On behalf of Ninth Brain and PHASE, we would like to extend our gratitude to those that participated in our recent EMS Week survey! We were genuinely moved by the numerous stories and experiences EMS leaders shared - why they love EMS, best advice to new providers, how they show appreciation for their providers, and more!  The responses touched our hearts and we deeply appreciate everyone sharing their insight!   Here are just some of the great responses...

What do you love about EMS?

I fully believe that we have the greatest job in the world. We have the ability to make someone’s worst day just a little bit better. We have a job that allows us to make a difference day in and day out. We have a job that allows us to have different conversations with people and families every day. We have the privilege of being welcomed into homes during hard times. We are the people that little kids smile at begging you to honk your horn. These small moments make up for the bad days, and make work a privilege.

EMS CaptainKettle Moraine Fire District

EMS has a huge ability to make a difference in one’s life. Our services are often called upon in the worst moments of someone’s life.I absolutely adore emergency medical services for a multitude of reasons. Firstly, the gratification I experience through this line of work is unparalleled. Being able to make a difference in someone’s life during their most vulnerable moments brings me an indescribable sense of fulfillment. Whether it’s saving a life or providing crucial medical assistance, the impact we have as emergency medical service providers is immeasurable.

Chief of ServiceUniversity Volunteer Ambulance Corps

I love the people I work with, and the community we serve. Being able to work in this environment and bridge that critical gap between the onset of a traumatic or medical event, provide effective stabilization through application of effective and progressive procedures and protocols, and giving the patients the best possible chance for a positive outcome.

Lieutenant / Field Medical OfficerCity of Chesapeake Fire Department

I absolutely love the fact that I have been able to be there for people in their darkest moments as well as the golden moments. From bringing in a new life to holding the hand as one leaves and all the in between I cherish them all. Also, to have been blessed with the gift of teaching. I am still able help others by guiding them down the right path or passing along 3 decades worth of knowledge to the newcomers who will be taking my place eventually. In short, I love people!!!!

Operations ManagerMedstar Ambulance Inc.

I love the variety of opportunities that are available to EMS professionals. I enjoy inter-facility transfers, responding to 911 emergencies, and providing standby at large concert and sporting venues. I’ve met some amazing patients over the years, including WWII Veterans willing to share unbelievable experiences, rock stars, among others. I also love that the industry is continuously evolving – requiring all of us to remain on our “A” game, learning new skills and taking better care to those in need.

Anonymous

What I love most about ground 911 transport in EMS is that I am one of the first people to help in someone’s worst day. Whether it’s a cut and dry trauma, or a critical thinking medical, my thoughts, my choices, and my actions contribute to the outcome of this patient. This person. This human being.

Ambulance DirectorEtna Ambulance

My passion for EMS has grown tremendously. While working as an EMT, I watched some of the strongest paramedics save and treat countless people. I could see the passion in their eyes while they helped that patient. I watched as the fear in those patients’ eyes went away as those medics began to reassure their patients and treat them. I decided then that this is what I want to be able to do.

EMS DirectorJohnson County Emergency and Rescue

I love so many thing about EMS. Not knowing what the day will bring, the adrenaline rush of a call, team work…but what I love most is helping others and possibly making a difference in someone else’s life. Being that first person in their crisis they know is going to help then and try and make everything better. I never look for a thank you, I do look for the smiles.

ParamedicMetro Area Ambulance

Some people in EMS see the diversity in EMS systems as a weakness. It is one of the things I find to be its strongest suit. Instead of EMS being in one static way, there are so many different kinds of delivery models. This nimble characteristic has allowed EMS to mature fast because the entire world has become an “R&D” department. I love watching and being part of the process of EMS maturing and developing.

Director of EMSStratford EMS

I enjoy helping others and continually learning new skills and best practices for the latest advancement in pre-hospital care. There is a satisfaction at the end of a shift knowing we were able to be there for people during one of their worst moments. Whether it is administering Narcan for an overdose, stabilizing diabetic shock, treating gunshot wounds or simply a geriatric transport to a higher level of care, every call is important to the patient and their families…

EMT-B, Public Relations DirectorEast Hanover Volunteer Rescue Squad

The fact that every day is a new day, a new challenge and two patients are never exactly the same. The challenges of combining my hands on skills with the knowledge I have to render care at the highest level for the best possible outcome for the patient. In addition, the teamwork and excitement that comes from working together in higher acuity calls is a true excitement like no other.

Paramedic SupervisorMalta-Stillwater EMS

There are so many things about EMS that I love. Perhaps the thing I love most is the ability to make an impact on somebody else’s life. No matter how small the interaction, being a prehospital emergency provider brings you to people on potentially the worst day of their lives. But even on the days that are not catastrophic, when somebody just needs a hand to get up, we are still there with kindness and compassion. I do this because at the end of the day, if I can say that I made just one person feel better that day, I know that I did my job, and that I made a difference.

EMS LieutenantWhitehouse Rescue Squad

What do you love about EMS?

I fully believe that we have the greatest job in the world. We have the ability to make someone’s worst day just a little bit better. We have a job that allows us to make a difference day in and day out. We have a job that allows us to have different conversations with people and families every day. We have the privilege of being welcomed into homes during hard times. We are the people that little kids smile at begging you to honk your horn. These small moments make up for the bad days, and make work a privilege.

EMS CaptainKettle Moraine Fire District

EMS has a huge ability to make a difference in one’s life. Our services are often called upon in the worst moments of someone’s life.I absolutely adore emergency medical services for a multitude of reasons. Firstly, the gratification I experience through this line of work is unparalleled. Being able to make a difference in someone’s life during their most vulnerable moments brings me an indescribable sense of fulfillment. Whether it’s saving a life or providing crucial medical assistance, the impact we have as emergency medical service providers is immeasurable.

Chief of ServiceUniversity Volunteer Ambulance Corps

I love the people I work with, and the community we serve. Being able to work in this environment and bridge that critical gap between the onset of a traumatic or medical event, provide effective stabilization through application of effective and progressive procedures and protocols, and giving the patients the best possible chance for a positive outcome.

Lieutenant / Field Medical OfficerCity of Chesapeake Fire Department

I absolutely love the fact that I have been able to be there for people in their darkest moments as well as the golden moments. From bringing in a new life to holding the hand as one leaves and all the in between I cherish them all. Also, to have been blessed with the gift of teaching. I am still able help others by guiding them down the right path or passing along 3 decades worth of knowledge to the newcomers who will be taking my place eventually. In short, I love people!!!!

Operations ManagerMedstar Ambulance Inc.

I love the variety of opportunities that are available to EMS professionals. I enjoy inter-facility transfers, responding to 911 emergencies, and providing standby at large concert and sporting venues. I’ve met some amazing patients over the years, including WWII Veterans willing to share unbelievable experiences, rock stars, among others. I also love that the industry is continuously evolving – requiring all of us to remain on our “A” game, learning new skills and taking better care to those in need.

Anonymous

What I love most about ground 911 transport in EMS is that I am one of the first people to help in someone’s worst day. Whether it’s a cut and dry trauma, or a critical thinking medical, my thoughts, my choices, and my actions contribute to the outcome of this patient. This person. This human being.

Ambulance DirectorEtna Ambulance

My passion for EMS has grown tremendously. While working as an EMT, I watched some of the strongest paramedics save and treat countless people. I could see the passion in their eyes while they helped that patient. I watched as the fear in those patients’ eyes went away as those medics began to reassure their patients and treat them. I decided then that this is what I want to be able to do.

EMS DirectorJohnson County Emergency and Rescue

I love so many thing about EMS. Not knowing what the day will bring, the adrenaline rush of a call, team work…but what I love most is helping others and possibly making a difference in someone else’s life. Being that first person in their crisis they know is going to help then and try and make everything better. I never look for a thank you, I do look for the smiles.

ParamedicMetro Area Ambulance

Some people in EMS see the diversity in EMS systems as a weakness. It is one of the things I find to be its strongest suit. Instead of EMS being in one static way, there are so many different kinds of delivery models. This nimble characteristic has allowed EMS to mature fast because the entire world has become an “R&D” department. I love watching and being part of the process of EMS maturing and developing.

Director of EMSStratford EMS

I enjoy helping others and continually learning new skills and best practices for the latest advancement in pre-hospital care. There is a satisfaction at the end of a shift knowing we were able to be there for people during one of their worst moments. Whether it is administering Narcan for an overdose, stabilizing diabetic shock, treating gunshot wounds or simply a geriatric transport to a higher level of care, every call is important to the patient and their families…

EMT-B, Public Relations DirectorEast Hanover Volunteer Rescue Squad

The fact that every day is a new day, a new challenge and two patients are never exactly the same. The challenges of combining my hands on skills with the knowledge I have to render care at the highest level for the best possible outcome for the patient. In addition, the teamwork and excitement that comes from working together in higher acuity calls is a true excitement like no other.

Paramedic SupervisorMalta-Stillwater EMS

There are so many things about EMS that I love. Perhaps the thing I love most is the ability to make an impact on somebody else’s life. No matter how small the interaction, being a prehospital emergency provider brings you to people on potentially the worst day of their lives. But even on the days that are not catastrophic, when somebody just needs a hand to get up, we are still there with kindness and compassion. I do this because at the end of the day, if I can say that I made just one person feel better that day, I know that I did my job, and that I made a difference.

EMS LieutenantWhitehouse Rescue Squad

What is the best advice you would give to a new provider?

My best advice is to Pause. We’ve all heard the line – it’s not our emergency it’s theirs. While this is absolutely true the “pause” also allows us a reset to fall back on our trainings and provide quality emergency care. My next and probably more important advise is watch out for each other. It is often difficult to see in ourselves the negative effects emergency response calls to our mental health. It is however easier to see those in effects in your team members. If we all keep each other healthy and safe we can all return for another day.

EMT-B, Training OfficerSchroon Lake EMS, Inc

Scope of practice doesn’t mean scope of knowledge. Pushing yourself to learn as much as you can makes you a better clinician and a better partner. Learning should never end – medicine is changing every day. By learning as much as you can, you give your patients the best service you can and better chances of survival.

Field SupervisorGlacial Ridge Ambulance

The best advice to give to new providers is to learn, and become passionate, about your craft. They need to understand that the actions they take will have lasting impacts on their patients and families. EMS is not easy, and every day may not be filled with glory, but never let frustration overshadow compassion. They also need to understand the physical and mental stress this profession can have on them, and learn how to recognize an properly deal with that stress.

Anonymous

The best advice I can give a new EMS professional is to maintain a healthy physical and mental mindset – to take care of themselves physically because our bodies are the most important tool in our tool box. The second piece of advice I would give is to keep a positive and healthy mindset. Negative energy spreads like a wildfire, be the positive.

Chief/Executive DirectorUnicoi County Emergency Medical Services

Never stop learning. Learning ensures that the medic will have all the tools required for a quality patient outcome as well as keeps one’s mind sharp. Also work constantly on your communication skills, both with other medical professionals as well as your patients and family.

EMS DirectorWagoner EMS

We were all new once. Don’t be intimidated. You don’t have to get it all right right away. This is a learning curve. And adaptability is the most important factor. It’s never what you see in a textbook or practice in class. Adapt and overcome. At the end of the day if you can be confident you did what was in the best interest of your patient, that’s what counts.

Anonymous

Just breathe…its their emergency and not yours. I don’t expect you to know everything on the first day nor do I expect you to remember everything I tell you. We work together. Together we will navigate this road. I will always be here to help you, answer questions, show you, support you, and encourage you. Its not always a good shift but in the end the good will outweigh the bad. Keep your head up and walk with the confidence that I see in you. Together we will do great things.

Anonymous

Learn something from everyone. The other thing I preach in my classes is “You’ll never treat someone with your judgement, use clinical understanding and knowledge to treat. Judgment is reserved for someone else”.

Education Programs CoordinatorOgemaw County EMS Authority

I tell all new providers to always treat everyone with respect. Respect your co-workers, patients and their families, hospital staff, and the general public. Everyone must be treated with respect. Professionalism and community service is vital to the success of EMS in the future. It is important for new providers to remember who and what they represent whether they are on or off duty.

EMS ChiefBangor Fire Department

I would tell a new provider, you are always going to have something about a call that you think you could have done differently or better; that means you care! Don’t dwell on it, learn from it, be passionate about always striving to stay educated and keep your skills sharp.

EMS Director, EMT IntermediateKim Area Volunteer Fire Department and Ambulance Service

Don’t judge! You have to be diverse and show your patients empathy, all shapes, sizes, economic classes, nationalities, colors, genders, ages, mental and physical abilities, the list is endless, they are all human beings that need you to care about them and for them at that exact moment in time.

Anonymous

Get your mind right to avoid complacency and burnout. You have to realize the importance of what you do even when it is a call that doesn’t seem to be a true emergency. You are a difference maker in more ways than just pushing drugs, stopping bleeding, splinting, and defibrillating. One of the most impactful things you do out there on a regular basis is just treating people with respect and kindness. They sometimes just need us to care a little bit, for a short time, to make a big difference…

Deputy Chief / EMS DirectorMorrow Fire Department

What is the best advice you would give to a new provider?

My best advice is to Pause. We’ve all heard the line – it’s not our emergency it’s theirs. While this is absolutely true the “pause” also allows us a reset to fall back on our trainings and provide quality emergency care. My next and probably more important advise is watch out for each other. It is often difficult to see in ourselves the negative effects emergency response calls to our mental health. It is however easier to see those in effects in your team members. If we all keep each other healthy and safe we can all return for another day.

EMT-B, Training OfficerSchroon Lake EMS, Inc

Scope of practice doesn’t mean scope of knowledge. Pushing yourself to learn as much as you can makes you a better clinician and a better partner. Learning should never end – medicine is changing every day. By learning as much as you can, you give your patients the best service you can and better chances of survival.

Field SupervisorGlacial Ridge Ambulance

The best advice to give to new providers is to learn, and become passionate, about your craft. They need to understand that the actions they take will have lasting impacts on their patients and families. EMS is not easy, and every day may not be filled with glory, but never let frustration overshadow compassion. They also need to understand the physical and mental stress this profession can have on them, and learn how to recognize an properly deal with that stress.

Anonymous

The best advice I can give a new EMS professional is to maintain a healthy physical and mental mindset – to take care of themselves physically because our bodies are the most important tool in our tool box. The second piece of advice I would give is to keep a positive and healthy mindset. Negative energy spreads like a wildfire, be the positive.

Chief/Executive DirectorUnicoi County Emergency Medical Services

Never stop learning. Learning ensures that the medic will have all the tools required for a quality patient outcome as well as keeps one’s mind sharp. Also work constantly on your communication skills, both with other medical professionals as well as your patients and family.

EMS DirectorWagoner EMS

We were all new once. Don’t be intimidated. You don’t have to get it all right right away. This is a learning curve. And adaptability is the most important factor. It’s never what you see in a textbook or practice in class. Adapt and overcome. At the end of the day if you can be confident you did what was in the best interest of your patient, that’s what counts.

Anonymous

Just breathe…its their emergency and not yours. I don’t expect you to know everything on the first day nor do I expect you to remember everything I tell you. We work together. Together we will navigate this road. I will always be here to help you, answer questions, show you, support you, and encourage you. Its not always a good shift but in the end the good will outweigh the bad. Keep your head up and walk with the confidence that I see in you. Together we will do great things.

Anonymous

Learn something from everyone. The other thing I preach in my classes is “You’ll never treat someone with your judgement, use clinical understanding and knowledge to treat. Judgment is reserved for someone else”.

Education Programs CoordinatorOgemaw County EMS Authority

I tell all new providers to always treat everyone with respect. Respect your co-workers, patients and their families, hospital staff, and the general public. Everyone must be treated with respect. Professionalism and community service is vital to the success of EMS in the future. It is important for new providers to remember who and what they represent whether they are on or off duty.

EMS ChiefBangor Fire Department

I would tell a new provider, you are always going to have something about a call that you think you could have done differently or better; that means you care! Don’t dwell on it, learn from it, be passionate about always striving to stay educated and keep your skills sharp.

EMS Director, EMT IntermediateKim Area Volunteer Fire Department and Ambulance Service

Don’t judge! You have to be diverse and show your patients empathy, all shapes, sizes, economic classes, nationalities, colors, genders, ages, mental and physical abilities, the list is endless, they are all human beings that need you to care about them and for them at that exact moment in time.

Anonymous

Get your mind right to avoid complacency and burnout. You have to realize the importance of what you do even when it is a call that doesn’t seem to be a true emergency. You are a difference maker in more ways than just pushing drugs, stopping bleeding, splinting, and defibrillating. One of the most impactful things you do out there on a regular basis is just treating people with respect and kindness. They sometimes just need us to care a little bit, for a short time, to make a big difference…

Deputy Chief / EMS DirectorMorrow Fire Department

How do you show appreciation or recognition for your providers?

We debrief after every call. On my crew, we clean up and restock together, we write the report together, and we take that time to talk through anything that might be bothering anyone about the call or how it went. I try to thank them after the calls, and I regularly check in with my crew members after rough calls to make sure they are ok. We have also started trying to nominate squad members for state awards when they go above and beyond. Even if they are not chosen, we give them the nomination letters to let them know they are appreciated.

Paramedic / Training OfficerBowman Ambulance Service

Constant communication, just talking to them, asking how they are doing. Asking for feedback, make them understand they are the most important part of the team and if you do what’s best for the patient and are compassionate we will always have your back. Respect their needs, work with them.

Chief of OperationsNew Windsor EMS

We do shouts-out on our employee Facebook page. Our owners make personal phone calls to providers. We send gifts and food out to our bases on many occasions. We provide continuous education and training so that they can feel confident in their skills and knowledge. We pay for (almost) any education/tuition the employee wants to pursue for higher abilities. We re-evaluate our compensation package regularly and provide increases frequently to ensure our team knows how much we value their time.

AdministratorPriority Medical Transport

I actually tell my employees how good they are at their job and I make sure our rural community knows that our EMS crews are awesome. I’m not big on giving “awards” and social media posts but I have individual conversations with them and let them know. I have many employees who come to me for personal issues and I try my best to help them. I also strive to empower my employees and recognize their knowledge by asking them to make decisions on things that affect them directly.

Anonymous

I like to do fun activities from time to time to keep them on their toes. I buy them pops or drinks on hot days when they are busy running calls. We have ice cream bars for them when it is hot outside. During EMS week, I usually purchase a small item that they have been wanting for use on calls and we have a bar-b-cue for them during the week where we can all gather together as a team and enjoy spending time outside of work.

DirectorEllis County EMS

We celebrate our “Wins” whether they are someone’s personal accomplishment or work-related accomplishment. We highlight those “Wins” in social media. I do acts of service for my staff (i.e., it may be washing their ambulance for them, doing their station duties, cooking for them for EMS Week, etc.).

EMS ChiefBrazoria County ESD No. 3

I constantly praise everyone every time I see them to make sure they know that they’re appreciated and recognized. I also constantly am friendly and ask other employees about their families and some problem they have been having to make sure they know that those do matter to those they work with and that we care. We as a company also have provided free lunches and public announcements with praising them and making them be recognized for a good job they provided. We also do some bonuses company wide so everyone knows their appreciated.

Field Training OfficerDekalb Ambulance Service

First is to thank them and recognize them personally. Next is to have a good awards program with buy in from your providers and do it regularly. Make sure the awards have meaning to providers and that there is solid criteria for each award. Celebrate often and publicize the best people and practices in your organization.

Deputy ChiefLeon County EMS

I always tell my crew they did a good job. Also, when they check their ambulance off, I leave gift cards hidden in certain areas. When they check the unit off, and find the gift cards, it brings a smile of joy and makes their day. I also buy diner for my crew a few times a month, along with helping my crew check the units off.

Fire ChiefGallatin Volunteer Fire

Although staffing is short and call volume is high, I try to prioritize a good work/life balance. I recently started a program in conjunction with a travel agent called “4 Day Adventures”. We try to encourage our medics to use their 4 day to get out and explore, travel and spend time with family and friends. Through the use of a travel agent we hope to open their eyes to the beauty of nature and wonders of travel.

Chief AdministratorLincoln County Ambulance District

I tell them I appreciate them every chance I get. If we stop for food while returning from a call, I buy their food with my own money. We treat them for dinner for EMS week, and at Christmas time they get dinner and a gift. Throughout the year during our refreshers every month we provide food for all that attend.

Anonymous

We do shirts and small giveaways but the best return and appreciation we’ve seen is via investment in staff education and equipment. Providing classes and allowing them to use and evaluate new equipment allows our coworkers to have a say in operations and future decisions.

PresidentWellsboro Firemens Ambulance

How do you show appreciation or recognition for your providers?

We debrief after every call. On my crew, we clean up and restock together, we write the report together, and we take that time to talk through anything that might be bothering anyone about the call or how it went. I try to thank them after the calls, and I regularly check in with my crew members after rough calls to make sure they are ok. We have also started trying to nominate squad members for state awards when they go above and beyond. Even if they are not chosen, we give them the nomination letters to let them know they are appreciated.

Paramedic / Training OfficerBowman Ambulance Service

Constant communication, just talking to them, asking how they are doing. Asking for feedback, make them understand they are the most important part of the team and if you do what’s best for the patient and are compassionate we will always have your back. Respect their needs, work with them.

Chief of OperationsNew Windsor EMS

We do shouts-out on our employee Facebook page. Our owners make personal phone calls to providers. We send gifts and food out to our bases on many occasions. We provide continuous education and training so that they can feel confident in their skills and knowledge. We pay for (almost) any education/tuition the employee wants to pursue for higher abilities. We re-evaluate our compensation package regularly and provide increases frequently to ensure our team knows how much we value their time.

AdministratorPriority Medical Transport

I actually tell my employees how good they are at their job and I make sure our rural community knows that our EMS crews are awesome. I’m not big on giving “awards” and social media posts but I have individual conversations with them and let them know. I have many employees who come to me for personal issues and I try my best to help them. I also strive to empower my employees and recognize their knowledge by asking them to make decisions on things that affect them directly.

Anonymous

I like to do fun activities from time to time to keep them on their toes. I buy them pops or drinks on hot days when they are busy running calls. We have ice cream bars for them when it is hot outside. During EMS week, I usually purchase a small item that they have been wanting for use on calls and we have a bar-b-cue for them during the week where we can all gather together as a team and enjoy spending time outside of work.

DirectorEllis County EMS

We celebrate our “Wins” whether they are someone’s personal accomplishment or work-related accomplishment. We highlight those “Wins” in social media. I do acts of service for my staff (i.e., it may be washing their ambulance for them, doing their station duties, cooking for them for EMS Week, etc.).

EMS ChiefBrazoria County ESD No. 3

I constantly praise everyone every time I see them to make sure they know that they’re appreciated and recognized. I also constantly am friendly and ask other employees about their families and some problem they have been having to make sure they know that those do matter to those they work with and that we care. We as a company also have provided free lunches and public announcements with praising them and making them be recognized for a good job they provided. We also do some bonuses company wide so everyone knows their appreciated.

Field Training OfficerDekalb Ambulance Service

First is to thank them and recognize them personally. Next is to have a good awards program with buy in from your providers and do it regularly. Make sure the awards have meaning to providers and that there is solid criteria for each award. Celebrate often and publicize the best people and practices in your organization.

Deputy ChiefLeon County EMS

I always tell my crew they did a good job. Also, when they check their ambulance off, I leave gift cards hidden in certain areas. When they check the unit off, and find the gift cards, it brings a smile of joy and makes their day. I also buy diner for my crew a few times a month, along with helping my crew check the units off.

Fire ChiefGallatin Volunteer Fire

Although staffing is short and call volume is high, I try to prioritize a good work/life balance. I recently started a program in conjunction with a travel agent called “4 Day Adventures”. We try to encourage our medics to use their 4 day to get out and explore, travel and spend time with family and friends. Through the use of a travel agent we hope to open their eyes to the beauty of nature and wonders of travel.

Chief AdministratorLincoln County Ambulance District

I tell them I appreciate them every chance I get. If we stop for food while returning from a call, I buy their food with my own money. We treat them for dinner for EMS week, and at Christmas time they get dinner and a gift. Throughout the year during our refreshers every month we provide food for all that attend.

Anonymous

We do shirts and small giveaways but the best return and appreciation we’ve seen is via investment in staff education and equipment. Providing classes and allowing them to use and evaluate new equipment allows our coworkers to have a say in operations and future decisions.

PresidentWellsboro Firemens Ambulance

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