The Holdsworth Group - March 2019


Volume 1 • MARCH 2019


A ll too often, as we get wrapped up in the day-to-day grind of running our agencies, the real reason we started down our EMS career path gets lost in the hundreds of things competing for our attention. Heavy call volumes, HR concerns, reimbursement issues, the need to be positively visible in the community, emails, voicemails, projects to be completed, and planning for the future all soak up precious time and often conspire to suck the joy right out of the day. We arrive home tired and frustrated and find ourselves unable to engage with the most important people in our lives — only to get up and do it all again the next day. I want you to stop for a minute, take out a piece of paper, and prepare to think. Why? Why did you choose EMS in the first place? What is your life as an EMS/ Paramedic/Administrator supposed to look like? What’s really going well? What just plain sucks and isn’t what you envisioned? (This quick exercise is about you, not me, so don’t just blow me off. Actually do it!) If you’re like every other EMS person I’ve ever met, you got started in the business for one or all of the following reasons. • To serve your community • To take care of patients — yep, even the frequent flyers • To advance in both personal and agency capabilities

• To feel like you make a difference in the world To drive fast and look cool (in the beginning, anyway) Based on the quick exercise I just asked you to do, did you write down your “why”? If so, are you being true to it? When you’re clear about your why, all your business and career decisions become clearer too. For example, my why was that I wanted to become a paramedic and do the Johnny and Roy thing. Seriously, I wanted to be a “Rescue Squad” medic! It took me six years to get there, and along the way, I had to change jobs, training paths, and more. I worked as an intercept paramedic for more than 20 years, and I finally met Randy Mantooth in person a few years ago. (You can see the two of us in the photo with a copy of my book!) For the agency leaders reading this newsletter, I know it gets frustrating juggling chainsaws and feeling like the world is pushing back against your efforts. However, it is critical that you schedule time off to restore your sanity and health and take time to work on your service rather than in it. I recently watched a couple of my friends in the business drive themselves to early graves by not heeding this advice. In fact, I had my own health scare for similar reasons. Going forward, you have to become “ethically selfish.” My premise is simple: •

Remain positive about your agency, your mission, and your staff, but also be selfish about your time, your health, and your career. Throwing yourself under the bus for the good of the organization isn’t good for it or for you. You must selfishly back away to regroup and plan for the future with a clear head. Your part in leading your service begins and ends with your personal why. So, if you’re feeling stuck, frustrated, overwhelmed, uncertain, trapped, or just pissed off, and you didn’t really like what you wrote down a couple minutes ago, know that you are not alone. The good news is that you can take specific actions, decide to start honoring your why, and learn how to change in ways that will make both you and the agency stronger and healthier. Want to chat about your situation and how I may be able to help? Let’s connect at



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