By Columbia Southern University
Paramedics, emergency medical technicians and others who rush to help those in life threatening situations are truly unsung heroes. And, they are incredibly busy professionals with high demanding jobs. A 2014 report from the National Fire Incident Reporting System indicated that approximately 64 percent of the more than 23 million calls to fire departments involve EMS.
Further, these highly trained professionals care for patients often at their most vulnerable moments as they work diligently to aid each patient.
Yet, whom do these valiant first responders count on to make sure they are able to save a life? To get the correct equipment and tools they need? To secure their proper training and information? To provide a strong operational system to allow them to interact with other emergency agencies?
Perhaps a “hero” to paramedics, EMTs and others in emergency services is the behind-the-scenes director, manager or supervisor who excels in emergency medical services administration (EMSA).
What is EMSA?
EMSA involves the key management of responsibilities related to planning, organizing, improving and maintaining a system of emergency medical services or administering an emergency medical services program. EMSA also employs leadership skills to help direct and assign emergency services, both in urgent and routine situations.
Administration of EMS can benefit from a robust experience in the field as a first-responder. In some positions, this may not be crucial, but it can be hard to lead if you have never followed, as some say. Connecting with others with whom you have worked shoulder-to-shoulder or those whose jobs you have done before gives management authenticity and may foster respect. These can be valuable tools in communication, interpreting behaviors and analyzing and evaluating personnel’s skill sets in emergency medical services.
Those who pursue careers in EMSA have a bevy of choices throughout the various first-response departments such as fire and rescue, emergency management and EMS—not to mention careers at the federal, state and local government levels and within the private sector. Some administrative jobs include:
- EMS Coordinator
- EMS Supervisor
- Federal Emergency Management Agency Employee
- State Office of EMS Employee
Voice of experience
Someone who knows what it’s like to work in an administrative capacity in the EMS field is manager Lt. Daniel Tyk of the North Shore Fire Department in Brown Deer, Wisconsin. He has worked at the department since 2005 and now wears many hats as EMS manager, public information and community relations officer.
As the department’s EMS manager, he supervises 94 personnel who are paramedics and EMTs. Tyk oversees their training, quality assurance and continuing education, which he strongly endorses and recommends they get.
“I don’t think a person should ever stop trying to learn more. It’s very important to always find a way to better yourself,” said Tyk, who did just that by recently earning an online bachelor’s degree in EMSA from Columbia Southern University. He pursued the degree to expand and fortify his education and skills and create additional career opportunities. He’s glad he did, too.
“CSU courses have prepared me to look beyond the everyday managerial responsibilities and refocus on how to take a 30,000-foot view of decisions that are made to align with strategic goals, increasing efficiencies and creating innovation within the organization,” he explained.
For those seeking a position in EMSA, continued education is strongly recommended, as most positions require a formal degree. Whether it be a degree in emergency medical services administration, public administration or emergency services management, a degree can help a future manager become a “hero” for his or her team of first-responders.
About Columbia Southern University
One of the nation’s pioneer online universities, Columbia Southern University was established in 1993 to provide an alternative to the traditional university experience. CSU offers online associate, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees such as business administration, criminal justice, fire administration and occupational safety and health. Visit ColumbiaSouthern.edu or call (877) 347-6050 to learn more.
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