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National EMS Safety Council Promotes Safety for Patients and Practitioners


In 2013, the National EMS Culture of Safety Strategy was published. The development of this document was funded by a NHTSA project grant to bring together the EMS stakeholder community to identify what constitutes a safe environment for EMS patients and practitioners; the challenges to achieving a safe EMS environment; and a strategy to overcome these challenges. The Strategy envisioned the establishment of a national level entity to coordinate national EMS safety efforts and serve as a repository for information, data and resources. 

In 2015, several organizations came together to establish a mechanism through which the recommendations contained in the National EMS Culture of Safety Strategy could be implemented.  These organizations established the National EMS Safety Council.

The Council is comprised of national EMS and safety organizations interested in ensuring that patients receive emergency and mobile healthcare with the highest standards of safety, and promoting a safe and healthy work environment for all emergency and mobile healthcare practitioners. The National EMS Safety Council:

  • Develops practical ways to implement the recommendations included in National EMS Culture of Safety Strategy;
  • Reviews the latest information, research, and best practices on EMS patient and practitioner safety;
  • Develops and publishes consensus statements on the issues of EMS patient and practitioner safety as guidance to EMS agencies and practitioners;
  • Raises awareness of the importance of EMS patient and practitioner safety within the EMS industry;
  • Identifies additional steps that the EMS industry can take to improve EMS patient and practitioner safety.

Council Members

Listed below are the member organizations of the National EMS Safety Council along with their member representatives:

"The American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) is proud to participate in the National EMS Safety Council and supports the initiative to improve safety for healthcare providers and patients. ACEP has identified safety as a priority issue and included it in our Strategic Plan," says ACEP President Jay A. Kaplan, MD, FACEP.

"The American Ambulance Association was a proud participant in the Strategy for a Culture of Safety project with NHTSA. The NEMSSC provides the opportunity to actualize the recommendations in that Strategy. We firmly believe in the safety of caregivers, patients and the communities we serve. Efforts by the NEMSSC will result in an enhancement of safety in EMS," says AAA Representative Ron Thackery.

"The International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) and its EMS Section members strongly support a culture of safety in both EMS and the fire service," says IAFC Representative Mike McEvoy. "We believe that a collaborative approach to promoting safety in EMS with our brother and sister partners working together on the National EMS Safety Council is an ideal approach to improving both patient and provider safety."

NAEMT and ACEP provide administrative support to the Council. Dave Bryson of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Office of EMS serves as an advisor to the Council. The minutes of the Council meetings can be viewed here.

“NAEMT is pleased to collaborate with the leading EMS organizations in our nation to fulfill the goals of the National EMS Culture of Safety Strategy. Our industry can make tremendous progress working together to implement the recommendations contained in the strategy. Improved patient and practitioner safety is an essential component of EMS’s transformation to a patient-centered, values and outcomes based care model,” says Conrad “Chuck” Kearns, NAEMT President.

Contact the Council with questions or comments at

EMS Safety Officer Workshop

At this year's EMS World Expo, the National EMS Safety Council will sponsor the EMS Safety Officer Workshop, a four-hour CE program of safety-related continuing education. After completion of the workshop, attendees receive a certificate of attendance endorsed by the National EMS Safety Council.

The EMS Safety Officer Workshop is scheduled for Thursday, October 6, 1:30–5:45 p.m. Program agenda listed here:

  • How Lack of Sleep Is Making Us Slow, Stupid and Dangerous – Heather Davis, EdD, NREMT-P
  • Improving Safety Through Just Culture – Lee Varner
  • Turning Mistakes Into Learning: Self-Reporting In Action – Rob Lawrence, MCMI
  • EMS Cross-Checks — David Page, MS, NREMT-P
  • How To Create a Successful Behavioral Health Program – Jeff Dill
  • What Should be Presented in OSHA/Infection Control Training – Katherine H. West, BSN, MSEd
  • Putting The Right Person In the Left Seat – Ryan Pietzsch
  • Utilizing Safety Stories as Tools for ChangeLee Varner

Attendance at the workshop is included within the core program EMS World Expo registration. Register at









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