As the baby boomers get older, the need for additional EMS resources grows every year. With an increase in call volume across the country, there is need for an increased number of pre-hospital clinical providers and a need for leaders who are prepared to guide them in the right direction. Because EMS is the youngest of the public safety fields, we are still developing as a profession and building some of the key components needed to make us successful. In addition, the roles of EMS providers are evolving more each day as EMS becomes a more integrated part of the entire healthcare system.

Over the years, the other public safety disciplines have set clear goals, objectives and competencies establishing what is expected from each level of supervision within their areas. In other public safety disciplines, each step is defined by the level of supervision that person will assume and one step builds on the next as the leader advances in training, responsibilities and managerial skills.

Over the past several years, the National EMS Management Association has been putting together a document that creates competencies for each of the levels of leadership within the EMS profession. NEMSMA has identified three levels of EMS leadership, the Supervising EMS Officer, the Managing EMS Officer and the Executive EMS Officer, with the understanding that each level is a building block to the next. NEMSMA then focused on developing leadership competencies for the entire EMS community, regardless of the model system you work within, the type of staffing your agency uses or the number of calls you respond to each year. These competencies have been developed to help form and guide aspiring and current leaders so they can best perform in their role as EMS officers across the nation. As these EMS Officer Competencies were developed, NEMSMA stressed equally the importance of identifying the attributes of a successful leader and that of identifying the operational tasks and skills needed to best perform in each level of leadership.

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