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Acknowledging the importance of EMS in the fire service

Dr. Lori Moore-Merrell announces plans to rename the USFA to the U.S. Fire and EMS Administration

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This episode of EMS One-Stop With Rob Lawrence is brought to you by Lexipol, the experts in policy, training, wellness support and grants assistance for first responders and government leaders. To learn more, visit

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EMS One-Stop Host Rob Lawrence recently travelled to Florida to attend the Metropolitan Medical Directors Gathering of Eagles Conference. In this week’s episode, he shares video from key sessions and interviews with a number of leading EMS medical directors, including Dr. Jim Augustine, medical director of Lee County, Florida.

The Eagles also gave the floor to the U.S. Fire Administrator Dr. Lori Moore-Merrell, who identified how the Metropolitan Medical Directors will work closely in the future with the U.S. Metropolitan Fire Chiefs – and identified that a name change to USFA may soon follow.


“Seventy-five percent of what we do in the fire response space is in fact EMS, and something that I shared with these guys yesterday is an action, I won’t say a movement yet, but an action under way, we may in fact in the near term actually rename the U.S. Fire Administration the U.S. Fire and EMS Administration.” — Dr. Lori Moore Merrell

“We have just stood up in January an EMS branch within our National Fire and EMS Programs Division. That is a huge move for USFA, so we are going to be moving toward even bigger announcements in the near future ... but we need to embrace what we do in the fire service, that is greater than 70%, most departments 75% and up of EMS.” — Dr. Lori Moore Merrell

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01:00 - Takeaways from Brandon Morshedi, MD; Peter Antevy, MD; Joseph Zalkin; Petar and Amber Hossick

02:00 - Introducing the comments from Dr. Moore-Merrell

04:00 - Recorded comments from Dr. Moore Merrell

09:00 - Discussion with Dr. James Augustine

24:00 - Closing commentary

Rob Lawrence has been a leader in civilian and military EMS for over a quarter of a century. He is currently the director of strategic implementation for PRO EMS and its educational arm, Prodigy EMS, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and part-time executive director of the California Ambulance Association.

He previously served as the chief operating officer of the Richmond Ambulance Authority (Virginia), which won both state and national EMS Agency of the Year awards during his 10-year tenure. Additionally, he served as COO for Paramedics Plus in Alameda County, California.

Prior to emigrating to the U.S. in 2008, Rob served as the COO for the East of England Ambulance Service in Suffolk County, England, and as the executive director of operations and service development for the East Anglian Ambulance NHS Trust. Rob is a former Army officer and graduate of the UK’s Royal Military Academy Sandhurst and served worldwide in a 20-year military career encompassing many prehospital and evacuation leadership roles.

Rob is a board member of the Academy of International Mobile Healthcare Integration (AIMHI) as well as chair of the American Ambulance Association’s State Association Forum. He writes and podcasts for EMS1 and is a member of the EMS1 Editorial Advisory Board. Connect with him on Twitter.