Print Page   |   Contact Us   |   Report Abuse   |   Sign In   |   Register
Community Search
Sign In

Forgot your password?

Haven't registered yet?


5/21/2014 » 5/22/2014
TraCER - Certification Exam Review (Danville, PA)

9/19/2014 » 9/20/2014
TraCER Review Course (AMTC)

9/22/2014 » 9/24/2014
Air Medical Transport Conference (AMTC)

2/26/2015 » 2/28/2015
EMS Today

President's Desk
Share |

Richard Childress

Culture of Safety

Last month the American College of Physicians (ACEP) released its long awaited National EMS Culture of Safety Strategy Document. This initiative was part of a 36-month cooperative agreement between the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), with support from the Health Resources and Services Administration’s (HRSA), EMS for Children (EMSC) Program, and the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP). The project stemmed from a recommendation from NEMSAC, a group created to provide guidance to the U.S. Department of Transportation and the NHTSA Office of EMS. The primary objective of the project was to identify the safety issues facing the industry, and develop a strategy for a new culture of safety within EMS. Last week ACEP gave a presentation on this initiative to the National EMS Advisory Council (NEMSAC) in Washington, DC (who requested the strategy be written to provide guidance to several Federal agencies), who in turn advocated the initiative to the Federal Interagency Committee on EMS (FICEMS).

As a body we need to ensure we are striving to create not only a safe work environment for ourselves, but also for the citizens we serve. This safety strategy consists of six essential elements for advancing a culture of safety in our industry:

1. Just Culture

2. Coordinated Support and Resources

3. EMS Safety Data System

4. EMS Education Initiatives

5. EMS Safety Standards

6. Requirements for Reporting and Investigation

EMS community leaders envision an EMS Culture of Safety as one in which safety considerations and risk awareness permeate the full spectrum of activities of EMS everywhere, every day—by design, attitude and habit. This Strategy document is intended to change the status quo by creating, encouraging, and supporting a cultural shift that improves the linked domains of responder, patient, and community safety. A point reiterated by ACEP at the NEMSAC meeting was that their intention was to make use of existing organizations to push this agenda and not create another level of bureaucracy at any governmental level for oversight. For those who wish to read the full text (which I highly recommend as they go into great detail defining each of the six pillars), you can go online and pull up the document at:

Another point of safety: We are now deep into the holiday season. Please be ever vigilant with your safety as we experience severe weather conditions this season.  Some folks are crazy enough to go out in it despite the warnings of very knowledgeable experts. A favorite thought of mine certainly comes into play; remember it’s not YOUR emergency you’ve been asked to respond to and if you don’t make it there safely you’ve provided no help in their time of need (in fact you may have made things worse).

So please be safe out there in everything you do for we ALL want you to have a very merry holiday season.

Richard Childress