EMS Handoff: Volunteerism in EMS

The EMS Handoff

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Guest: Wes Ogilvie

Where have all the volunteers gone? The top reason for shifting EMS volunteerism is surprising. After all, there is no better feeling than giving back to your community and knowing you made a difference – but at what cost? Across the country throughout the years, the number of volunteers in EMS, fire and rescue has sharply decreased, especially over the last decade.  Where have all of the volunteers gone? Wes Ogilvie joins the EMS Handoff crew to discuss volunteerism in EMS.

Wes is a renowned EMS advocate and legal expert in EMS and is currently serving as a paramedic/FTO with multiple EMS agencies. Wes is an attorney for Texas state government, has been in EMS since 2004 and has been a paramedic since 2007. Wes is currently a paramedic/FTO with West EMS and a paramedic with Huffman EMS.  Throughout his career, he has been published in several EMS periodicals and co-authored the Medical-Legal chapter of Paramedic Care: Principles and Practice.

Previous: Brain Drain of EMS

Show Highlights

  • Where the volunteer roster actually is
  • The “BS” quotient
  • Time constraints for volunteer training
  • Making the training accessible
  • How to incentivize a volunteer
  • Proactive versus reactive recruiting
  • Volunteering as a resume/experience/opportunity builder
  • Leveraging diverse specialties of volunteers (photographers, lawyers, masonry, etc.)
  • Maslov’s hierarchy of needs and volunteerism
  • Georgia EMS workforce study (2019)
    • Top reason for turnover is not financially incentive
  • How to use non-monetary solutions to increase retention
  • Rigidity as a form of “good ol’ boy politics”

Connect with Wes

Resources/Articles Mentioned in Podcast

JCREC’s Improving Access to EMS and Health Care in Rural Communities: A Strategic Plan (2010) provides an evaluation of EMS workforce and steps for the future. https://nasemso.org/wp-content/uploads/FinalApprovedbyNASESMSO-NOSORH.pdf

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