the Image and Prestige of EMS Providers

The purpose of this group is for members to share those attibutes that make their service, company or agency an EMS provider of distinction. What makes your service stand out? What do you do to positively position EMS in your service area?

Members: 49
Latest Activity: Jul 5, 2013

Is Your Agency an EMS Provider of Distinction

In the highly regulated healthcare environment of public and private EMS, fire departments and ambulance companies struggle to stand out as “departments or companies of distinction” when competing for a stellar EMS and fire industry reputation, as well as, for increased levels of community responsibility. Please use this forum to share your insights on what an EMS Provider of Distinction is and the steps you believe are important for getting there.

This is also a good place to put EMS Good News press releases, announcements, invitations, etc.

EMS Discussion Forum

What Does Your Uniform Say About You and Your Service? 9 Replies

Last reply by Janet Smith Jul 6, 2010.

Support for EMS Recognition Efforts 2 Replies

Last reply by Janet Smith Jan 12, 2010.

The role of ceremony and recognition 5 Replies

Last reply by Skip Kirkwood May 30, 2009.

Comment Wall


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Comment by Jim Cole on September 16, 2010 at 6:57pm
THE organization for those who are in EMS management and leadership! Joining a professional organization will help build professionalism. A life and career changing conference. I hope you can make it. I'll be attending.
Comment by Tony A. Shope on September 6, 2010 at 5:04am
it starts with each individual brother.
Comment by Janet Smith on September 1, 2010 at 1:18pm
Don't be discouraged. The fix is relatively easy, especially when "salt of the earth" EMSers are involved. It takes some real thought and action on the part of leadership and then it can be pretty smooth sailing.

Your service needs a wake up call! Management needs to make an overt move in declaring culture and brand. There is nothing that will galvanize your service like leadership's involvement with the workforce. Encourage your new director to ride-along with ambulance crews armed with his vision for the company's future, how the company and its employees will behave to realize that vision and what he personally values (quality care, honesty, benevolence, competence, education, If he walks that talk, eventualy, even the most cynical person will come around.

Perhaps, your recommendation will also place you in that key communicator role and position you as a liaison between management and employees- the person who is listened to and believed by your peers.

Perhaps your workforce also needs a reminder- Responding to 9-1-1 calls is an honor. There is nothing more devastating to a service than being told- "You aren't trustworthy to do the 9-1-1 response any longer." Perhaps, this "what if" scenario might also help to rally the corps around celebrating the badge of honor your community has already entrusted you with. An event, celebration, news story about your collective "day in the life".
Comment by Brandi A. Harris on August 20, 2010 at 5:27pm
So I have question..... What if you want your company/service to be something that everyone can get behind and be proud of when no one cares. My service has or is still going through an overhaul, new director, new employees, other employees leaving that sort of thing. At one time we were going in the right direction but now...... it seems no one cares about why we are here or what we are here for. On top of that we are such a small service, with nothing to tie us together. Any ideas?
Comment by Skip Kirkwood on August 3, 2010 at 3:36pm
NREMT is a testing and registration organization - that's what we pay them to do. Public education is not part of their mission and charter.

NAEMT is supposed to be the advocacy group. Most of their efforts seem to focus on building membership or legislative advocacy, rather than public education.
Comment by Life Saver on August 3, 2010 at 1:10pm
i think NREMT should take part in educating the public in what paramedics are about and what we do. we pay them over 100 dollars a test to be nationally cert. then they give us a patch to wear (which means nothing to any one) and i just feel they should work for us alwell.. maybe start programs where we work together to educate the plublic CPR,First Aid,fire safety whatever but also to teach we are more then just ambulance drivers. i also support the idea of us all being "medics" i hate having to explain to my pts the difference in a basic and a medic.
Comment by Janet Smith on November 3, 2009 at 11:52am
Thanks to all of you, Rick, Keliana, Skip and Tony. I have to say, I didn’t expect the Kama Sutra reference but you certainly made a point, Skip.

What a great discussion! On a grand scale, I do believe we in EMS can have it all. And, you’re all right. It will take consensus and collective effort to animate the vision, culture and image of EMS as an undeniable “brand” having both prestige and respect among all stakeholder groups.

What I hear from all your dialogue is support for the notion of implementing sophisticated spot-on communications that start with identifying target audiences and key messages for each audience. Because every ambulance in America is licensed to provide services at the 9-1-1 level (and many non 9-1-1 contracted companies back-up 9-1-1 providers and/or serve as EMS providers during a declared disaster), EMS needs good identifiers the general public can embrace and trust like “medic” (regardless of the skill level). We also need effective business-to-business distinguishing monikers, “Specialty Care Transport”, ”Paramedic” “CCT certified paramedics”, “Basic Life Support”, “Flight Nurse,” etc. to distinguish an organization’s capabilities that solve marketplace needs. And, we need to tell the very provocative EMS story in such a way that we communicate an overlying EMS vision, culture and image that garners respect. It is the actions of thousands of brand ambassadors (all EMS professionals) who animate that vision, culture and image to earn the prestigious regard we desire.

So, how do we get there? Where do we start? In the absence of EMS leaders declaring “vision, image and culture” for EMS professionals at EMS organizations all over America, then those essential elements of the EMS brand will be made up by the actions of EMS employees and volunteers who serve without this essential communications leadership. And, because visibility builds credibility for any brand even if it is negative (or should I say, especially when it’s negative) the brand-negative actions of a few may taint the selfless contributions of thousands. Even though, many people consider formal communications strategy unnecessary BS, I contend it is crucial to EMS in general and certainly to those EMS organizations who desire to become distinguished Industry leaders. So, here’s how we solve the issue, one EMS service at a time.

1. EMS organization leaders, declare your vision, direct culture, and steer your organization’s image.

2. Only employ those who will support and animate that vision, image and culture as a distinguishing brand and be unrelenting on this point!

3. Make sure your company logo, patches, uniforms ambulances and business papers, website(s) etc. reflect your stated brand.

4. Then, Get Visible!! Make presentations, become a media resource, contribute to your community in-kind and as a supporter of those who champion EMS and illness and injury prevention, nominate your employees for prestigious awards and publish your success.

When you accomplish the action items listed above, you might be surprised how your vision, culture and image is duplicated by others who what you have- respect, prestige and distinction.
Comment by Tony A. Shope on November 1, 2009 at 9:58am
Absolutely agree, but training is part of the educational process, like with your analogy, if hands on practical application is not used then one of the two or three or get the idea... will not be a satisfied participant. But, like the Kama Sutra, it is a flow of information to and from to have a successful out come:) Minnimum standards are nessessary, however, it is up to the individual, then the team then the department to decide if this is what they want to shoot for, sadly i do agree that this low bar is what amy do stay with, but i feel we are evolving.
Comment by Skip Kirkwood on October 31, 2009 at 12:25pm
I think that you have to do both. You don't want to be educated without training either. Think of someone who has intently studied the kama sutra but who has never been alone with a member of the opposite gender. Educated, but not trained!

Unfortunately, the present state of affairs is that we do neither very well. We identify the minimum acceptable, and then aim for that. Allowing for the laws of physics (ballistic drop),is it any wonder that we're far below the target?
Comment by Tony A. Shope on October 31, 2009 at 10:41am
First of all, and formost we need to stop TRAINING! We are educated, this must start here, you can TRAIN a monkey to intubate, but can you EDUCATE it to make clinical decisions in crisis? think about it.

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