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Generational codes: Retaining your primary customers – your people

Steve Grau, Anna Liotta and Steve Wirth join hosts Rob Lawrence and Chris Cebollero at the American Ambulance Association Annual Conference 2023

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Click here to watch a video of this special crossover episode of Inside EMS and EMS One-Stop!

In this EMS One-Stop/Inside EMS crossover podcast, Chris Cebollero teams up with Rob Lawrence to report on the 2023 American Ambulance Association Annual Conference from the MGM Grand, in Las Vegas. Rob and Chris discuss their own personal highlights and Rob’s leadership session, delivered with Acadian Ambulance President, Justin Back.

Rob and Chris are joined by Page, Wolfberg & Wirth Founding Partner, Steve Wirth, Esq., and discuss bias, the topic of Steve’s conference session. Rob then interviews AAA keynote speaker, Anna Liotta, together with Royal Ambulance President Steve Grau, as they discuss:

  • Generational codes in the workforce
  • The revolving door of employment
  • Creating the milestones of forward progression
  • Understanding that your people are you primary customer


“In dealing with bias, self-awareness is absolutely critical – you have to do an inventory of your life and say ‘where are these things that I’ve experienced and how do they affect my decision making today and my interaction with other people,’ so self-awareness is really the first step.” — Steve Wirth

“When you go to a conference, go up to somebody. The reason that you have a nametag, with your first name in very large font is so that I can say, ‘Hello Chris, I’m Rob, pleased to meet you. What do you do?’ and that’s how a network occurs.” — Rob Lawrence

“Having this culture of a high-level of engagement is really focusing on our employees as our primary customer and making sure that we understand what their goals, ideals, passions are, and how to meet them.” — Steve Grau

“Just by the way they answered a simple question ‘so, what do you do?’ I could tell if they had been working there 2-3 weeks if they answer with a bright sparkle, ‘I work at Amazon.’ But if they had been there 2-3 months, they would pause, ‘well … I work at Amazon,’ And 6 months, they would drop a codeword, ‘I currently work at Amazon.’” — Anna Liotta

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Part 1: Rob Lawrence and Chris Cebollero – Serving to lead

00:30 – Rob and Chris introduction

1:30 – Car seat safety (not rated for ambulances)

3:30 – Rob’s leadership session with Acadian President Justin Back on the principles of leadership, serving to lead

05:30 – Chris discusses leadership as a science

06:30 – What we want from our leaders

Part 2: Steve Wirth Overcoming bias

07:30 – Welcome Steve Wirth

08:00 – Steve discusses his conference session, “We are all prejudiced” delivered in partnership with Macara Trusty (GMR)

11:30 – The importance of networking and meeting professional friends

14:56 – Chris talks about his leadership series on EMS1

Part 3: Anna Liotta and Steve Grau – Retaining your primary customer

16:00 – Introduction: Anna and Steve

17:00 – Generational difference - Have you seen a “Star Wars” movie?

17:30 – Anna: Common sense is not that common

18:30 – The Royal Ambulance (award winning) Career Bridge Program

20:00 – Generational codes in the workforce

22:50 – The revolving door of employment

24:00 – Creating the milestones of forward progression

25:00 – Anna’s Experience with Fortune 500 companies

25:30 – Understanding that your talent and people are your primary customer

26:00 – Creating an arc of experience

28:00 – Not allowing yourself to say “that’s how I did it”

29:00 – Fostering the whole human

30:00 – Pulling talent forward

31:00 – Rob and Chris close


Anna Liotta

Anna Liotta, creator of Generationally Savvy Communication Solutions, is an award-winning speaker, business consultant and author. She engages audiences with her practical strategies for attracting, growing and retaining top talent and loyal clients from every generation.

Anna integrates communications, sociology, business psychology and demography to unify workplaces and dramatically improve company performance. Her expertise and insight have helped such companies as Pike Place Market, Intel, Wells Fargo, Microsoft, Amazon, the PGA, NBA and United Way.

Steve Grau

Steve Grau and his family emigrated from Ukraine in 1989, arriving in San Francisco with $80 to their name. He became interested in healthcare 15 years later, when he took a hands-on role caring for his grandfather after a series of debilitating strokes. Witnessing how emotional support impacted physical healing, Steve was inspired to leave the tech industry to start an ambulance service that focused on patient experience.

Steve Wirth

Steve Wirth is a founding partner of Page, Wolfberg & Wirth. In a distinguished four-decade public safety career, Steve has worked in virtually every facet of EMS – as first responder, firefighter, EMT, paramedic, flight paramedic, EMS instructor, fire officer and EMS executive. He was one of central Pennsylvania’s first paramedics. Steve brings a pragmatic and business-oriented perspective to his diverse legal practice, having served for almost a decade as senior executive of a mid-sized air and ground ambulance service, helping to build the company from the ground up.

The Inside EMS podcast is a regular expert discussion of hot topics, clinical issues, operational and leadership lessons for EMTs, paramedics and chiefs