EMS Agenda 2050: A Keynote Speaker’s Report from Washington, DC

It was my great pleasure to be in Washington, DC, last week as a guest of the United States Department of Transportation (DOT)/National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). I was invited to attend–and be the keynote speaker during–the Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Agenda 2050 National Implementation Forum. The forum was held in the DOT’s impressive 2.1 million square-foot headquarters complex within the historic Washington Navy Yard.

It often surprises people in and out of emergency services to learn that the DOT has a long history of leadership in the development andadvancement of EMS across the U.S. This came about in the early 1970’s with DOT’s farsighted interest and leadership in working to reduce the number of people injured or killed in highway traffic incidents. However, once the EMS modern concept was “out of the barn,” it grew to incorporate every type and phase of emergency medical care in the U.S. and–by emulation–many parts of the world.

Over the last two years, NHTSA has been hosting and providing technical advice to a blue ribbon task force focusing on the next era of nationwide EMS development via the aptly named EMS Agenda 2050. JEMS has been routinely reporting on the work and planning progress being made in and around this important process.

The group working to develop the next EMS road map has been designated as the Technical Expert Panel (TEP) and is being operationally managed by the REDHORSE Corporation. Likewise, the RedFlash Group is also under contract with the NHTSA to assist. Well-known EMS teacher and influencer Mike Taigman, who’s officially the Improvement Guide with FirstWatch, is helping to facilitate the discussion and flow when the TEP meets.

As someone who’s been engaged in and around emergency services since modern EMS began, I can report that the EMS Agenda 2050 group is doing solid and meaningful work. The ideas are flowing and the connections within the group–and across emergency services and expert networks–are helping pave a clearly proposed vision and template for the next era of truly modern EMS across the U.S.

Personally and professionally, I’m proud of the people who have given freely of their time, expertise and ideas to move the future of EMS forward. In my opinion, their ideas, long-range vision and draft recommendations are proving to be stellar.

Your review of the draft document and related suggestions continue to be encouraged. The latest information on EMS Agenda 2050 and the current draft report are available at EMSAgenda.org.

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