EMS Customer Service is a Choice – Shane Beck

Customer Service is a Choice

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 Shane Beck, who is on the agenda to speak Thursday, May 11, at 9 a.m.

As Shane Beck describes it, it took him “two bites of the apple” to decide he wanted to get into emergency services. He did a ride out with an ambulance when he was 17 and wasn’t quite sure. He was invited back a second time, and the owner asked him it if was something he thought he could do. Absolutely, he thought. So, although he initially didn’t have a true motivation, he is still in the industry 41 years later.

“I found out early on how the people involved were so unique and diverse,” Beck said, “and I think that still draws people in today.”

In his career, Beck has worked in a variety of EMS systems, including rural, private EMS, hospital-based, aeromedical, and fire-based. Currently, he is shift captain and EMS coordinator for Trophy Club Fire Department in Trophy Club, Texas.

The “Why” Behind His Topic

According to Beck, the EMS industry has forced some leaders to the top who may not have the most developed leadership skills, which he says creates a myriad of problems. EMS still needs to map out career paths like the fire service, he says.  Some of this disconnect in the industry trickles down to how providers interact with patients, which is customer service.

There are many internal and external opportunities around customer service in the emergency services world. But Beck says people tend to only look at customer service by what they do as providers when people call 911. He says there are so many other elements to it. Beck wants to get people thinking about what they are doing, what they can do, and how to do it better.

Take-Aways for the Audience

Beck hopes his presentation is an opportunity for the audience to look in the mirror and see what they’re doing — yet be open to what others are doing, as well. Not necessarily just other EMS providers, he says, but what they see in retail or financial services.

“What are other companies doing, and how can we adapt some of that innovation? It’s time to push the wheel one more revolution down the road,” Beck said.

Outlook for the Industry

Regarding the future, Beck believes emergency services are going in a good direction. It’s just a painful direction right now.

“We’re still stuck staggering over the lack of leadership that we’ve built over the previous years,” Beck said. “We’re just starting to get some young leaders who have good leadership experience moving into the top on all levels of EMS. I see that expanding.”

Beck believes the industry is past the days of people joining EMS as a hobby. He thinks it’s truly a profession and career. He believes more and more people will lock into paramedicine as a chosen profession.

Advice to Those Starting Out in EMS

For those new to the EMS industry, Beck recommends seeking people who have been successful to provide mentorship, coaching, or career guidance.

“There’s plenty of people in the industry who truly love the profession, who want to coach or mentor,” he said.

Beck also suggests those starting out in EMS be humble. If not, he says, you will get humbled daily.

Don’t miss Shane Beck’s session on customer service in EMS Thursday, May 11, at 9 a.m.

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