Formed in 1975 and more than 72,000 members strong, the National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians (NAEMT) represents the professional interests of all EMS practitioners. NAEMT relies on state-appointed delegates to advocate on issues that impact their ability to provide quality patient care.
But what does being an NAEMT delegate entail? EMS World sat down with W. Mike McMichael, NAEMT delegate for the state of Delaware, to learn more.
EMS World: What does it mean to be an NAEMT state delegate?
McMichael: As an NAEMT delegate for my state, it’s an honor to be selected and involved with a group of truly outstanding leaders. Since our state became involved with the NAEMT back in 2002, we have become more involved as a state with how EMS functions and have become aware of how EMS is provided in other states. My responsibilities of being our state representative include staying in contact with the NAEMT along with its Affiliate Advisory Council and Affiliate Advocacy Council. I attend the association’s conference calls and annual meeting. We share with our state’s EMS providers recent NAEMT events, educational, safety and health issues and any problems or concerns that has or could occur.
You are a long-time participant of the EMS on the Hill advocacy initiative. Can you talk about your experiences?
The annual EMS on the Hill has always been a positive event that helps EMS providers nationwide as well as within our own states. We are able to share our initiatives and concerns with our congressional representatives in Washington DC. I’ve been to all of them since it began and it gets better every year. However, I’m worried that the virus will change how we contact our representatives and their staff. EMS on the Hill has helped facilitate the passage of many bills that have improved our practice and the health of our communities. In our small state, we’re fortunate that most of us are on a first-name basis with our legislators. When we make our annual spring visit to see them at Capitol Hill they are always pleased to see us.
Can you tell us about the Delaware EMS conference?
Our state EMS conference is organized by the Delaware Volunteer Firefighters Association (DVFA). It begins with EMS CE classes, fire-related seminars, and a memorial service, which includes vendor booths and new equipment displays. It’s scheduled to be held at Dover Downs Sept. 15–18. We used to hold a parade on the final day of the conference, but that was unfortunately discontinued a few years ago. A general conference call is scheduled monthly to decide on the plan for the conference in 2020.
What other positions of influence in EMS are you involved in?
In the past, I have been selected for a few NAEMT committees and was appointed to our state’s EMS Oversight Council (DEMSOC). Back in 2005, I was fortunate to have been selected to be part of a national EMS group to travel to Russia to share ideas, concepts and trends in EMS with the Russian leaders and first responders. The overall experience was a true highlight. Recently, I was appointed to become a member of the National EMS Advisory Council (NEMSAC). We meet quarterly in Washington, DC and discuss proposed changes/revisions, as well as advisories regarding EMS-related issues nationally with NHTSA/DOT. I was selected as a representative for volunteer EMS and will be completing my second year. Due to the pandemic, a lot of rescheduling has occurred and plans are to meet again in August via Zoom or WebEx. I’m very humbled in being selected for NEMSAC as I can relate to most of the issues being reviewed—especially regarding safety for all EMS providers.
What do you do for your ‘day job’?
Currently every day is like a Saturday, as I retired back in 2016. I do miss working with my friends at Christiana Hospital’s ER in Newark, as I had learned and shared a lot while working there. However, I still stay involved locally with fire and EMS with my home fire company here in Delaware City as needed, though I'm unable to ride as I used to. I also stay very involved with our state’s fire and EMS services, as well as NAEMT. My goal these days is to help our newer members in the fire and EMS field as well as staying healthy and taking care of our restored 1848 historic home here in Delaware City.