Pinnacle Conference Quick Take: Growing leaders is most important responsibility of EMS leaders

EMS leaders at Pinnacle conference learn important elements of leadership and how to grow EMS leaders


SAN ANTONIO ― EMS leaders received an energetic welcome and inspirational keynote presentation on leadership from Lt. General Mark Hertling (U.S. Army retired) at the Pinnacle EMS Leadership conference.

Hertling opened his presentation with anecdotes about his military career, deployments to Iraq and his transition to health care leadership. At Florida Hospital Hertling, where he is now a senior vice president, successfully translated his 37 years of military experience and the U.S. Army’s approach to leadership development to the health care environment.

A top focus of this year's Pinnacle conference is growing EMS leaders. Hertling facilitated a conversation about the traits of great EMS leaders.

Memorable quotes
Here are three memorable quotes from Hertling's presentation.

"You have to tell your story actively. You need to make them understand your story."

"Your number one job as a leader is to grow your replacement."

"Everyone in a profession is required to be a leader."

Key takeaways on growing EMS leaders
Here are the key takeaways on growing EMS leaders from Hertling's keynote presentation.

  • Grow your replacement. Developing leaders is often overlooked in most organizations, but EMS chiefs and leaders need to intentionally develop and teach leadership skills.
  • Trust is the most important leadership attribute. Leaders need to understand how jobs are performed in their organization to identify problems and correct or award success.
  • Every EMS professional is a leader. By default anyone in what Hertling described as the four most important professions ― the law, ministry, military and medicine ― is a leader. People working in EMS either already have leadership attributes and competencies, or they need to be actively strengthening those attributes and competencies.
  • Leaders focus on accomplishments. Leaders create results or achievements through taking action.
  • Build great teams. Hertling discussed the importance of creating work spaces for sharing information, not assigning blame but instead taking responsibility and the importance of high-quality, realistic training to build great teams.

Hertling closed with the importance of trust, training and teamwork for leadership and team success with a personal reflection on the medical and media response to the Orlando Shooting.

Read more about EMS leadership from Fitch & Associates consultants.

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