America is wrestling with issues of racial equity that intersect intimately with the emergency medical services. EMS systems aren’t as diverse as the communities they serve—just 5% of EMTs and 3% of paramedics identify as Black, vs. 13% of the U.S. population—and even in public-service capacities providers can experience discrimination, misunderstanding, and a lack of shared perspectives. Can we create a better environment for Black EMS professionals? Join EMS Chief Douglas Randell and Dr. Sylvia Owusu-Ansah for a discussion of actionable ideas to enhance recruitment and develop more welcoming workplaces in these difficult times.
Division Chief of EMS, Plainfield Fire Territory, Plainfield, Ind.
Douglas landed this job in 2016 after acquiring his Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management from Harris-Stowe State University and after working 20 years at the City of St. Louis Fire Department, where he was EMS Training Officer for over 800 paramedics, EMTs, and firefighters. He also has been actively serving as the EMS Section Chair of the Indiana Fire Chiefs Association since 2016. Douglas is also co-sponsoring Indiana’s Paramedic Shortage Project as a representative of the Indiana Fire Chiefs Association with the Indiana EMS Association.
Sylvia Owusu-Ansah, MD, MPH, FAAP
Medical Director, Prehospital and EMS, UPMC Children’s Hospital, Pittsburgh, Penn.
Dr. Owusu-Ansah is a board- certified pediatrician and board eligible pediatric emergency medicine and emergency medical physician. Dr. Owusu-Ansah has completed both a pediatric emergency medicine and emergency medical services fellowship. She develops curriculums and provides education for EMS personnel as well as for government EMS. She serves as chair of the research committee on the board for NREMT. Dr. Owusu-Ansah is now focused on promoting diversity, equity and inclusion on multiple academic planes by serving as the inaugural Chair of the Diversity Task Force of NAEMSP and the Inaugural Associate Vice Chair of Diversity Equity and Inclusion for the department of Pediatrics at UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh.
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