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26th Annual National Collegiate EMS Conference

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Developing Students for the Future of Emergency Services

Emergency services have been experiencing a decline in volunteerism and EMS and other emergency services have a workforce shortage that is leaving communities unable to meet the needs for response and protection. Pennsylvania is one state that has traditionally relied on volunteers. The number of volunteer firefighters in the state has declined from about 300,000 in the 1970s to about 38,000 in 2018. In just the past six years, from 2012 to the present, the number of EMTs has dropped by 6,000 and paramedics dropped by 4,000 in the state. The future of emergency services is in question and the state convened a commission through Senate Resolution 6 to study the problem in 2018. Among the recommendations made were consideration of how to engage the next generation in emergency services as volunteers and as a profession. This presentation will look at those recommendations pertaining to students and how they can be adopted to incentivize recruitment and retention, modernize emergency services, and stabilize emergency services in communities that are experiencing decline.


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