Macara Trusty: The Importance of Employee Retention

Macara Trusty, Education by the Sea

This blog series offers a sneak peek into the speakers and sessions at our upcoming annual conference Education by the Sea, May 10-12, 2023, in Port Aransas, Texas.

This week we are profiling Macara Trusty, who is on the agenda to speak Thursday, May 11, 12:40 p.m. -1:30 p.m.

After being in a major head-on collision as a 13-year-old, Macara Trusty realized she wanted to give back to her rural community just like those who helped her family. She became an EMT and started working for the ambulance company that serviced her small town from 30 minutes away. What started as “a job until she figured out her next steps” has transitioned into a career for almost 30 years. Currently she’s Manager of Project Management-South Region at Global Medical Response.

“I grew to love this profession, and now I see it struggling,” Trusty relates. “I have devoted much of my free time to doing what I can to make it better, so other folks can make this a profession as I did.”

The “Why” Behind Her Topic

Trusty chose her topic, “The X, Y, and Zs of Employee Retention: How to Retain the Current Generations,” to focus on employee retention, because the emergency services industry has a staffing crisis: losing more EMS professionals each year than gaining new recruits. The issue causes significant consequences as agencies across the country struggle to keep staff. As a result, Trusty says expenses increase from overtime, salary adjustments, bonuses, and possibly increased risk to the organization due to slower response times.

“It is crucial that we (all levels of EMS professionals) understand what motivates our employees, what demotivates them, along with some of their generational proclivities, so we can begin to improve their overall experience and hopefully improve retention,” Trusty relates. “This also improves our ability to recruit, as well.”

Takeaways for the Audience

Trusty hopes attendees gain an understanding that the industry needs change if it is going to remain sustainable. It will take all levels of the industry to drive change, she says.

She also hopes her session provides the audience a renewed excitement about the industry and how everyone can help one another make EMS a career by understanding what employees want and need. She says despite what many people say, it is not always about money.

Advice to Those Starting Out in EMS

For newbies in the industry, Trusty says it’s important not to let others dictate your view of the job. It is what YOU make of it, she says. For her, Trusty describes it as the best job ever. She says it is one of the few professions where someone you don’t know will instantly trust you – call when they need help, invite strangers into their houses, hand over a newborn child.

“It’s a responsibility not to be taken lightly,” Trusty says. “It’s up to you to maintain that trust and not let them down. To them, you represent our whole industry.”

Trusty’s other pieces of advice are a few rules based on McSwain’s Rules for Patient Care, which she has revised a bit:

  • Each minute has 60 seconds. Do not waste any of them.
  • Treat the patient as if they were your mother, father, or child.
  • Care doesn’t always equal treatment. Know the difference.

Don’t miss Macara Trusty’s session on employee retention Thursday, May 11, at 12:40 p.m.

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