Very few textbooks have been written with the EMS manager in mind. Some of those that have, left a lot to be desired and many were not comprehensive enough to really be useful when dealing with the big picturethat is EMS management. This latest addition into the foray is a much needed and more wide-ranging book that will be useful, not only in the training of EMS managers, past, present, and future, but as a resource for current managers looking to sharpen their abilities.
"Management of EMS" is published by Brady (Pearson Education; Upper Saddle River NJ) and was written by Bruce Evans, a current EMS Chief with 25 years experience, and Jeff Dyar, a former National Fire Academy (Emmitsburg) EMS Program Chair who has over 36 years experience.
Both of these quality individuals bring a plethora of experience and background to the table and both have been players on the national circuit for many years. Even with these fabulous credentials they give a product that is useful across the span of wide-ranging topics that concern managers.
Every EMS text starts with a history lesson and this one is no exception.? In many ways, the History of EMS seems to be as important to us (why else would it be included?) as the real meat and potatoes of the topic, but that aside, it also seems as if some authors take a little leeway when it comes to the facts. This text seems to be at least as accurate as the better ones in this arena and the attempt to feed the history lesson into the subject matter seems to work well. This is appreciated here and their overall placement of EMS into the big governmental structure is well done, albeit a little wordy with all of the associations and organizations mentioned. Nevertheless, it covers the real rise to federal attention from the beginning and the history lesson is integrated and brief enough to not lose the reader who has "heard it all" before. Nostalgia is not necessarily a bad thing.
The textbook includes such topics as strategic planning, risk management, and injury prevention that are very useful tools for the EMS manager, not just from a training standpoint but as a resource for ideas and a guide to avoiding pitfalls that can be anticipated. There is also a section about turning managers into leaders. This portion is almost inspirational when the reader gets past the psychology of Maslow's Hierarchy and dives into the communication techniques and the motivational aspects associated with true leaders.
A large gap in manager training has been the concept of human resources.? While this may appear as a "dot the I's and cross the T's" chapter, real insight went into this section looking at it from a managerial standpoint. Many times people pass the buck to the HR department because "they are the professionals" when it comes to people, and others really never have a sound understanding of the process. Nowhere do managers get the insight of proper people management regarding motivation, support, coaching, and molding prospective and current personnel. This text overcomes many of these obstacles with some on-target discussions and also lays out some of the legal aspects that are essential to understanding the difference between workers' rights and managerial responsibility when it comes to handling the most expensive asset, the people who are supervised. There are also subsequent chapters on career development, staff management, and labor relations that nicely follow the HR chapter and give further management techniques for utilizing and building (and often controlling) this precious asset.
There are two good chapters on fiscal management and fleet management, and any quality "protector of the purse" needs to be savvy in these matters. Managers, EMS or not, have a daunting task of handling the budgets that are given to them (or they have to argue for), and they cannot be foolhardy with the nickels and dimes, as that is where the battle is most often lost. The "fleet" chapter alone, with a little effort and ability, could save some major dollars with good planning and execution. Spending so much on apparatus and equipment, rigorous fiscal conservatism can often make or break a service, whether or not it is private, municipal, governmental or industrial in focus. While much of the financial management chapter focused on billing and the like (not totally, but this may not be of interest to some non-billing services), the broad inclusion of the other chapters involving monetary planning and usage helps to balance the overall dialogue.
Some of the "obligatory" chapters are also included: quality management, education, special ops, and incident management; athe authors do not really disappoint in these areas. I especially liked some of the NIMS (National Incident Management System) discussion, and this is important when incidents arise in which federal agencies (particularly the DHS and the FBI) may take an interest. Remember that any incident may receive scrutiny as a possible "attack" scenario (especially large conflagrations and incidents where great amounts of life and property are lost), whether foreign or domestic. NIMS provides some of the framework for the interagency collaboration and requirements. This section and discussion could have been longer and more detailed, but I have that general feeling about the whole text.? It could/should have been longer and I was a little surprised (given the number of real EMS management textbooks that are truly available) that several of the chapters were not much longer.? There was also very little about interfacing with law enforcement, and given the current state of the DHS, NIMS and ICS in general, a section on dealing with "all powerful" law enforcement agencies that may descend on an incident when the possibility or even the whisper of "terrorism" was spoken. They follow ICS with a good chapter on interagency relations and operations, but a real fleshing out of the pitfalls of the law enforcement encroachment (Can they really just take control?), on your incident and? authority for the incident, might have been supportive for continuity.
The inclusion of the section on research was excellent for managers who are not really the "number crunchers" that they should be in this role. This is great reading for the supervisor who needs to justify capitol equipment expenditures using call volumes and demographics or just needs to track certain calls and issues internally. A brief discussion on satellite tracking is also included so managers that span vast geographic areas (possibly global operations) can track, via satellite, even apparatus movement. This at least shows the possibly, if not the reality, that is available with the current technology.
This is an excellent addition to the book arena and is long in coming. The readability of the material is not overly technical albeit the book is heavy with charts and graphs, but overall the information seems to flow within the text itself.? That is the goal of an educational tool after all, to transfer the information from one to another.? This text meets that goal and seems to hit all of its own objectives without issue. There is also substantial support for this work including related PowerPoints and instructor support from the publisher that is downloadable with the text usage (this is a big plus for educators and training directors that may need to integrate this material into their educational planning). This text will also meet some the requirements for the Fire and Emergency Services Higher Education (FESHE)? training in EMS coming out of the National Fire Academy (i.e. Ops, QI, and Foundations). This National EMS Management Curriculum is in development and one of the authors of this work (Evans) is heavily involved with the development.? This material is very welcomed and the addition of this text into the arsenal of tools for training can only help to bolster this curriculum.
?"Management of EMS" (Evans/Dyar; ISBN-13:978-0-13-232432-8; Brady Publishing; Pearson Education) is out now. Check out this *NEW* text for your training needs. This is good quality material.?