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My Letter to EMS Leaders, Managers, and Visionaries

Throughout my three-decade-long EMS career, I have come to appreciate the significance of having experienced mentors and dependable resources to navigate the intricacies of our complex EMS system. When I initially assumed leadership roles at both the state and national levels, I was struck by the scarcity of resources that could bridge the knowledge gap between local EMS leadership and the broader state or national leadership--understanding the history, grasping an overview of the organization, and possessing a guide to traverse the layers of influence. I was fortunate enough to have exceptional mentors, yet I witnessed many ambitious emerging leaders falter, in part, due to gaps in their knowledge and resources.

To help address this, I authored this book to provide a historical context for pivotal decisions that have shaped contemporary EMS systems. It is conceived as a desk reference, with each chapter functioning independently. You may notice some repeated information across different chapters, but this is intentional, serving to provide additional context in relation to the specific issue or historical event being discussed. Furthermore, I impart some insights drawn from my personal experience in leadership and management.

From the birth of EMS in the United States to current challenges such as health equity and COVID-19, my objective is to offer you an overview of key historical decisions and demonstrate how they persistently influence the design and operations of EMS in our country.

It is my hope that this book will not only act as a resource for budding EMS leaders, but also enable you to comprehend the historical underpinnings as the EMS system modernizes and evolves. By illuminating key facets of our history that are often neglected, we can delve deeper into understanding how EMS has developed, recognizing that our current state is inherently linked to past decisions. Each historical decision was made with purpose, and understanding this context will help guide us in shaping the future.

I am eager for you to embark on this journey with me, exploring the rich history, complex present, and opportunity-laden future of EMS in the United States. The work you undertake is critical for the health and safety of our communities. I am optimistic that this guide will prove to be an asset to you as you work tirelessly to enhance emergency medical care in the United States.

Kind Regards,


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