Trending Topics

Matt Zavadsky and Dia Gainor: EMS One-Stop with Rob Lawrence

MedStar’s Matt Zavadsky and NASEMSO’s Dia Gainor discuss traffic incident management and EMS’s role in multi-agency response after 133 vehicle pileup


Six people were killed and dozens injured due to a 130+ car pileup in Texas last month, which included 18 wheelers as well as some public safety vehicles.

Photo/Glen E. Ellman for Fort Worth FD

Recently, MedStar Mobile Healthcare responders in Fort Worth, Texas, were put fully to the test when a crash involving more than 130 vehicles occurred after a night of freezing rain on I-35W. Six people were killed and dozens injured among the wreckage, which included 18 wheelers as well as some public safety vehicles.

MedStar crews identified patients who had died on the scene and cleared all vehicles in and amongst the mile-long pile-up, transporting more than 30 patients.

In this edition of EMS One-Stop with Rob Lawrence, our host, Rob Lawrence welcomes guests Matt Zavadsky, MS-HSA, EMT; and Dia Gainor, MPA.


Matt Zavadsky, MS-HSA, EMT; and Dia Gainor, MPA.

Matt is the immediate past president of NAEMT, and chief strategic integration officer at MedStar Mobile Healthcare, Fort Worth. At the recent mass casualty, mass vehicle pile up, Matt was on scene acting as PIO and spokesperson for his organization.

Dia is the executive director for the National Association of State EMS Officials (NASEMSO) and provides strategic leadership to promote and expand the organization’s presence and capacity as a national leader in emergency medical services. Dia also has a deep experience and understand of all things traffic management and is the chair of the NASEMSO Transportation Safety Advancement Group. Dia also sits on the Federal Highway Administration Transportation Incident Management Executive Leadership Group.

Read the article, “‘A career event’: Traffic incident management in 130-vehicle pileup,” and listen to the discussion on EMS’s role in a multi-agency traffic incident below.

Read next: MedStar Paramedic Trey McDaniel was injured when his vehicle went airborne in 133-vehicle pileup, but still aided other victims

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.