High quality research will not occur unless there are individuals with the training and experience to accurately answer important questions. Currently, there are few expert researchers with an interest in EMS-related problems who have an understanding of the special challenges of conducting research in the EMS setting. Researchers with a wide variety of backgrounds including physicians, nurses, EMS professionals, public health experts, and scientists from other disciplines need to be encouraged to perform EMS research.
A large cadre of career EMS investigators should be developed and supported in the initial stages of their careers. Highly structured training programs with content directed toward EMS research methodologies should be developed.
· Fellowship training programs capable of producing at least five EMS researchers per year are needed. Federal agencies are potential funding sources for these fellowships. Ideally, fellowship programs should be at least two years in length and should produce individuals with training and expertise in both research methods and funding acquisition. A doctoral degree (PhD, MD, etc.) should be a prerequisite for entry into the training programs. Program funding that includes institutional overhead and provides funds to ensure that research projects can be accomplished during the fellowship is essential. Individual training grants specifically targeted to EMS specific topics and system evaluation should be available.