Leaders facing unprecedented challenges

Foundational beliefs will guide EMS leaders through the challenges wrought by the COVID-19 pandemic


The following message from Jay Fitch, PhD, was originally posted in a Fitch & Associates newsletter and is reprinted here with permission. We at EMS1 appreciate his leadership in this difficult time and echo his sentiments – please let us know how we can help.

By Jay Fitch

Many of you have commented that you get so many emails from us you feel like we are old friends. We want you to know we feel the same way.

There aren’t words to adequately describe what EMS agencies throughout the world are going through right now. We’ve paraphrased several thoughts that Fred Myers, CEO of a non-EMS/public safety organization we respect, shared with his customers this week that ring true for us as well…

Emergency Medical Technicians wheel a collapsible wheeled stretcher into the emergency room at NewYork-Presbyterian Lower Manhattan Hospital, Wednesday, March 18, 2020, in New York. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
Emergency Medical Technicians wheel a collapsible wheeled stretcher into the emergency room at NewYork-Presbyterian Lower Manhattan Hospital, Wednesday, March 18, 2020, in New York. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

"It is important to take a moment to reaffirm our appreciation for your leadership in the EMS profession. EMS and the fire service, in many communities in America, are the tip of the spear in dealing with COVID-19. We recognize you are personally under immense pressure as you care for your communities, your caregivers and your own extended family. Thank you for your continued dedication and perseverance."

We also wanted to share how Fitch & Associates is approaching the COVID-19 situation and the economic fallout that will follow.

There are several foundational beliefs that govern everything we do at Fitch & Associates. These were in place well before this crisis began, will guide us while the crisis persists, and will continue to give us direction after this crisis has passed.

These foundational beliefs are:

  1. Always do the right thing
  2. Value relationships
  3. Lead by example

We know it’s going to be difficult in the next little while, but as we work through the next couple of days, weeks and months, we want you to know that we will not compromise on these ideals, and you can count on us to be a trusted partner and friend.

Our long-term goal from this crisis is to continue to serve, learn and provide even better service. Most of us at the firm are working remotely and we are continuing to work on client projects to keep them on schedule. Some educational events are being rescheduled to a later date including the upcoming second week of the current ASM class which will be moved to late summer. We are still working through the all the intricate details related to Pinnacle, including either moving ahead or postponing the conference to a later date. (For a list of public safety event cancellations or postponements, click here.)

 As all of you will be dealing with many of your own unique issues over the next couple of weeks, we will be working through those details and will let you know as things unfold.

As we all practice social distancing, we are reminded of how nice it was to be able to freely come together and shake hands, enjoy each other's company, and work together to solve our profession’s challenging problems. And, we are reminded that the value of our relationships are enhanced by the little things that bring us together like coming to Pinnacle to learn, share and be inspired.

When you are ready, we are here to help. We hope you will feel free to reach out if we can help in any way.

Best personal regards and wishes for good health,

— Jay Fitch
Founding Partner
Fitch & Associates


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