January 31, 2019
After more than two years of stakeholder and public input, the Office of EMS at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and its federal partners today released “EMS Agenda 2050: A People-Centered Vision for the Future of Emergency Medical Services.” The document describes a vision for evidence-based, data-driven EMS that is integrated with the rest of the nation’s healthcare system.
“The release of EMS Agenda 2050 marks a beginning, not an end. It is now up to all of us to work together to make this vision a reality,” said Jon Krohmer, MD, director of the NHTSA Office of EMS. “NHTSA and our federal partners appreciate the work of the Technical Expert Panel, project team, and everyone who contributed to this effort. They have provided an inspiring framework on which to build.”
EMS Agenda 2050’s people-centered vision is grounded in six guiding principles. The EMS system of the future should be:
- Inherently safe and effective
- Integrated and seamless
- Socially equitable
- Reliable and prepared
- Sustainable and efficient
- Adaptable and innovative
“Achieving this vision will require deliberate actions of stakeholders at every level of EMS: individuals like you, EMS services of all models and sizes, public officials from local regulators to the Federal Government, and national associations,” the document says. “It will also require bold collaboration with our partners in this effort: our communities, local volunteers, payers, healthcare systems, social services, public health, and our partners in public safety.”
“Our first responders, paramedics and other EMS clinicians are key to the nation’s health and safety, whether responding to everyday medical problems, vehicle crashes or major incidents and natural disasters,” said NHTSA Deputy Administrator Heidi King. “As a former EMT and 911 telecommunicator, I look forward to seeing the EMS community work together to achieve the bold and visionary agenda it identified for the future.”
The principles and recommendations within EMS Agenda 2050 build upon, rather than replace, the groundbreaking EMS Agenda for the Future, originally published in 1996. The process to review and revise the original Agenda was first recommended by the National EMS Advisory Council, a formal federal advisory group of EMS representatives and consumers authorized by Congress to provide advice and recommendations regarding EMS to NHTSA and to the members of the Federal Interagency Committee on EMS.
Throughout 2017 and 2018, the EMS Agenda 2050 vision was developed through a process that included several public meetings held across the country, online opportunities for input, and multiple rounds of public comment to provide feedback on drafts. Although the process was shepherded by a Technical Expert Panel, the goal was to involve as many members of the EMS community and the public as possible to accommodate multiple viewpoints and develop a vision that addresses key goals for the entire profession.
EMS Agenda 2050 was developed with funding from the NHTSA Office of EMS, the Health Resources & Services Administration EMS for Children program, the US Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, and the US Department of Homeland Security.