An emergency medical services (EMS) director administers a pool of paid and sometimes volunteer medical staff consisting of physicians, nurses, paramedics, and EMTs who respond to 911 calls from the community. EMS directors oversee the financials for their department/company, fundraisers, the promotion of volunteerism, regulatory compliance with departmental policies and collaboration with the various community entities. The director provides direction and leadership, accountability and coordination of the EMS program. EMS directors are also required to stay abreast of new trends and development in EMS practices.
The skills required for this position are, among others: strong managerial and leadership skills, and excellent communications and interpersonal skills. Employed by hospitals, large medical facilities, and non-profit health-related organizations, EMS directors are usually appointed or hired by a medical board. They usually report to this board or a medical committee; in a hospital setting, the EMS director will usually report to the hospital director. A bachelor's degree in healthcare or a related field is a must. An advanced degree or post-graduate education is sometimes required. Certifications in EMS and related fields are also required. EMS directors must have had significant work experience and exposure to EMS. A certification by the National Registry of EMTs and experience in EMS operations management are also important. Most EMT directors work regular hours but because of the executive nature of the position, they may be required to attend late meetings or be on call in some cases.
Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Director Tasks
- Plan and direct the emergency medical services.
- Oversee inventory, order processing and distribution of products and services.
- Directs the staff in effective and efficient use of emergency medical services.
- Oversee staff operations, business planning and budget development.
- Ensure services are in compliance with professional standards, state and federal regulatory requirements.