Trending Topics

‘Honorable but Broken’: Spotlighting EMS in crisis

Producer Bryony Gilbey shares the backstory of the Sarah Jessica Parker-narrated EMS documentary

Sponsored by

Editor’s note: 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

“Honorable but Broken: EMS in Crisis” is a documentary film exploring the world of EMTs and paramedics, the collapse of the EMS system, and what needs to be done to save it. Narrated by six-time Golden Globe and two-time Primetime Emmy award winning actress, Sarah Jessica Parker, “Honorable but Broken” raises awareness of the systemic collapse of EMS and advocates for change.

In this episode of the EMS One-Stop podcast, host Rob Lawrence chats with producer Bryony Gilbey about the documentary that is now completed and available for streaming. Gilbey hopes the impactful, hard-hitting documentary will serve as a briefing and education tool for our elected officials and members of the general public.

As Gilbey notes, “It’s no good any longer just throwing up your hands and saying that’s just the way EMS is; it’s no good saying it’s someone else’s problem; it’s something we all need to work on, as a civilized society we need to address this issue and we need to do it quickly.”

The 60-minute documentary is now available on demand, streamed by Prodigy EMS and it is hoped that it will be used at local, state and national levels to bring attention to the issues we are facing.

Top quotes from this episode

“I expected to tell a story; I did not think that it would have quite this reaction” — Bryony Gilbey

“We now all have not many degrees of separation to somebody who has had some sort of PTSD, who has had to leave the job because of the pressures of work and dare I say ultimately taken their lives and that is incredibly sad.” — Rob Lawrence

“It all comes down to three words – all in favor – if we don’t get the vote, we don’t get the money, we don’t get the change.” — Rob Lawrence

Listen now

Episode contents

00:48 – Documentary teaser

01:18 – Introduction/Bryony Gilbey

02:16 – The “Honorable but Broken” back story

05:46 – How did Gilbey view EMS and its issues

08:15 – The finished product and how can we view it

10:24 – A federal screening on Capitol Hill

11:30 – Reaction from elected officials

13:16 – John Mondello/emotional trauma

14:00 – Eileen Mondello – John’s mother

15:25 – Reaction to Eileen Mondello – “It never gets easier’

17:00 – He wasn’t the first, he isn’t the only and sadly he won’t be the last

22:00 – Other featured speakers in the documentary and their powerful messages

22:30 – Recruitment, retention and retirement

24:35 – What is the cost of a human life to a politician?

26:25 – Educating the legislators and the public

28:00 – The cost of readiness

29:05 – Reimbursement doesn’t add up

31:00 – The hospital side of things – Beckers Review on Hospital closures and adding to ambulance and hospital deserts

31:30 – Call to action and the legislative agenda

35:30 – Sarah Jessica Parker

39:00 – How and where to view via Prodigy EMS

39:50 – Final thoughts

About our guest

Bryony Gilbey

With a prolific career spanning several decades, Bryony Gilbey is a seasoned director, producer and freelance writer/editor, distinguished for crafting compelling narratives across various media platforms. As the director/producer for the impactful EMS documentary, “Honorable but Broken: EMS in Crisis,” Gilbey has showcased an unparalleled ability to guide projects from inception to completion.

Gilbey previously worked with the Nexstar Media Group, Inc. as a freelance writer/editor. Here, she demonstrated versatility by producing feature pieces on health and lifestyle topics for Tribune Publishing and contributing to

Gilbey also served as an associate producer at Mary Murphy & Co. from 2005 to 2012. During this period, she played a pivotal role in the production of the PBS American Masters documentary “Hey Boo,” centered around Harper Lee. In the early 2000s, Bryony worked as a Producer/AP at ABC News Productions, where she produced documentaries on medical breakthroughs in neonatal care for Discovery Health.

The foundation of Bryony’s career was laid during her time as an associate producer at “60 Minutes,” CBS News, from 1995 to 2000. Working closely with producers and correspondents, she contributed to the creation of original news stories.

Throughout her extensive and diverse career, Bryony Gilbey has consistently demonstrated a passion for storytelling, a keen journalistic instinct, and an unwavering commitment to delivering content that informs and resonates with audiences worldwide.



Enjoying the show? Please take a moment to rate and review us on Apple Podcasts. Contact the EMS One-Stop team at to share ideas, suggestions and feedback.

Listen on Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music, Spotify and RSS feed.

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.