In 2004, a Workforce Agenda published by NHTSA described a future in which all EMS systems have sufficient numbers of well educated, adequately prepared, and appropriately credentialed EMS workers who are valued, well compensated, healthy, and safe. The Workforce Agenda identifies four components critical to developing an EMS workforce that will thrive and be a driving force for achieving an integrated, community-based EMS system. The four components identified through the Workforce Agenda development process are: (1) data and research; (2) education and certification; (3) workforce planning and development; and (4) the safety, health, and wellness of the EMS workforce.
A number of efforts are currently underway by NHTSA and its partners to advance these four components including implementation of a national EMS workforce injury and illness surveillance program (EMS- WIISP) and implementation of the EMS Education Agenda for the Future: A Systems Approach (the Education Agenda).
Further work, however, is needed in the area of workforce data, planning and development.
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Dia Gainor, MPA, QAS