These competencies were designed to be used in three very different ways. First, they offer goals and direction for aspiring EMS officers. They create a clear understanding of what a clinical provider may need to obtain or achieve in order to advance to a role as a Supervising EMS Officer. Second, the document sets benchmarks to help current officers improve performance within their current assignments.
The document clearly outlines what is expected of the EMS officer in his or her current role and indicates what is needed to advance to the next level in any agency. Third, the document sets expectations for EMS officers who lead other EMS officers. No longer will individual EMS officers have to wonder if other officers should know how to perform a given skill or respond to a certain situation.
There will be no ambiguity regarding what is outside a given officer’s scope of leadership. This document will help create defined roles and expectations so the entire EMS leadership team has a clear understanding of each other’s roles and responsibilities.
Let’s take a look at the three methods in a little more detail:
For Aspiring Leaders:
The competencies outline a set of goals, expectations and suggested prerequisites for optimal performance as an EMS officer. The competencies allow aspiring leaders to set a path to best prepare for the future and desired promotional opportunities. The competencies help create aspiring leaders by outlining what areas they need to focus on, what additional education they may want to obtain to be the most prepared, and what expectations will confront them in each new role they assume in the organization.
For Current Leaders:
The competencies outline a clear set of goals and expectations for EMS leaders in similar roles across the United States. Since every agency is different, the delivery model can be modified to meet local demands and challenges. The competences offer guidelines for current EMS officers to help them understand what is expected of them in their current organizational roles. Current leaders may use the competencies in two different ways; first, as a tool to benchmark and set clear expectations on how to best perform as a leader in their current role; second, as an indicator of what will be expected of them if they desire to move up to the next level of leadership within the organization. This allows current leaders to understand what is expected them today, how to improve as a leader and what attributes, tasks and skills would be needed to achieve a promotion. In addition, the competencies outline levels of “confidence”. These outlines can help current EMS officers determine where their current strengths and areas of opportunity for improvement lie. As an additional tool, the document can be used to perform self and peer evaluation of the current EMS officer’s, based on these competencies and the outlined levels of confidence to help them grow as officers and as a member of the leadership team.
For Leaders of Leaders:
In the past, EMS officers responsible for overseeing other EMS officers have often held erroneous expectations of, misjudged or incorrectly evaluated each other. Often, EMS officers exceeded their roles within the organization or they underachieved in their operational functions due to a lack of communication or clear expectations. The competencies now outline a clear set of expectations for each level of EMS officer leadership. This allows both the EMS officer and his or her superior EMS officer to understand what to expect of one another, how to respond to different situations and how best to work together. This small change can help reduce stress among the leadership team, improve operational performance and help achieve organizational goals.