Women in EMS

This mission of this committee is to promote, support, identify, and advocate for the role of Women in EMS to multiple degrees through professional development, advancement techniques, research, and interdisciplinary projects.

It is widely recognized that there are better outcomes when prehospital care teams are a representation of the communities they serve. By providing professional development, advancement techniques, research, and interdisciplinary projects, this committee aims to support and elevate the presence of women in Emergency Medical Services.

Committee Chair

Angela Wright 
Aurora, CO

Objectives of the committee

We strive to create professional development programs that promote the progression of women in EMS across various roles. Our commitment extends to fostering collaboration and cooperation with interdisciplinary groups, collectively working towards enhancing diversity, equity, and inclusion within the EMS field. Additionally, we actively support and drive research initiatives focused on identifying and addressing gender-based disparities while promoting the adoption of best practices in EMS. Our organization is dedicated to maintaining an inclusive and welcoming community, ensuring that anyone who aligns with our mission and objectives can find a safe and open space to engage and participate.

Women in EMS Spotlight

Dr. Catherine R. Counts is a second-generation EMS professional who, after taking an ambulance to show and tell in kindergarten, was hooked. Dr. Counts has since transitioned this interest into a career focused on the patients and providers in the prehospital setting. She also has research interests in quality improvement and patient safety, out-of-hospital cardiac arrest care, and advanced airway management in the prehospital setting.

Given the crossover between her background in public health and her expertise in EMS, she specializes in the mechanisms by which providers are changing the way healthcare is delivered in the prehospital setting. She receives funding from the NHLBI/NIH and the Pediatric Emergency Care Applied Research Network (PECARN). Additionally, she serves as the Research and Quality Improvement Manager for Seattle Medic One.

Areas of research and/or interest:
OHCA, Advanced Airway Management, Resuscitation, Pediatrics

Advice for other women who want a career in EMS?
Follow your gut, find your allies. “Listen” to what people do, not what they say they are going to do.

  • Professor of Emergency Medicine and Section Director of EMS & Disaster Medicine at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) and Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center (ZSFG) 
  • Program Director of the UCSF EMS & Disaster Medicine Fellowship 
  • Medical Director of Alameda City Fire Department EMS
  • Formerly led San Francisco’s COVID-19 Vaccination Campaign its response to the mpox outbreak 

Areas of research and/or interest:
Quality improvement, Health disparities, Harm reduction, Community paramedicine, Public health, Disaster medicine, Interpersonal communication and teamwork, Change management, Organizational Culture

Advice for other women who want a career in EMS?
Early on – say “yes” to more opportunities than you say “no” to, both in order to discover unique projects and to find the people that help you stretch from your comfort zone and do your best work. Then, as you hone your expertise, learn to say “no” gracefully- in ways that open doors for others. 

Brooke Burton, NRP is the Quality Improvement Manager for Unified Fire Authority in Salt Lake County, UT and has 28 years of EMS experience working as a paramedic in rural to urban environments.  Brooke serves on advisory boards for the International Journal of Paramedicine, NEMSIS, and EMS World magazine, is the President of the National EMS Management Association (NEMSMA), Vice President of the National EMS Quality Alliance (NEMSQA), and faculty for several national EMS Leadership programs.  Brooke was the recipient of the American Ambulance Association 2016 award for Best Quality Improvement Program and is a nationally known writer, researcher, and speaker on EMS quality and leadership. 

EMS Interests

  • Quality improvement
    • Currently working on an acute coronary syndrome bundle improvement project
  • Some previous topics:
    • Ideal shift length
    • Pain management
    • Equitable patient care

Other Areas of Interest

  • Educating future EMS leaders
  • Diversity, equity, and inclusion

Advice for other women who want a career in EMS?
Use your training time well, make connections, ask questions, and build a network of people you can rely on for future advice and collaboration.  Know the worth of your voice and opinion.  Apply for committee work, test out new equipment, ask to be included in special projects…those are the things that will make you stand out and let people know you are motivated and involved in the future of your organization.  It is never to early to start your professional network and find mentors.  Don’t be afraid to reach out to people you admire and start discussions.  I have made lifelong friends and learned so much by staying after conference sessions, starting up a chat, and following up.  Good leaders will welcome your questions and conversations.

Maia Dorsett, MD, PhD, is an emergency medicine and EMS physician and educator. She completed her EMS fellowship at Washington University before moving to Rochester, New York, where she now serves as the medical director for EMS education at Monroe Community College, Gates Ambulance and the Associate Regional Medical Director for Education and Quality for the Monroe-Livingston Region.  She is also the medical director for Prodigy EMS. Nationally, she serves on the board of the National Registry of EMTs, National Association of EMS Physicians and serves as the co-course director for the NAEMSP Quality and Safety course.

EMS Interests

  • EMS education
  • Quality improvement
    • With a focus on reduction of diagnostic error, particularly around geriatric fall/lift assist patients and stroke

Other Areas of Interest

  • How to accelerate knowledge translation through effectively distributed education

Advice for other women who want a career in EMS?
EMS needs you – your ideas, your efforts, your compassion. Find people who support you  – there are more than you think there are – and then support and include others. We can achieve a tremendous amount of good together.

Dr. Sabina Braithwaite is currently Professor of Clinical Emergency Medicine at the University of Nevada Reno and a practicing Emergency Physician. She has spent most of her career in academic emergency medicine and EMS medicine as a medical director, educator, fellowship director, author, researcher and mentor. She is a nationally networked EMS thought leader with extensive experience from education to system development and integration, clinical leadership and oversight, advocacy and charting the future of the subspecialty of EMS. She is a demonstrated innovator in patient safety, progressive clinical care, system thinking, guideline development, and implementation of cutting edge programs. She has advocated for collaboration on creating and implementing evidence-based and best EMS practices for communities, patients, and EMS systems and providers through a public-health based approach to emergency medical related issues.

EMS Interests

  • Air Medical
  • Ultrasound
  • Guideline Development

Other Areas of Interest

  • Telehealth
  • Remote patient monitoring and application to EMS

Advice for other women who want a career in EMS?

GO FOR IT! Be yourself, share and apply your unique talents and personality to advocate for quality evidence-based care for every patient, healthier communities, and pushing the envelope when needed.

Dr. Crowe is an expert in EMS research and quality improvement. Her EMS career began as a volunteer EMT and instructor with the Red Cross in Mexico City, where she also worked full-time at Ford Motor Company as a Powertrain Quality engineer certified in Six Sigma. As an EMT with a passion for advancing the EMS evidence base, she went on to earn her PhD in Epidemiology through the National Registry of EMTs EMS Research Fellowship Program and has authored numerous peerreviewed publications. Now, as Director of Research at ESO, Dr. Crowe routinely uses data and enables others to use data to improve community health and safety.

Research Interests

  • Disparities in prehospital care delivery
  • Stroke care
  • Burnout
  • Workforce well-being

Other Areas of Interest

  • Also a member of the DEI, Quality and Safety, and Research Committees
  • Faculty for the NAEMSP Antiracism Leadership Development Course
  • Faculty for the NAEMSP Quality and Safety Course

Interested in Joining the Committee?

Please update your online membership profile to include this committee selection and contact our chair, Angela Wright, to become actively involved.

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