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EMS Today: Gaining and Keeping the Public’s Trust

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Gordon Graham’s message was simple: Without the public's trust we have nothing.

In his brief closing ceremony speech at the 2013 EMS Today Conference, Graham addressed the reasons for the increase in public scrutiny and why the public is demanding full transparency in your operations. Graham shared ideas on how to learn exactly what the public thinks about your operations and how to reconnect with the public to better assure we can maximize their trust.

In a later breakout session, Graham talked about the key role of supervision. When you honestly study tragedies in public safety operations, all too often you can link the tragedy to the failure of supervisors to behave like supervisors, Graham said. He also shared ways to improve the quality of the selection process, the training process and how to properly mentor the new supervisor to maximize their effectiveness.

Graham also introduced the concept of NPCCR, which stands for non-punitive, close-call reporting.  It is a good idea to learn from the tragedies that occur in our profession. The better idea is to learn from the mishaps -- the sprains, strains, and other minor injuries. The best idea, he said, is to learn from mistakes -- the close calls.  

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