Documentary to focus on EMS providers working through pandemic

Michigan Medstar Paramedic and CEO Kolby Miller is producing the film "Streets of Covid," which will feature interviews with providers, EMS leaders and medical directors from around the country


By Laura French

CLINTON TOWNSHIP, Mich. — A Michigan paramedic is working on a documentary film that will focus on EMS providers working through the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“Streets of Covid" will be a feature-length documentary focused on the personal impact of the pandemic on EMS providers, as well as the challenges of providing care in non-clinical and public spaces during a pandemic, according to a press release.

“There’s no doubt that the entire healthcare and public safety worlds have been affected by the pandemic," says Kolby Miller, a 30-year Michigan paramedic and the film's producer, in a statement. “However, the story of EMS is different. It needs to be told with a specific focus, rather than a film that features other providers with EMS represented as '…and EMS.'"

Miller is the Chief Executive Officer of Medstar, a large not-for-profit EMS and mobile health provider in Southern Michigan. Miller said the film, his first feature-length documentary production, will be a project separate from his role at Medstar, and that Medstar will not be featured in the film any more than other personnel from across the United States.

The film will delve into the emotional impact of providing care during the pandemic, including the personal and family lives of providers who were affected by the virus, according to Miller. The film will feature interviews with providers, EMS leaders, and system medical directors from around the country. EMTs, paramedics and system clinical and agency leadership are currently being sought for in-person interviews.

“This is a story that needs to be told. Not as a footnote to another, or a story about other providers that happens to mention EMS. With a great respect for all who work in healthcare and public safety, this effort reflects my belief that EMS providers deserve to be recognized independently and specifically for the autonomous and difficult care we provide," Miller stated. “Our environment does not have room dividers, EKG or lab techs, exam lights, security, or housekeeping. Few people understand the magnitude of that difference, and the pandemic has amplified the challenges of providing care wherever the patients happen to be.”

Miller is covering travel and early production costs for the film, and says he believes there will be sufficient financial support from EMS-related organizations, associations and national vendors to ensure final production and distribution. A Kickstarter campaign is also being conducted through the end of February for individual, local and other contributions.

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