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NREMT’s founder, first executive director dies

“Rocco Morando was a luminary in the EMS profession and was instrumental in helping shape the lifesaving system we know,” said Bill Seifarth, executive director



By Leila Merrill

DETROIT — Rocco V. Morando, founder and first executive director of the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians, died Tuesday. He was 95 and passed away peacefully after a prolonged illness, according to the organization.


Rocco V. Morando, 95, was NREMT’s first executive director.


“Rocco Morando was a luminary in the EMS profession and was instrumental in helping shape the lifesaving system we know today. His legacy will continue to provide inspiration for years to come, and we are grateful for his contributions,” Bill Seifarth, current executive director, announced to the staff and board Tuesday afternoon.

In 1970, the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians was established following the recommendation of a task force assembled under President Lyndon B. Johnson’s Committee on Highway Traffic Safety. Morando was selected as NREMT’s executive director in 1971 and held that position for nearly two decades.

The NREMT lists some of the accomplishments Morando oversaw as:

  • “the first basic NREMT-A examination administered simultaneously to 1,520 ambulance personnel at 51 test sites throughout the United States (1971);
  • the first recertification of Nationally Registered EMTs based on re-evaluation of skills (1973);
  • the development of the first national paramedic curriculum in conjunction with leading EMS agencies and the University of Pittsburgh (1976-77);
  • the first NREMT-Paramedic examination (1978); and
  • the development of the first NREMT-Intermediate curriculum and examination (1980).”

The Rocco V. Morando Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes a lifetime of commitment, contributions and leadership to Emergency Medical Services. The award is presented by the National Association of EMTs and is sponsored by the National Registry.

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