NHTSA announces next director of Office of EMS

Gamunu Wijetunge is "a leader within NHTSA’s Office of EMS, an advocate for clinicians,” said Jon Krohmer, who is retiring from the position


By Leila Merrill

WASHINGTON — The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced in a news release Thursday that Gamunu Wijetunge, NRP, will be its director of the Office of EMS starting on Jan. 29.

Wijetunge has worked with the office for more than 20 years and is a volunteer paramedic, fire captain and the president of a volunteer rescue squad in Maryland.

The director is responsible for the national 911 program.
The director is responsible for the national 911 program.

The director is responsible for the national 911 program.

Current director Jon Krohmer, M.D., FACEP, FAEMS, is retiring.

“For many years, Gam has been a leader within NHTSA’s Office of EMS, an advocate for clinicians, and a trusted colleague for both Federal partners and Fire/EMS organizations,” said Krohmer. “His commitment to collaboration within the EMS community may be best illustrated through his stewardship of EMS Agenda 2050, which sets a clear path for the continued improvement of people-centered EMS systems for the next 30 years.”

The NHTSA credits Wijetunge with leading efforts to:

  • develop evidence-based guidelines and tackle EMS system improvement issues
  • address recruiting, retention, clinician safety and other EMS workforce topics
  • improve national EMS preparedness through coordination with other Federal agencies
  • facilitate consensus and collaboration within leadership and working groups of the Federal Interagency Committee on EMS.

“I am thrilled to continue the office’s collaborative work side-by-side with our federal partners, EMS stakeholders nationwide, and my colleagues at NHTSA,” said Wijetunge. “I look forward to continuing Jon’s good work to support state, regional and local EMS and 911 agencies as we strive to advance our people-centered EMS and 911 systems.”

Wijetunge was awarded the HHS/ASPR COVID-19 Pandemic Civilian Service Medal in 2021.


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