One Saturday morning the first responders and clinicians stood at attention on drill weekend while our commander walked through the bay of the fire station.

The first responders and clinicians standing there could sense this would be an important message. Then, the commander stopped and asked, “what can you do to better your career?”

I replied with the traditional academic answers and all the stuff I thought the commander wanted to hear. He replied, “those were good answers, but not what I was looking for.”

His message to the young airmen, EMS, and firefights in the room was simple that morning. He said, “You are EMPOWERED!”

What does empowerment mean though? Is that like having the keys to the kingdom? Or is that a bad trick to see what we will do with that power? As we clinicians anticipate the future of EMS as a whole, one thing that has to change is the mindset of the traditional rank and file.

We have always taken our marching orders from our bosses and those that sit in the office. Occasionally it will be from one of our field training officers and people like them.

But in this changing time with the way EMS operates and EMS agencies manage themselves, I challenge everyone involved. Let’s drive change from the bottom up!

If we want to change the way things work in this industry though, we, the EMS clinicians, have to drive that change. We do not have the power to change everything, but we must have the ability and the foresight to change things within our grasp.

Later that same morning Lt. Col. Clutter told us to learn to control the things we can and let go of the things we cannot.

My hope for this short article is to challenge each of you to step up in your own shop and make these changes.

Remember that the journey starts with the decision to try. Thus, if not for the decision to try, the journey would never happen.

So, be empowered to change the world, or at least your part of it. I believe in the power of positivity and if you believe in change it can happen.

It’s an absolutely exciting time in EMS and critical care transport medicine. Let’s go and make things happen together for the future of EMS.

Please be safe out there and remember to ALWAYS think like a clinician!