An emergency medical services (EMS) coordinator is an urgent medical care professional who typically has supervisory duties for first responder teams comprising other EMS and paramedic workers. The coordinator in a small EMS department may help with the scheduling, staffing and even dispatching of ambulances and paramedics in emergency situations. In larger departments, the EMS coordinator similarly contributes to the administration and scheduling aspect of the job, but may also act as an on-the-scene supervisor, helping treat and triage patients and directing other EMS personnel as needed.
In their supervisory role, the EMS coordinator typically writes schedules to ensure 24-hour personnel availability, conducts interviews and provides input on hiring and promotion decisions. The coordinator often conducts job-specific training for newly hired paramedics and contributes to the continuing education of existing EMS staff. Smaller municipalities may have the coordinator serve in a dispatcher role, although many areas now use centralized dispatch and computerized phone response systems. Often, the EMS coordinator assigns him- or herself to specific crews to help assess performance. In situations when multiple ambulances are dispatched to a scene, the coordinator may help direct EMS workers and triage care.
While specialized training as a first-responding paramedic is required of all EMS urgent care workers, persons seeking to work as a coordinator in the field likely need some higher medical training education in nursing and urgent care. Many EMS coordinators have nursing certification or may even be registered as nurse practitioners. Most EMS coordinators work long hours during the workday, but in larger municipalities, EMS coordinators are needed 24 hours per day, and persons in this field should expect shift work to be a job requirement.
Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Coordinator Tasks
Coordinate emergency support with other emergency medical team members and police and fire department personnel.
Ensure services are in compliance with professional standards, state and federal regulatory requirements.
Assist in training and reviewing performance of staff.
Develop and present emergency services education and promotion programs such as conferences, and school or community presentations.