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Preserving history with the NEMSM

The National EMS Museum hopes to inspire a new generation to take up the call


Photo/National EMS Museum

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In this episode of EMS One-Stop, Host Rob Lawrence discusses the National EMS Museum (NEMSM) with President Dave Zaiman; Museum Director, Kristy Van Hoven; and Jon Krohmer, MD, immediate past-secretary and “We are EMS” coordinator. The National EMS Museum is a volunteer-led organization that collects, preserves and shares the history of emergency medical response in the United States in hopes of inspiring future professionals to take up the call.

The National EMS Museum organization operates a virtual museum and produces traveling exhibitions that tour the country every year. The Collections at the National EMS Museum house over 300 years of history that cover the development of prehospital care in the United States, North America and around the world.


“We are here to educate the future. We are here not only to document the legacy, but here to provide a foundation and an education that EMS as a profession, as we move forward is respected, is understood, and maybe in a small part this museum can play a part in improving EMS altogether.”



National EMS Museum

The National EMS Museum organization operates a virtual museum and produces traveling exhibitions that tour the country every year


03:05 – Origins of the NEMSM

05:04 – The style and model of the NEMSM

07:00 – Changes underway – recruiting individuals with experience in museum activities

11:50 – President Dave Zaiman

13:20 – Getting EMS into the community

15:00 – Favorite artifacts

16:30 – From MAST pants to blood transfusion

17:20 – Fundraising effort in order to take the museum on the road

20:30 – Developing a traveling mobile “We are EMS” museum project

23:40 – How to book a traveling exhibit



Dave Zaiman

Dave is currently Sales VP - Midwest at Pulsara. For over 30 years, Dave has been working in healthcare – both as an EMS professional as well as holding several leadership roles in the healthcare technology industry. Based in Minnesota, Dave spent his first 15 years working in the field as an EMT and paramedic in the Twin Cities metro area for both Allina and Hennepin County Medical Center.

Kristy Van Hoven

Kristy is the museum director for the National EMS Museum and PhD candidate at the University of Leicester. Over the last 3 years, Kristy has worked with the National EMS Museum’s Board of Trustees to develop and implement engaging e-volunteer opportunities and community programs that reach their digital audience. In addition to her work with the EMS Museum, Kristy volunteers at several local museums in Toronto, Ontario.

Jon Krohmer, MD

Dr. Krohmer served as the director of the NHTSA Office of EMS before his retirement in November 2021. During his tenure as director, Dr. Krohmer oversaw several milestones for the profession, including the creation of EMS Agenda 2050; major revisions to the National EMS Scope of Practice Model and the National EMS Education Standards; and improvements in the collection and use of EMS data through the expansion of the National EMS Information System. Soon after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Krohmer was tapped to lead the prehospital/911 team as part of the Federal Healthcare Resilience Task Force.

Prior to joining NHTSA, Dr. Krohmer had decades of experience as a local EMS medical director, initially in his home state of Michigan. His EMS career began as an EMT with a volunteer rescue squad. Like many EMS professionals, he was inspired by the television show “Emergency!” and by the emergence of the relatively new field of emergency medicine. He entered medical school at the University of Michigan knowing he wanted to make EMS his career. After becoming involved in EMS at the state and national level, he also served as president of the National Association of EMS Physicians from 1998 to 2000. In 2006, he came to Washington to serve as the first deputy chief medical officer for the Department of Homeland Security Office of Health Affairs and served in several other DHS roles before joining NHTSA in 2016.


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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.