Throughout 2017 and 2018, EMS community members, stakeholder organizations and the public came together to create EMS Agenda 2050. Over the course of those two years, the EMS Agenda 2050 project’s Technical Expert Panel (TEP) took the hundreds of ideas they heard and wrote a new Agenda for the Future, which lays out a vision for EMS system advancements for the next 30 years.
Out of more than 150 applicants, these 10 professionals with diverse backgrounds in public safety and healthcare were selected by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Office of EMS and its federal partners to form the TEP. They then led the effort to engage in dialogue with colleagues and each other and create the new agenda.
The TEP’s work included the creation of two straw man documents to stimulate conversation around what should or should not be in the new agenda. The panel attended four meetings across the country, led conference sessions, listened to webinars, and read through pages and pages of feedback, tirelessly working to make sure no voice went unheard.
The process culminated in a vision of a people-centered EMS system, rooted in six guiding principles: 1) inherently safe and effective; 2) integrated and seamless; 3) reliable and preparedl; 4) socially equitable; 5) sustainable and efficient; and 6) adaptable and innovative. These six principles will serve as a framework for EMS systems across the country and include some recommendations that will challenge conventional thinking and inspire a new generation of leaders.
Creating EMS Agenda 2050 wasn’t easy. In addition to the hours of work, there were animated debates and difficult decisions as the TEP wrestled with some fundamental issues facing the profession today.
The 10 leaders who volunteered to serve on the TEP weren’t without help. Mike Taigman, MA, who has dedicated his career to improving organizational processes, facilitated the efforts of the group as a member of the contracted project team. He fostered an environment where the TEP members—most of them strangers prior to this effort—could challenge each other, focus, collaborate and move ahead.
“It’s hard to imagen a more talented and passionate group of leaders to synthesize massive amounts of ideas into a coherent vision,” Taigman shares.
EMS Agenda 2050 is already having an impact on the profession. The National EMS Advisory Council, a group that’s congressionally authorized to provide recommendations regarding EMS to the Department of Transportation and the Federal Interagency Committee on EMS, has reorganized its committee structure to align with the guiding principles of EMS Agenda 2050. National trade associations are also taking note, with several EMS professional groups endorsing the vision and the guiding principles.
According to Taigman, “Our guiding principle for the creation of this vision for the future was ‘radical inclusion.’ Hundreds of EMS professionals from all corners of our systems shared thousands of ideas, hopes and dreams. The final document was really written by them for them and our future.”
Like its predecessor, which continues to shape EMS systems more than two decades after its release, EMS Agenda 2050 will have a lasting impact on our profession. Although the members of the EMS Agenda TEP would be the first to say that the document represents a community-wide vision, it was their leadership and dedication that helped make that possible.
Technical Expert Panel Members
Derek Bergsten, MPA, CFO, CEMSO, MIFireE
Rockford Fire Department
Marianne Gausche-Hill, MD, FACEP, FAAP, FAEMS
Los Angeles County EMS Agency
Los Angeles, California
Andy Gienapp, MS, NRP
Wyoming Office of EMS
Alexander Isakov, MD, MPH, FACEP, FAEMS
Emory University School of Medicine
Jeffrey Jarvis, MD, MS, EMT-P, FACEP, FAEMS
Williamson County EMS
Marble Falls EMS
Kyra Neeley King, MEd, EMT-P
Fire Department, City of New York
Islip, New York
William Leggio, EdD, NRP
Kevin G. Munjal, MD, MPH, MSCR
Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
New York, New York
Ernesto Rodriguez, MA, EMT-P
Austin-Travis County EMS
Mike Taigman, MA
Yiding Yu, MD
Harvard Medical School