Speeches and Presentations

Talking Points: National Emergency Medical Services Advisory Council Swearing In

Dr. Mark R. Rosekind , NHTSA Administrator

Thursday, July 30, 2015 | Washington, D.C.

Mark R. Rosekind, Ph.D.
Administrator, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
U.S. Department of Transportation
Thursday, July 30, 2015
As Prepared for Delivery

Drew, thank you.

Good morning to everyone, and especially new and returning NEMSAC members. And, a warm welcome to our Federal partners from Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, Department of Defense and others who have joined with us today.

EMS at the Federal level is truly collaborative – and you are in a position to advise all of us through the Federal Interagency Committee on Emergency Medical Services – FICEMS.

EMS at the Federal level is truly collaborative – and you are in a position to advise all of us through the Federal Interagency Committee on Emergency Medical Services – FICEMS.

You’ll be hearing directly from Mr. Ed Gabriel, Chair of FICEMS, right after my presentation.

Why EMS is so important to NHTSA’s safety mission

NHTSA’s mission is to save lives on our roads.

And EMS is our last chance to save a life:

  • When we fail to convince someone to drive safely, use seat belt, get a designated driver, put down cell phone
  • When manufacturers fail to design and build safe vehicles
  • When all else fails, and the crash happens despite our best efforts, EMS is there

And, EMS is there for all emergencies – 24/7 … heart attacks, strokes, opioid overdoses, children left in hot cars…you name it …

How NHTSA supports-life saving EMS services

  • National 9-1-1 program: Maybe the most well-known phone digits on earth; constantly evolving to encompass new technologies and communications methods
  • Education and workforce development: Research to determine best practices; standards to promote well-trained EMS workforce
  • Data: NEMSIS, nationwide framework for collecting and sharing data that helps EMS save lives
  • Research: Giving EMS practitioners the evidence-based protocols they need to save lives every day
  • Vision: Support for advancing EMS system capabilities, including updating the EMS Agenda for the Future, a roadmap to building EMS systems that maximize public health and safety and supports a community-based emergency health system
  • Safety: Programs that make sure EMS meets its live-saving goals in ways that promote the safety of the EMS workforce and the people it services.

How NEMSAC helps NHTSA fulfill our EMS mission

You come from every facet of emergency services

From college classrooms to helicopter hangars

Represent the first-responders who rush to the accident scene and the ER docs and trauma surgeons who receive those patients

The 9-1-1 operators who are a desperate parent’s lifeline; the administrators who keep ambulances running and shifts staffed every day and night; the state and local government officials and legislators whose support the whole system depends upon.

EMS is no simple undertaking, and we draw from that wide range of disciplines and experience because we need all that expertise.

Recommendations from this advisory council are essential to providing EMS programs our best support, so they can save lives.

Next two days you will be drinking through a firehose. We know we ask a lot – but it’s because you can help NHTSA and our Federal partners achieve our missions.

If you give us your sharpest questions, your best ideas, Drew, his team and the FICEMS can help make them happen.

That means better service, higher quality. Lives saved. And that’s what NHTSA and our partners are all about.

Thank you.


So that you can get back to business, I’ll administer the Oath of Office for your service on the National EMS Advisory Council.

“Would all NEMSAC appointees please stand and raise your right hand, and repeat after me:

  • I, [name], do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States
  • Against all enemies, foreign and domestic;
  • That I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same;
  • That I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and
  • That I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter.
  • So help me God.”

Congratulations again.

Before we break quickly to take a group picture, I would be happy to take just a few questions.