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A New Year, a New…EMS???

Welcome 2018

Welcome to the year 2018. It seems like it was only yesterday that it was 1999 and we were worried about the Y2K bug and the end of civilization as we knew it. A new year provides new opportunities for change and growth. That’s exactly what I’m going to attempt to do in this blog in this upcoming year. Change and growth.  2017 saw our country divided as severely as I have ever seen in my sixty years on this planet.  Our chosen profession of EMS has not been exempt from this division either.  I found it easy to be swept up into those divisions especially the ones that affected EMS. This year I’m going to try to take a more positive approach, and follow the advice of the ancient Stoics. This year I’m going to attempt to focus the majority of my energy on things that I can control, and not worry about the things that I have no direct control over. That does not mean that this EKU Inside Look blog site will not look at the tough issues. We will not be sitting around the EMS campfire and singing Kumbaya!  There are still serious questions that we as a profession must answer, such as wages, educational requirements, whether we want to be viewed as professionals, as well as a better attempt at policing ourselves and not making excuses for blatantly providing poor medical care.

Analysis Paralysis


I’m very proud to be a part of the EMS profession for over 40 years. I’ve seen incredible changes that have taken place from my start in the back of a hearse to now with vehicles, both ground and air, that provide advanced care that at one point in time, was relegated, not only to physicians, but surgeons!  It’s important that we no longer fall back on the crutch that “we are young profession”. EMS is over 50 years old and older in some parts of the country. From both an individual perspective as well as a corporate one, we need to take a long hard look at where we are and where we want to progress in the future. For too long, all of us, whether educators, administrators, field providers have been stuck in what I call, “analysis paralysis”. We spend entirely too much time looking at the problem and not enough time at attempting possible solutions. We have become so fearful of failure that we don’t do anything at all. As a result we are failing by default. 



It’s time that we realize that there is no silver bullet for the problems that we face. The stakeholders, mentioned in the previous paragraph, have operated in silos for entirely too long. National organizations that represent us operate in those same silos as well as. This has fed the lack of identity that we, as of EMS industry, do not have. Education alone will not solve the problem, although education is very important. It is time that all of us came to the table at the same time begin to seek solutions. I wish I could say that I was practicing what I preach, but currently I’m not. I hope to make some changes in that direction in the upcoming year. Do the same in your own sphere of influence.

About the author

Dr. Bill Young is an Associate Professor and the Director of the Department of Paramedicine at Eastern Kentucky University.  The EKU Emergency Medical Care Program is the second accredited Paramedic program in the nation and has been in continuous operation for over 40 years. We offer well established Associate of Science & Bachelor of Science degrees, 100% online, to currently licensed paramedics in any state.  Contact Dr. Young for more information.   

Published on January 09, 2018

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