Drew Dawson began his EMS career in the late 1960s with a volunteer ambulance service in a small rural community, before there were any training standards. He eventually coordinated the third EMT program in Montana and advanced to serve as Montana’s State EMS Training Coordinator and ultimately became Montana’s State EMS Director, a position he held for more than 20 years.
In 2003, Dawson was selected to head up the emergency medical services program at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), where he took a leadership role in supporting and improving the nation’s EMS systems. Throughout his decorated career, Dawson has been a consistent proponent of improving national EMS standards and ensuring that the public receives a consistent level of emergency care throughout the nation. He has been involved in nearly every major improvement and initiative in modern EMS.
As Director of NHTSA’s Office of EMS, Dawson worked tirelessly behind the scenes to improve EMS throughout the nation. He was responsible for the establishment and continued implementation of the National EMS Advisory Council, the Federal Interagency Committee on Emergency Medical Services, and the National 9-1-1 program.
Dawson assisted with the EMS Agenda for the Future, and was instrumental in conceptualizing and advocating for the EMS Education Agenda for the Future, which has guided EMS education and certification improvements for many years. He has been a strong supporter of the efforts by JEMS and EMS Insider to promote and support leaders and leadership roles in the EMS industry.
Dawson retired from federal service in October 2015 and returned to his beloved state of Montana.
For his lifetime commitment to the development and improvement of EMS throughout the nation, JEMS, EMS Today and PennWell Corporation are pleased to recognize Drew Dawson with a Lifetime Achievement Award at EMS Today 2016.