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How to recommend new EMS equipment for your agency

Everyone likes new equipment, but before you run to your boss to make your case, ask yourself these questions


Ask yourself these 7 questions when making a case for new technology for your EMS service.

Photo/courtesy Greg Friese

Is your department considering new equipment, software or vehicles? EMS1 is here to help with your purchasing decision. Check out our free How to Buy guides, each featuring detailed guidance for how to approach purchasing specific emergency medical service products, from patient handling to ePCR. The guides – written by leading EMS experts – feature sections addressing key considerations before purchasing, how to implement post-purchase, and questions to ask vendors to ensure you’re making the right purchasing decision.

If you are like me, you walk out of a trade show with an arm full of brochures, a bag full of snacks and candy, and a mental list of new equipment to demand that your service purchases immediately. Before rushing into the boss’s office and demanding change, ask yourself these questions:

1. If you had to pick just one piece of equipment, which would it be?

2. Which one thing would benefit your patients the most? Would it offer a benefit to your service’s coworkers as well?

3. How would the new piece of equipment improve patient assessment and care?

4. How could you prove a positive impact on patient assessment and care with the new piece of equipment?

5. What protocol changes or initial and ongoing education would be required if the new equipment was purchased?

6. Does your service have the ability to maintain and monitor use of new equipment?

7. What could be eliminated from the existing inventory by purchasing the new piece of equipment?

Now use your answers to those questions to make your case to your service director. Your ability to lay out a clear explanation of why a new piece of equipment is needed could lead to a successful purchase. If your boss is intrigued by the idea, offer to assist in scheduling a demo, review the need for protocol changes and conduct education efforts when it comes time for implementation of the new product.

Finally, be patient. Change takes time and new equipment needs to be scheduled relative to other organization priorities.

What piece of EMS equipment would you like to see your service purchase immediately to improve patient assessment and care?

This tip was originally posted Sept. 1, 2009. It has been updated.

Greg Friese, MS, NRP, is the Lexipol Editorial Director, leading the efforts of the editorial team on Police1, FireRescue1, Corrections1 and EMS1. Greg served as the EMS1 editor-in-chief for five years. He has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a master’s degree from the University of Idaho. He is an educator, author, national registry paramedic since 2005, and a long-distance runner. Greg was a 2010 recipient of the EMS 10 Award for innovation. He is also a three-time Jesse H. Neal award winner, the most prestigious award in specialized journalism, and the 2018 and 2020 Eddie Award winner for best Column/Blog. Connect with Greg on LinkedIn.