Emergency Medical Services

EMS Medical Directors Roles

The EMS Medical Director has the responsibility to provide oversight for the medical aspects related to planning, development, implementation, and evaluation of the EMS system.  This includes all medical components for systems of care supported by public policy that integrate or interface with the EMS system, such as those listed: .

  • Domestic preparedness
  • EMS for children / neonatal transport
  • Stroke plan
  • Cardiac plan
  • Other systems of specialized care through which EMS patient care is delivered

The EMS Medical Directors oversees the establishment of protocols, policies, and procedures for all patient care activities from dispatch through triage, treatment, and transport for all emergency responders (EMS, fire, hazmat, police, etc.).  He or she is involved in the EMS continuous quality improvement program involving all entities including First Responder Agency under the EMS Service providing patient care.

The EMS Medical Director also serves as an advocate for efficient and effective emergency medical services, ensuring delivery of medical care that is consistent with professionally recognized standards.  The EMS Medical Director assures quality care management to ensure professional and public accountability for medical care provided within the EMS system.

The EMS Medical Director recommends medical policies and procedures to be included in the treatment and transport protocols, ensuring appropriateness of training and certification of the EMS providers practicing under his or her guidance.   The EMS Medical Director recommends corrective action and disciplinary action when necessary for an EMS service or EMS provider when cause is related to a quality of care issue.
The EMS Medical Director assists the state EMS regulatory agency to assure compliance with applicable rules and regulations.

The EMS Medical Director provides education and promotes and participates in EMS System research.  He or she provides as a liaison with the medical community and professional medical organizations.  They interact with local, regional, state, and national EMS authorities to ensure that standards, needs, and requirements are met and resource utilization serves to optimize efficient and effective medical care.   They also ensure there is a coordinated effort of all medical activities for disaster planning and response.

The EMS Medical Director promotes public information and education on prevention of illness and injury.  The EMS Medical Director maintains  knowledge for all levels of medical response (in the context of not only traditional EMS but also for first responders involving police, fire, hazmat, and others) through ongoing professional and personal education in order to provide coordinated medical advice for interagency activities and disaster response.

Experience and Education Requirements

The following are examples of knowledge, skills and abilities an EMS Medical Director should possess:

  • Thorough knowledge of state EMS laws
  • Thorough knowledge of system level data analysis
  • Considerable knowledge of EMS dispatch and communications
  • Considerable knowledge of mass casualty and disaster plans
  • Considerable knowledge of group dynamics relating to advisory committee structures
  • Significant knowledge of out-of-hospital care research
  • Significant knowledge of public health education, injury prevention, and health promotion
  • Considerable communication and interpersonal skills
  • Considerable technical writing skills in grant preparation, protocol and policy development and regulatory language
  • Ability to analyze and comprehend data
  • Ability to deal tactfully with the media, elected officials and others, on sensitive matters
  • Ability to make public presentations

Experience and Education Requirements

It is essential the EMS Medical Director possess significant experience and familiarity with the design and operation of the statewide EMS system (including any existing subset systems of trauma, peds, burn, cardiac, stroke, and other specialized components of the EMS system).  They should also have significant experience, leadership, and success in working with state EMS committees and experience with the EMS quality improvement / performance improvement process.  It is desirable that the EMS Medical Director be board certification in emergency medicine (ABEM or ABOEM), have continued involvement with the ED management of acutely ill and injured patients and have recent or current involvement in local, state and national EMS organizations.

Liability Insurance Information