Reflections on 2023

A Reflection on 2023

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Unity was at the center of the EMS Administrators’ Association of California’s (EMSAAC) mission in 2023. At a time in our nations’ history where dividing lines can be seen in nearly every sector, EMSAAC sought to lean into unity at every turn throughout the year. As with all things, there are times we succeeded and times we did not, but as a result of this singular focus, we grew as an organization. This year we broke the old adage of “You have seen one EMS system, you have seen one EMS System.” Are we really all that different? While each system may have nuances, we have so much more that unites us than not. Moreover, as a unified collective, this organization and the providers we represent can accomplish incredible things for our communities. EMSAAC strengthened relationships with other State organizations such as, the California Fire Chiefs’ Association (CFCA) and the California Hospital Association (CHA). While there are times we saw EMS challenges from differing or competing perspectives, we remain committed to engage and explore these differences through productive discussions.

As we move into 2024, we hope to continue building upon these relationships to tackle tough issues like Ambulance Patient Off-Load challenges, impacts of the mental health crisis on EMS, and complex issues involved in updating existing and new regulations. EMSAAC legislative advocacy was more involved than in years’ past. In February members of our Executive Team met with a number of legislators forging new relationships and sharing our subject-matter-expertise in EMS. We forged a new relationship with Mosaic Solutions, who will continue to build EMSAAC’s influence in Sacramento. EMSAAC focused our legislative efforts advocating to protect the unity of EMS systems across the State of California in our opposition to Assembly Bill 1168. If signed into law, this bill threatens to fragment not only the EMS System within one community, but across the State. The 2023 EMSAAC Annual Conference in San Diego was a resounding success. Its theme of Engineering Excellence had a wealth of great speakers. Every year this conference draws over 200 participants to learn and coalesce around providing excellent EMS care. We launched the first ever pre-conference, focusing on Continuous Quality Improvement. In fact, it was so successful we have added a second pre-conference in 2024.

As EMSAAC continues to expand our reach, we developed a new public relations approach, updated our website, created a more robust back-end website for members, and started a LinkedIn page. In September, our members voted to expand EMSAAC membership to Local EMS Agency (LEMSA) staff. This move will not only bring additional expertise to our ranks, but it also builds a succession plan for LEMSA Directors, familiarizing these staff members with EMS at the State level. EMSAAC also joined the National Association of State EMS Officers and looks forward to further engaging at the national level. As we look into 2024 we look forward to building on our theme of unity, focusing on the growth of our organization. Our 2024 conference returns to Loews Coronado and we look to honor those in Maui and support our EMS brothers and sisters with the theme Ho’Ohana which means “Do meaningful work” in Hawaiian. We are very excited that we have secured conference locations all the way to 2027 and are looking forward to hosting the conference at Universal Studios in 2026 and 2027! EMSAAC is eager to continue our meaningful work with the California EMS Authority (EMSA) as we collaborate to update EMS regulations this year and implement new legislation. We can’t wait to meet more State legislators and forge new relationships in Sacramento.

Lastly, after an almost two-year run, I will hand over the Presidency to our President-Elect to continue on our great work. This opportunity to reflect has brought into focus the work all 34 LEMSAs do, ensuring equity in EMS access and care to all of California’s 40 million residents. Each LEMSA has ensured the nearly 6 million EMS responses in California adhered to the high standards we establish, meeting to the local needs of our communities. I am humbled to be surrounded by this kind of passion and expertise, that when applied collectively has ensured that for nearly 40 years, one of the largest EMS systems in the world is leading from the front.

Yours in health,
Nick Clay
EMSAAC President
EMS Agency Director
Santa Barbara County