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EMS Supervisor Academy

The EMS Supervisor Academy is an intense 60-hour experiential education program designed to develop frontline EMS supervisors into key facilitators of high employee engagement. 

The frontline supervisor is one of the most important roles in premier EMS organizations. Supervisors hold the keys to employee engagement, and therefore are essential to performance success. The frontline supervisor is also one of the most difficult roles in the organization.  

Great supervisors are not simply good field providers with titles. They are not frontline micro-managers. They are not necessarily executives in the making, but they are leaders with the best people skills in the organization. Great frontline supervisors must be masters of:

  • Listening
  • Hearing the story beneath the story (able to filter staff messages and not take it personally)
  • Balancing accountability and love
  • Prioritization
  • Bilingual storytelling
  • Translating organizational vision/mission into 3 AM decisions, and
  • Leading up (listening to what matters to the people above and influencing up)

Great supervisors don’t just appear – they are developed.  This program is designed for anyone who has frontline direct reports, as well as anyone who aspires to improve his or her effectiveness as a manager and leader in the field.

The EMS Supervisor Academy is delivered in three, three-day levels in comfortable settings that invite participation and openness. Class size is limited to 26 participants or fewer, and two faculty members are involved in the sessions at all times. Each level is 20 hours long. 

Rather than rely on long PowerPoint lectures, these sessions are engaging, lively and participatory. Dialogue is ongoing, questioning is encouraged, and laughter is common. Fifty percent of the time is spent in dialogue, small group exercises and role-playing. Students have the chance to see, practice and critique actual leadership activities in a safe environment. Each session has a specific agenda, but the agenda is always modified to fit participants’ needs. 

Session details

Level I: Introduction to People Management and Supervision+ show

This level introduces the role and builds basic skills. Topics include:

  • What is a supervisor and why does he/she matter? 
  • What are the hallmarks of great EMS organizations?
  • Supervisors and organizational structure and culture
  • Matching responsibility with empowerment
  • Employee engagement and why it matters to outcomes
  • Understanding today’s EMS worker (young and old)
  • Introduction to leadership and people skills: Getting others to follow
  • Introduction to followership:  How to be successful in the middle
  • Introduction to personal leadership: Prioritization, time management and self-care
  • Introduction to followership
Level II:  Applied Supervision+ show

This level applies the basics and starts honing leadership and people skills.  Topics include:

  • The ingredients of healthy relationships
  • Master listening: Hearing the story beneath the story
  • Learning to be bilingual: The language of the street and management
  • Master storytelling: Being in front of the inevitable story
  • Keeping order: Finding balance between accountability and compassion
  • Managing complaints without taking it personally
  • Daily balance of operations and engagement
  • Selecting the right employees
  • Evaluating employees: The right objectives and the right process
  • Discipline: Stopping unacceptable behavior the right way
  • Translating organizational vision/mission into 3 AM decisions
  • Expanding your influence: Leading up 
  • Dealing with a toxic leader or organization
Level III:  Master Supervisor Workshop+ show

This level integrates the previous two levels into a series of experiential cases in which leadership skills, people skills and personal skills are practiced, critiqued and honed.  Participants will make presentations on specific challenges in their organizations and use role-play, discussion and teaching to practice the skills of the master supervisor.