EMS Workforce for the 21st Century: A National Assessment


Emergency medical technicians (EMTs) and paramedics are a critical component of any community’s Emergency Medical Services (EMS) system. Assuring the continued viability of the prehospital EMS workforce is a key concern for many local, state, federal, and tribal EMS agencies, as well as national EMS organizations. As a first step in systematically addressing the issue, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in partnership with the Health Resources and Services Administration’s (HRSA) Emergency Medical Services for Children program, supported a research project led by the Center for the Health Professions and School of Nursing at the University of California San Francisco with assistance from the Center for Health Workforce Studies at the University of Washington. The intent of this research was to provide guidance to the national EMS community in ensuring a viable EMS workforce for the future. The major objective of this research was to address issues relevant to the process of workforce planning. Research questions addressed the following: (1) Will the EMS workforce be of adequate size and composition to meet the needs of the U.S. population in the future? (2) How can potential workers be attracted to and encouraged to stay in the field of EMS? (3) How can adequate EMS workforce resources be available across all populations and geographic areas? (4) Do we have the data and information needed to address the future demand for and supply of EMTs and paramedics in the United States? What information is lacking and how might it be obtained? To research these questions, project staff used a variety of qualitative and quantitative approaches, including a critical review of EMS workforce literature, analysis of primary and secondary data, and interviews with experts in the field. Expert guidance for the project was provided by a steering committee and formal meetings with representatives from national EMS stakeholder organizations.






Authors Title Type Date Documents/Media
Chapman SA, Lindler V, Kaiser JA, Nielsen CS, Bates T, Hailer-O'Keefe L, Skillman SM, Patterson DG, Dawson D, Wijetunge G EMS workforce for the 21st century: a national assessment PUBLICATION 06-01-2008
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