Lights and Siren Collaborative

The Lights and Siren Collaborative brought together a group of EMS organizations, subject-matter experts, and EMS agencies from across the US to prevent ambulance crashes by reducing the use of lights and siren (L&S) while driving.

The Collaborative supported 50 EMS agencies nationwide as they implement improvements focused on NEMSQA's Safety-01 and Safety-02 Measures: Use of Lights and Siren During Response/Transport. The collaborative employed the "all teach, all learn" approach and the faculty and participants supported each other by sharing data, learning from each other's experiences, and planning next steps together.

At the end of the project, a Change PackageImproving Safety in EMS: Reducing the Use of Lights and Siren, was published, providing the EMS community with now-proven strategies to improve safety for clinicians, patients, and community.

 Additional case studies highlight the improvements and lessons learned from participating agencies. 




The Work So Far

The idea for the Collaborative began with Mike Taigman, Improvement Guide for FirstWatch. With Mike in the lead, NEMSQA began researching and recruiting more experts in January, 2022. Since then, the team has grown to include Jason Gilliam, Project Manager, in addition to key partners from NEMSQA's Member Organizations. For a full list of partners and participants, click here.

Now past the halfway point, Collaborative has:

    Held three 4-hour Learning Sessions    
Conducted 69 PDSA Cycles
Collected over 7,000 data points
Shared over 60 resources

Click here to view the Collaborative's first Lessons Learned webinar.

Community support and understanding are very important to successful implementation of these measures. Each agency is engaging internal and external stakeholders to assess their attitudes and beliefs. Something as widespread as lights and siren use can't be changed in a bubble!

“Using lights and siren to part the Red Sea a little bit to move through stopped traffic presents a very different risk profile than blowing an intersection at 45mph. Having some discretion where front-line providers are educated about the clinical benefits of the use of lights and siren and being able to think about the context in which they’re using it makes really good sense.”
                                                   – Mike Taigman, Collaborative Lessons Learned Webinar (33:05)

Appropriate use of L&S during response depends on highly reliable dispatch and 911 call-taking. Participating agencies have modified dispatch protocols and algorithms to help accurately determine which calls need a lights and siren response.

With strong data collection, incident evaluation, and stakeholder engagement, participating agencies have already begun to see reduction in L&S use in their systems.

Preliminary Case Studies:


L&S Collaborative in the Media:


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