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The Seven Pillars of National EMS Officer Competencies
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Download the National EMS Officer Competencies document

NEMSA determined that the best way to organize the National EMS Officer Competencies was to separate them into seven distinct pillars. Each pillar has several sub-sections that outline different attributes, tasks and skills necessary to be a successful EMS officer.

Within each pillar, the competencies are spelled out for each level of officer side by side so users can understand expectations at their current level and what would be required of them as they advance.

In addition, examples of low confidence, confidence and overconfidence for each category have been defined in order to help guide current leaders in their professional growth and advancement. It is as important to understand that low confidence can create leadership challenges as it is to understand that overconfidence may have negative effects on a leader’s ability to lead. The seven pillars each identify distant areas that EMS Officers should excel within in order to be a successful leader.

The Seven Pillars of EMS Officer Competencies are:

  • EMS Officer Prerequisites
  • EMS Officer Self Attributes
  • EMS Officer Leading Others
  • EMS Officer Task Management
  • EMS Officer Innovation
  • EMS Officer Social Responsibility
  • EMS Officer Clinical Performance

In the development of this document it was determined that the competencies needed to identify two key components. First was what leadership skills are needed be effective leader in today EMS profession and second was to identify operational skillsets that an EMS Officer requires at each level of leadership. Going forward, we break these two areas out into “EMS Officer Core Leadership Knowledge” which identifies those attributes of a successful leader and “EMS Officer Operational Tasks & Skills” which identifies skillsets unique to our profession that an EMS officer would require in order to effectively perform in their role. 

Below we have listed out each of the seven pillars and the associated sub sections for each one. We have then further identified in blue or green if the competencies are associated with the attributes of “Core Leadership Knowledge” or if the competencies are related to “Operational Tasks & Skills”. Each competency is equally as important in the development of a well-rounded EMS Officer in order for them to succeed in their role within the EMS profession.

Below is an outline of the pillars and their association as “EMS Officer Core Leadership Knowledge” or “EMS Officer Operational Tasks & Skills”:

EMS Officer Prerequisites
EMS Officer Self Attributes
Work Habits
Work Attitudes
Stress Management
Self Insight

EMS Officer Leading Others
Interpersonal Awareness
Motivating Others
Developing Others
Influencing Others
Human Resources

EMS Officer Task Management
Executing Tasks
Solving Problems
Managing Information and Material Resources
Managing Human Resources
Enhancing Performance
Emergency Service Delivery
EMS Officer Innovation
Integrating Perspectives
Managing Change

EMS Officer Social Responsibility
Civic Responsibility
Social Knowledge
Ethical Processes
Leading Others Ethically
Acting with Integrity
Health & Safety
Community Relations & Government Affairs

EMS Officer Clinical Performance
Quality and Performance
Education and Learning Systems

Download the National EMS Officer Competencies document