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Share Your Message of Support for Families of Fallen EMS Heroes

The all-volunteer National EMS Memorial Service honors EMS professionals who have died in the line of duty. Write your message of sympathy for the families of the 2024 honorees below, and they will be shared with them at the NEMSMS Weekend of Honor. Even just a sentence or two means the world to those left behind.


National EMS Memorial Service | Messages to Families

The American Ambulance Association is collecting messages on behalf of the National EMS Memorial Service for the families of EMS professionals who passed away in the line of duty. Please use this form to share your message with the loved ones left behind. View a list of the 2024 honorees at

Please share a brief message here for the families who lost a loved on to an EMS line of duty death.
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Rest in Peace, Richard Zuschlag

It is with profound sorrow that the American Ambulance Association extends our heartfelt condolences to the Acadian family on the passing of Richard Zuschlag. As a cherished friend and esteemed colleague, Richard’s impact on the EMS community and beyond is immeasurable. His vision, generosity, and unwavering dedication have left an indelible mark on all who knew him.

Randy Strozyk, President of the American Ambulance Association, aptly said, “Richard was a giant in our field, whose passion for service and commitment to excellence set a standard that will inspire future generations. His legacy of compassion and leadership will forever guide us.”

Richard’s life was a testament to the power of faith, resilience, and servant leadership. He was a beacon of hope and a force for good, and his memory will continue to inspire and uplift us.


The Passing of Richard Emery Zuschlag

March 28, 1948 – June 5, 2024

It is with the heaviest of hearts that we share with you the passing of our friend, mentor, and leader Richard Emery Zuschlag. Richard fought the hard fight that so many with cancer and its complications have endured. While we mourn our extraordinary loss, we are comforted in knowing that he is no longer suffering. He is now in the loving arms of his Lord, in whom he had unwavering faith.

Richard was a much loved and admired agent of change, not only in the state of Louisiana but across the nation. The lives he affected through his vision, generosity, inspiration, and leadership are countless. Whether a friend, employee, peer or patient, all of our lives were changed due to his undeniable determination to make a difference.

His legacy endures through his beautiful family, and in every life saved, every patient helped, and in every battle he waged to ensure that all people had access to high-quality medical care. He never backed down when fighting for the things he loved most: his family, his employees, and the communities he served.

His legacy also lives on in the company he tirelessly worked 53 years to grow and nurture.  Acadian Companies is not just a successful organization but also serves as an example of how servant leadership, high integrity and unwavering determination create success, not for one, but for all.

We will forever be changed, forever be grateful, and forever be better because of who Richard was and the lessons and legacy he has left us. He treated everyone with respect and was constantly striving to bring people together for the greater good. It is up to all of us to honor this legacy by living and leading by his example and his faith. Because of Richard, Acadian is stronger than ever, and in his honor, we will carry on his life’s work.

Special thanks go out to Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, Dr. Charles Burnell, Dr. Jason Breaux, Paul Hamilton and the many friends and healthcare providers who attended to him.

Please continue to pray for Richard, his family, friends and all those whose lives have been forever changed by this loss.

Information regarding services will be provided when available. We humbly ask you to please respect the privacy of the family while arrangements are being made.


Happy Pride Month!

Happy Pride Month from the American Ambulance Association!



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GoAERO Prize Updated Guidelines

Today, we are excited to announce our Updated Guidelines. The GoAERO blog provides a high-level review of these changes and the complete guidelines are available at

For a more in-depth review of the updated GoAERO technical rules, guidelines, and timeline, please join our next webinar on Wednesday April 24th at 9 am PST/12 pm EST.

Register here for the webinar.

Please note: we have extended the Stage 1 Submission Deadline to December 11, 2024. You can review the complete timeline here.

We look forward to transforming the future of emergency response technology together!

Thank you,
The GoAERO Team

We would also appreciate it if you would forward this email, or share the webinar details with your network and encourage them to join GoAERO.

Website | New Resources Address Important EMS Issues

EMS News

New Resources Address Important EMS Issues

The Latest Updates on Highway Safety Regulations, Rural EMS Education and Special Pathogens

Updating the Highway Safety Improvement Program

The Federal Highway Administration has announced a notice of proposed rulemaking to update the Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP) regulations. These regulations address provisions in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), also known as the “Bipartisan Infrastructure Law” (BIL), and reflect current priorities and state-of-practice. The proposed changes would strengthen and advance the safety and equity priorities of the Department of Transportation’s National Roadway Safety Strategy (NRSS) and help states make safety gains to eliminate fatalities and serious injuries on our roadways. Comments must be received on or before April 22, 2024.

Learn More

Quality Improvement Course for Rural EMS

The Rural EMS Quality Improvement Basics Course, from Stratis Health, introduces rural EMS providers to the concept of quality improvement (QI). The program, which was initially designed for the staff of healthcare organizations, has been modified to meet the needs of rural EMS by dividing the QI concept into three distinct levels that build upon each other. The Rural EMS Quality Improvement Basics Course links to the relevant portions of the original healthcare program, while also providing content and examples relevant to rural EMS providers.

Learn More

EMS Model Procedural Guidelines for Special Pathogens

The National Emerging Special Pathogens Training & Education Center (NETEC) has launched a new set of model procedural guidelines designed to manage high-consequence infectious disease (HCID) patient encounters. EMS Model Procedural Guidelines for Special Pathogens is designed to improve the safety of EMS professionals as well as safeguard public health. EMS agencies are encouraged to use the guidelines to create SOPs for transporting and managing patients with a HCID. The guide features step-by-step instructions that can be incorporated into EMS agencies’ existing policies and procedures.

View The Guidelines

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EMS Testifies at House Ways & Means Field Hearing

Yesterday was a proud day for EMS!

Thank you to Matt Zavadsky and Medstar Mobile Healthcare for developing this highlights clip from the recent House Ways & Means field hearing focused on emergency services.

GoAERO Competition + Informational Webinar Details


Heroes who look past danger to help people in need,

Heroes to step in to be the difference between triumph and tragedy,

And Heroes who use their minds to create technology that saves lives.

We need those Heroes. 

GoAERO is offering $2+ Million in prizes for the best thinkers, creators and inventors to build Emergency Response Flyers and stretch and challenge their minds to unlock a new era of disaster and rescue response.

​By unleashing the power of autonomy, speed, and precision, GoAERO is looking for the brightest, boldest and bravest to change the way we rescue and respond to disaster.

This is your chance to make history and save lives.


Register for Informational Webinars

EMS Gives Life | EMT Dave and Wife Kelly Need Your Help

Dave and Kelly’s Inspiring Journey

Meet Dave Raymond, a dedicated firefighter EMT, and his wife, Kelly, who has been on a courageous four-year quest to find a kidney donor. In December 2023, a ray of hope shone through when Kelly’s uncle, though not a match for her, selflessly donated a kidney on her behalf through the National Kidney Registry’s standard voucher program. While Kelly is still waiting for the perfect match, they are one significant step closer, and Dave and Kelly are feeling blessed by this development.

A Struggle Behind the Scenes

However, behind this hopeful story lies a financial crisis. Despite Dave’s tireless efforts, working multiple jobs, having private medical insurance and Medicare for Kelly, the overwhelming burden of unpaid co-pays and uncovered balances has pushed the Raymond family into a dire financial situation. They now face the imminent threat of losing their home and only vehicle, and Kelly’s health is further compromised as they are unable to schedule specialist appointments due to unpaid balances.

“Dave is working four jobs.  We have both private health insurance and Medicare, and the medical bills still keep piling up.  I’m on daily dialysis and can’t work. There are no more hours left in the day for Dave to work.  I am worried he will lose his health and we’ll lose our home. The stress is overwhelming.”  – Kelly Raymond

The Raymond Family’s Sacrifice

Dave and his son, Christopher, share a profound commitment to saving lives as firefighter EMTs. Yet, the harsh reality is that they are unable to save Kelly on their own. The burden of mounting bills has forced them to turn to their community, and their fire service/EMS family for support.

Your Chance to Make a Difference

Now is the time for us to rally together and support these everyday heroes who have dedicated their lives to helping others. Your contribution will not only ease the financial strain on the Raymond family but also allow them to focus on what matters most – Kelly’s health and well-being.  Your donation can be the lifeline this family desperately needs.

Donate to the Raymonds

Kelly’s Medical History of Diabetes and Kidney Disease

Kelly has struggled with medical issues all her life. She has Type 1 (Juvenile) Diabetes which created many health complications. But one by one, Kelly has overcome and moved on, keeping an incredibly optimistic outlook. In 2013 she lost her leg to diabetes but has adapted very well. In 2020 her kidneys started shutting down rapidly and it was determined that she would need a kidney transplant to live. In the meantime, Kelly is doing dialysis 7 days a week to keep going. It is difficult, but we are grateful that dialysis buys her some time while we search for a donor. Many people have stepped up for Kelly and all but one has been found medically ineligible to donate. Unfortunatley the one approved donor had a major family crisis that put kidney donation on hold indefinitely. With the National Kidney Registry standard voucher, Kelly is now waiting patiently to be matched with a living kidney donor, which will likely happen within the year.

Will you send the Raymond Family a lifeline?

Good news…

Kelly is waiting to be matched with a living kidney donor!

The need…

The Raymond family’s financial situation is dire!

We Need to Raise $20,000

  • $5,000 will avoid repossession of their car
  • $10,000 will remove the risk of home foreclosure
  • $5,000 will cover unpaid medical bills

100% of your donation will go to the Raymond family.  EMS Gives Life is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. All donations are tax-deductible to the full extent allowed by law.

GoAERO Competition + Informational Webinar Details


Heroes who look past danger to help people in need,

Heroes to step in to be the difference between triumph and tragedy,

And Heroes who use their minds to create technology that saves lives.

We need those Heroes. 

GoAERO is offering $2+ Million in prizes for the best thinkers, creators and inventors to build Emergency Response Flyers and stretch and challenge their minds to unlock a new era of disaster and rescue response.

​By unleashing the power of autonomy, speed, and precision, GoAERO is looking for the brightest, boldest and bravest to change the way we rescue and respond to disaster.

This is your chance to make history and save lives.


Register for Informational Webinars

In Memory of the Crew of Air Evac Lifeteam N295AE

Statement from Global Medical Response

Air Evac Lifeteam is heartbroken to report that three crew members have perished in an incident that occurred on Saturday, January 20. At 11:23 pm local time AEL’s Operations Control Center (OCC) lost contact with the aircraft, a Bell 206L3 with call sign N295AE. The crew is based out of Weatherford, OK, and was returning to base after completing a patient care transport in Oklahoma City when the OCC lost contact with them. Nearby AEL teams assisted local law enforcement with the search.

Our primary focus is on supporting the families and our team members. CISM teams have been sent to assist our team members during this time.

It is with a heavy heart that we share the names of our three colleagues. Pilot Russell Haslam, Flight Nurse Adam Tebben and Flight Paramedic Steven Fitzgerald. We continue to hold their families in our hearts.

AEL has turned over the scene and investigation to the NTSB

EMS Profiles | Meet Maryam Boyd

Maryam Boyd
Paramedic Crew Chief
Mecklenburg EMS Agency (Medic 911)
Charlotte, NC

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How did you come to be in EMS?

I’ve always loved science and medicine. And after losing one of my brothers in a car accident I knew there were no words to express my appreciation for the Paramedics and hospital staff that worked on him. I wanted to pay it forward and be there for people the way the Paramedics were there for my brother.

I know I have no control over the outcomes of the people I care for, but I can show up for my community and try to help in people’s worst moments like so many did for my brother and family.

What do you love about working in EMS?

There is never a day in EMS that is the same as another. There is always more to learn and more to do. It is a very raw, intimate, and humbling experience to be able to meet so many different people in different situations and come together as a team to try and help. This job makes me grateful for my blessings every day.

Do you have any advice for someone considering becoming an EMT or Paramedic?

Make sure you take time for your hobbies and self-care. A work-life balance is crucial. You can’t pour from an empty cup. Make sure you have someone you can talk to on the hard days. I have yet to find any other role that compares to this one. This career can be heart-wrenching but it can also be absolutely exhilarating and incredible and not once have I ever felt like it wasn’t worth it.

Anything else you’d like to say?

Regardless of the outcome, what you do matters.


EMS Profiles | Meet Michele Bracken

Michele Bracken
Training Officer
Wendover Ambulance
West Wendover, NV

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How did you come to be in EMS?

I had a good friend ask me if I wanted to work on an ambulance with her. I said yes and she said ok you gotta take this class. So I enrolled in an EMT class and fell in love with it from the first day.

What do you love about working in EMS?

I love being able to help people. I love the team environment and the amazing people I get to work with every day. It’s so rewarding to be a part of a team that really makes a difference in the communities we serve.

Do you have any advice for someone considering becoming an EMT or Paramedic?

Do it! I absolutely love coming to work each shift. Work hard and ask all the questions you can in your EMT classes and during your probationary time on the ambulance. It’s the best job in the world!


The road ahead: Resuscitating EMS through trend analysisEMS One-Stop

    • Government

Collecting and communicating the big EMS news of 2023

The American Ambulance Association and the Academy of Mobile Healthcare Integration (AIMHI) collect, collate, categorize and share weekly EMS-based news stories widely with many national organizations and associations, including NHTSA, USFA and NAEMT.

The information contained in the news tracker allows officials and EMS leaders to brief and educate journalists and elected officials, as well as the public as to the current plight of EMS. EMS is delivered on a local level and those experiencing issues with their service can believe it is just them suffering funding shortages, staffing challenges, hospital delays or general poor performance. The tracker can be used to demonstrate that the issues are occurring on a wider regional, state, national and, in some cases, international level.

In this episode of the EMS One-Stop podcast, host Rob Lawrence, who also heads up the AAA-AIMHI news collation effort, welcomes fellow news collator, Rodney Dyche of Patient Care EMS; and AIMHI Education Committee Chair, Matt Zavadsky, chief transformation officer at MedStar Mobile Healthcare. Rob, Rodney and Matt examine EMS news and current trends, and discuss how these themes can be used to inform, influence and educate.

Top quotes from this episode

“There’s a perverse ‘incentive’ about response time … if you have the target of 8:59, you arrive on time and the patient dies; that’s a success. If you arrive in 9:01 and the patient lives; that’s a failure. That’s absolute garbage” — Rob Lawrence

“There was a quote from Dr. Clawson in a news story that was done in Minneapolis, and I love his quote. He says, ‘there is no evidence that using red lights and sirens have saved more lives than they’ve taken.’” — Matt Zavadsky

“Every week in this great country, an ambulance is stolen either from hospital or from scene – that’s avoidable.” — Rob Lawrence

“Stop being timid. Stop licking your wounds. Get out in your community, talk to your elected officials. Talk to your city managers or county administrators – very factually, not emotionally. There will be time for emotions, but give them the facts and let them know what it’s gonna take to resuscitate their EMS delivery system.” — Matt Zavadsky

Episode contents

00:23 – Guest introduction

02:06 – AAA/AIMHI News Tracker and story categories

04:22 – A resource to brief the press and elected officials

04:30 – Operational challenges across many states

05:50 – Massive sign-on bonuses – robbing Peter to pay Paul

06:30 – Staffing and funding issues

08:40 – Communities/local governing bodies facing the fact that they are running out of money, and their EMS isn’t free

09:40 – Transitioning from a volunteer to a paid system

11:00 – Explaining EMS economics to your elected officials

11:50 – Has anyone died? Bring data

13:30 – EMS systems closing

15:30 – “Elected officials get nervous deciding to allocate funding to a service that they haven’t had to fund or haven’t, haven’t had to fund to this certain level in the past.”

18:40 – Response time

19:25 – Increase in low acuity calls

20:30 – Service design

22:50 – Single- versus double-paramedic crewed trucks

25:04 – MEDIC Charlotte – Taking bold steps within categories of response

27:00 – The rate of ambulance crashes across the county at intersections

27:47 – If you are not the ambulance driver … who is?

29:49 – There is no evidence that using red lights and siren have saved more lives than they’ve taken!

30:30 – Stolen ambulances

32:59 – Supply chain and vehicle availability

34:00 – Rurality and ambulance deserts

35:00 – Violence against providers

37:00 – Responding to patients in crisis/agitated patients

38:00 – How to use the media log in your locality to good effect

40:00 – Final thoughts

About our guests

Matt Zavadsky is the chief transformation officer at MedStar Mobile Healthcare, the exclusive emergency an

EMS Profiles | Meet Randy Murry

Randy Murry
Director of Mississippi Operations
Pafford Medical Services
Clarksdale, MS
Randy Murry is a 2023 EMSNext honoree.

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How did you come to be in EMS?

I started as a volunteer firefighter, just like many other 18-year-old first responders. I was immediately attracted to the fast pace of the work environment and the sense of fulfillment that came along with EMS.

What do you love about working in EMS?

Every work day presents something different. Today, as an EMS leader, I get to influence up-and-coming providers and contribute to the foundation of their success as both professionals and as people.

Do you have any advice for someone considering becoming an EMT or Paramedic?

EMS is a very dynamic profession. With change comes opportunities for growth and development. Learn and grow every day. You will get out of your career exactly what you put into it.

Being an EMT or Paramedic is fun, challenging, and rewarding all in one. Truly, EMS is one of the absolute best professions.

Anything else you’d like to say?

Countless lives have been saved by the rapid interventions that are being performed in pre-hospital settings. Pre-hospital providers are the safety net of their communities nationwide. Doctors don’t make house calls anymore, but EMTs and Paramedics make them every single day.



NCSL Podcast | Emergency Medicine in Rural America

Emergency Medicine in Rural America | OAS Episode 198

NOVEMBER 19TH, 2023 | 36:56 | E198


Two experts in emergency medical services joined the podcast to discuss a variety of challenges to providing care in rural areas, including long waits for ambulances and a serious workforce shortage. They also talked about the role of legislatures in addressing EMS needs.


Emergency medical services face significant challenges in rural America. Just one is the time it takes to summon an ambulance. While most people living in urban and suburban areas expect an ambulance to show up within minutes of making a 911 call, the situation is very different for about 4.5 million Americans who live in ambulance deserts, according to a nation study conducted by Maine Rural Health Research Center and the Rural Health Research & Policy Centers. Those folks can expect to wait 25 minutes or more for emergency services to arrive.

We sat down with two experts on the subject — Dia Gainor, executive director of National Association of State EMS Officials, and Davis Patterson, director of the WWAMI Rural Health Research Center at University of Washington—to discuss that and other challenges to EMS in rural areas. Other issues they discussed included the severe workforce challenges in staffing rural EMS services, the role of legislatures in addressing rural EMS needs and the promise of community paramedicine in addressing both emergency and nonemergency care in rural areas.


2023 AAA Legislative Awards

The American Ambulance Association is proud to announce the winners of the 2023 AAA Legislative Awards. Each Member of Congress is being recognized for their strong advocacy for emergency medical services and their ongoing dedication to ambulance services across the United States.

2023 AAA Legislators of the Year

Senator Bill Cassidy, M.D (LA)
Senator Jon Tester (MT)

2023 AAA Legislative Recognition Award Recipients


  • Senator Cortez Masto (NV)
  • Senator Collins (ME)
  • Senator Stabenow (MI)
  • Senator Schumer (NY)
  • Senator Lujan (NM)
  • Senator Kaine (VA)
  • Senator Murkowski (AK)
  • Senator Tuberville (AL)
  • Senator Murray (WA)
  • Senator Moran (KS)
  • Senator Boozman (AR)


  • Congressman Blumenauer (OR-3)
  • Congresswoman Kelly (IL-2)
  • Congresswoman Sewell (AL-7)
  • Congressman Wenstrup (OH-2)
  • Congressman Carter (GA-1)
  • Congressman Tonko (NY-20)
  • Congressman Davis (IL-7)
  • Congresswoman Perez (WA-3)
  • Congressman Finstad (MN-1)
  • Congressman Pence (IN-6)
  • Congressman Kim (NJ-3)
  • Congresswoman Clark (MA-5)
  • Congressman Zinke (MT-1)
  • Congressman Guest (MS-3)
  • Congresswoman Hoyle (OR-4)
  • Congressman Bost (IL-12)
  • Congressman Alford (MO-4)


EMS Profiles | Meet Elissa Schilmeister

Elissa Schilmeister
Westchester EMS
Chappaqua, New York

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How did you come to be in EMS?

I have always been interested in helping others and fascinated by science. I followed a different career path and studied Biodiversity and Conservation Conservation Biology. After working as an Environmental Educator Educator, Volunteer Coordinator, and becoming a licensed Wildlife Rehabilitator, I was approached by a member of my local volunteer ambulance agency. I started volunteering and quickly became an EMT and officer. The more involved I became the more I fell in love with EMS.

What do you love about working in EMS?

What I love about EMS is that there is always something new to learn, always a new situation. I like meeting new people and being able to make an immediate difference.

Do you have any advice for someone considering becoming an EMT or Paramedic?

Ask questions. Make the most of every situation, including interfacility transfers. Go with your gut feelings.

EMS Profiles | Meet Brett Zingarelli

Brett Zingarelli
Saint Francis EMS
Wilmington, Delaware

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How did you come to be in EMS?

My grandfather passed away from cancer when I was 12 and I wanted to find a way to help people. EMS was the first way I found to help at a young age.

What do you love about working in EMS?

Every day is different. No matter what happens I know that I’ve affected someone’s life for the better when the shift is over.

Do you have any advice for someone considering becoming an EMT or Paramedic?

There is no other feeling in this world like helping other people. If you come in and do your best every day is rewarding.

Anything else you’d like to say?

There is a place for everyone in EMS. Follow your passions and you will find the career rewarding.

EMS Profiles | Meet Rosetta Scott

Rosetta Scott, NREMT
Emergency Medical Technician
Saint Francis Hospital EMS
Wilmington, Delaware

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How did you come to be in EMS?

My father suffered a heart attack at home and as I waited for 911, it felt like forever. I decided I never again wanted to be without the knowledge of how to help others.

What do you like about working in EMS?

I love the opportunity to interact with diversity in our communities. It is an honor to help people of various populations.

Do you have any advice for someone considering becoming an EMT or Paramedic?

My advice to future EMS professionals is to be easy with yourself and continue to ask questions. Never stop learning, even after you earn your certification.

EMS Profiles | Meet Jarlicia Islandriana Scott

Jarlicia Islandriana Scott
Pafford Emergency Medical Services
Clarksdale, MS

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How did you come to be in EMS?

I found myself searching for a career in the healthcare field and discovered a local EMT training program. I didn’t know much about EMS at the time I applied. As I got deeper into it, I became more and more interested.  I enrolled in the Paramedic program to further my career and continue my education.

What do you love about working in EMS?

What I love about working in EMS is the thrill and the excitement—the whole experience. I love the fact that I can tell people outside of the profession that I’m a Paramedic.

Do you have any advice for someone considering becoming an EMT or Paramedic?

Treat each and every patient as if they were your family member.

Anything else you’d like to say?

EMS is a fun and challenging career. It has its moments but every call makes you greater. My primary goal is to provide patients with excellent pre-hospital care.

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