EMS Leadership: the person behind the curtain – Michael Hayes

Education by the Sea 2024 - Speaker Spotlight - 3 Michael H

Texas’ most engaging EMS conference is approaching swiftly! Education By The Sea arrives in Port Aransas on May 8-10, 2024, and registrations are open through mid-April. Dive into the details of the 2024 conference through our sneak peek series featuring speakers and sessions. 

Meet Chief Michael Hayes, EMS Division Chief for the City of New Braunfels Fire Department. He will present the “EMS Leadership: Being the Person Behind the Curtain” session on Thursday, May 9, at 1:00 p.m.

A leader with over 24 years in the Fire Service, Chief Hayes holds multiple degrees: a Bachelor of Business Administration, a Bachelor of Emergency Health Sciences, and a Master’s in Public Administration. He’s board-certified in Critical Care, Flight Paramedicine, and Tactical Paramedicine, and also is a designated Chief EMS Officer from CPSE. Currently, Hayes serves as a Task Force Leader, Strike Team Leader, and Medical Incident Support Team Member for EMTF.

Chief Hayes’s fire service journey began at Texas Lutheran University, where he volunteered for the City of Seguin. “I quickly felt a pull to Fire/EMS during my time there,” he confesses. After obtaining his certifications, Hayes joined the San Marcos Fire Department. Soon after, he seized an opportunity to work as a contract Firefighter in Iraq. “I spent over four years responding to multiple mass casualty incidents, supporting the US Embassy and Coalition Forces, and aiding in building a Fire Department in Hillah,” he recalls.

Upon returning home, Hayes joined NBFD, taught classes for the UT Health Flight Paramedic program, and sat on the Governor’s EMS and Trauma Advisory Council. At NBFD, he oversees 150 personnel and ten MICU ambulances. “I’m proud of everything we’ve achieved. We conducted our first EMT class, established an EMS FTO program, and introduced a Mobile Integrated Health position,” celebrates.

Reasoning Behind the Topic 

According to Hayes, the session aims to offer insight into the behind-the-scenes of EMS leadership and management functions. “Understanding these distinct roles allows EMS professionals to better align with their leaders/managers,” he explains.

Chief Hayes believes transparency is key for creating a positive culture within an EMS agency. “Many would agree that there’s a significant gap in understanding what an EMS Director does. My goal is to provide vision and transparency through authentic leadership in this presentation,” he states.

Session Insights

Hayes’s session is motivated by today’s challenges to prepare for tomorrow’s success. “Our profession needs future leaders to comprehend and tackle current adversities while preparing to lead successfully in the future,” he asserts.

“A major takeaway that I hope attendees will grasp is the realization that not all EMS Directors have negative intentions in policy and decision-making,” he concludes.

Industry Outlook

Chief Hayes encapsulates the first responder industry with one word: Passion. “The compensation will never match the passion EMS professionals put into their work. Recruiting and retention are crucial for the future of EMS, alongside equitable pay, education, and leadership development,” he emphasizes.

Don’t miss Chief Hayes’s “EMS Leadership: Being the Person Behind the Curtain” session on Thursday, May 9, at 1:00 p.m.

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