An emergency medical services (EMS) director administers a pool of paid (and sometimes volunteer) medical staff consisting of physicians, nurses, paramedics and emergency medical technicians (EMTs) who respond to 911 calls from the community. EMS directors oversee budgeting for their department or company, as well as fundraisers, volunteers, regulatory compliance with departmental policies and collaboration with various community entities. The director provides direction, leadership, accountability and coordination for the EMS program. They are also required to stay abreast of new trends and development in EMS practices.
Most EMT directors work during regular business 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. They are typically employed by hospitals, large medical facilities and other health-related organizations, EMS directors are usually appointed or hired by a medical board, and they typically report to this board or a medical committee; in a hospital setting, the EMS director usually report to the hospital directors.
A bachelor's degree in a healthcare-related field is essential for EMS directors; an advanced degree is sometimes required as well. Certifications in EMS and related fields are also required. EMS directors must have significant work experience in emergency medical services, and certification by the National Registry of EMTs and experience in EMS operations management are also important. Strong managerial, communication, interpersonal and leadership skills are needed as well.
Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Director Tasks
Oversee staff operations, business planning and budget development.
Ensure services are in compliance with professional standards, state and federal regulatory requirements.
Directs the staff in effective and efficient use of emergency medical services.
Plan and direct the emergency medical services.
Oversee inventory, order processing and distribution of products and services.