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Empowering female first responders

The founders of the Women in Emergency Services association discuss their mission



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

In this episode, Rob Lawrence chats with the founding advisors of the new EMS association – Women in Emergency Services (WiES):

  • Amy Gnojek, CPA, MPA, CACO, founder/principal consultant, Apex360
  • Michelle Anderson, BA, director of administration at Lakes Region EMS
  • Maria Bianchi, chief executive of the American Ambulance Association

The guests discuss the formation of WiES and its aims, mission and four pillars:

  1. Empowerment
  2. Networking
  3. Mentorship
  4. Education

They also discuss how they hope to influence and impact the lives of thousands of women working in the emergency services industry.

Bianchi and Anderson also discuss their roles in current legislation and the upcoming Cost Collection survey as well as the AAA Vanguards Awards, which will honor those who blazed the trail for fellow female EMS professionals. The Vanguards will be presented in collaboration with Women in Emergency Services.

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.