News & Winning
EMS INSIDER SEPTEMBER 2015
UNLAWFUL TO COPY WITHOUT THE EXPRESS PERMISSION OF THE PUBLISHER.
I thought it was a bit odd when I
frst saw name of this publication:
EMS Insider. I was wondering what
A.J. Heightman was thinking when
he asked an “outsider” (I have only
been a recipient of EMS services,
not a provider) to write something
to be read by the “insiders.” But I
Hi, nice to meet you. I was just
elected to your local board of com-
missioners. In just a few weeks I’ll
be making decisions that affect
whether your department grows
and prospers, struggles to hold
onto status quo, or degrades and
actually starts slipping backwards.
I’m the new guy, and I’m holding
your department’s purse strings.
But don’t worry. I think public safety
is just as important as the next guy
does. I mean, who isn’t proud of our
police cars? Who doesn’t think fre
engines are neat? An ambulance?
Ugh. That’s a little different. No one
wants to face their own mortality,
but I guess people need them.
Now keep in mind, I didn’t get elected
on a public safety platform. Maybe I
was elected on concerns about local
zoning issues and commercial development on the north end of town.
Maybe I was elected over a bond
issue or protection of a watershed.
Maybe it was all about education,
local transit or simply reducing government to its smallest possible size.
But hey, like I said, everyone
thinks public safety is important.
Everything should be just fne, right?
So what would you say to this
newly elected leader? Does it matter if he or she knows anything
about your department and what
you really do? Does it matter if they
have more than just a casual understanding of EMS and the unique
needs and challenges of your service as compared to police and fre?
Let’s assume it does matter. Let’s
assume that the more thoroughly
they understand your department
and EMS in general, the more likely
they are to support you in the ways
that you need them to.
How then, do we talk to them?
How do we help them understand?
Is it their responsibility to come to
us and learn? Should we sit and wait
for them or should we drive the process? Do we lean on our post-9/11
hero status to exert our importance
and relevance? We can certainly tell
them how important we are, and we
probably will. But every other entity
that looks to them for funding will
be saying the same thing.
In EMS we have some unique ways
to communicate not just what we do
and how we do it, but more impor-
tantly, the impact that we have on
the very people we’re all ultimately
here to serve. We don’t just have to
tell them. We can show them. And we
can do it in several powerful ways.
There are a number of tools we can
use to achieve this goal. An added ben-eft to each method is that we’re not
only showing our elected offcials, but
also our collective community members as well. And when we talk to our
community members, we’re strongly
reinforcing our message to our elected
offcials. And if there’s anything elected
offcials pay attention to at election
time, it’s what the voters are talking
about. Have you given those voters a
reason to talk about the importance
CONTINUED ON PAGE 6
Tips from an outsider
By Gordon Graham
CONTINUED ON PAGE 5
2 WE JUST WON THE LOTTERY,
WE’RE OUT OF HERE!
IN CRITICAL INCIDENTS, IT ALL BOILS DOWN TO COMMON SENSE
4 ROLE PLAY
USING SIMULATION TO TEACH
7 PRIVACY WITHIN MASS CASUALTY INCIDENTS
IN CRITICAL INCIDENTS, IT ALL
BOILS DOWN TO COMMON SENSE
Communicating Value to Your Elected Offcials
4 methods for improving relations
By Jeffrey Hammerstein