EMS Visionary Award – Mike Taigman

EMS Visionary Award – Mike Taigman

EMS Visionary Award – Mike Taigman

Mike Taigman ran his first emergency medical services (EMS) call on November 4, 1974. In the following 50 years, he has demonstrated a lifelong dedication to the improvement of EMS and healthcare that has left an indelible mark on the industry.

That dedication was recently recognized with the American Ambulance Association’s (AAA) EMS Visionary Award.

“We give our highest honor to a guy who is just there for us, who has made a difference, and will be here tomorrow and the next day and the day after that,” says Randy Strozyk, AAA’s president.


A Life In, and For, EMS

Taigman is the quality improvement guide at FirstWatch, a data analytics firm with deep roots in EMS.

“What stands out to me about Mike,” says Todd Stout, president and founder of FirstWatch, “is his depth over a variety of disciplines. He brings it all to improve his passion, which is patient care.” Taigman’s contributions span multiple domains, including improvement science, operations, resilience, stress management, and quality improvement.

“He truly is a visionary,” says Stout. “This recognition is well-deserved.”


His Record of Service to EMS

Taigman’s ability to inspire change and shape the future of EMS is perhaps best exemplified by his leading role in facilitating the development of EMS Agenda 2050, a forward-looking vision for EMS in America. He’s also done pioneering work in improvement science and resilience, changing how EMS agencies approach patient care and organizational management. His tireless advocacy for evidence-based practices and wellness resources underscores his passion for alleviating suffering in all its forms. He has worked closely with the National EMS Quality Alliance (NEMSQA) on multiple initiatives, including its recent pioneering Lights and Sirens Initiative.

“My goal has always been to reduce suffering in all it’s forms,” says Taigman. “This award is such an honor. It’s humbling and inspiring to see what we change when we all work together toward improving outcomes, for patients and emergency responders.”

Taigman is a celebrated author, as well, publishing more than 600 articles in professional journals. He wrote the book Super-Charge Your Stress Management in the Age of COVID-19, underscoring his commitment to disseminating knowledge and empowering professionals worldwide. His leadership in developing the ResilientFirst system, he has empowered teams to build resilience using neuroscience-base techniques, thereby enhancing their ability to provide compassionate care, even in high-stress environments.

As an educator and mentor, Taigman has had a profound impact on countless lives and careers. His role as an adjunct faculty at prestigious institutions like UCSF and the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, coupled with his mentorship of emerging leaders in the field, speaks volumes about his commitment to nurturing talent and driving excellence.

Taigman’s advocacy and tireless contributions have been repeatedly recognized. He was recently awarded the awarded the prestigious Keith Neely Outstanding Contribution to EMS Award, and he is recipient of the 2023 UCSF Faculty Mentor Award. Taigman is chairman of the board at the All Clear Foundation, highlighting his dedication to the wellbeing of emergency responders and healthcare workers.



“He has been here for almost 50 years in this industry, and has continued to take care, to guide, to lead, to train, to teach,” says Strozyk. “All I know is I should pay attention and all I know is that every time I see him, I get the biggest hug in the world.”

His unwavering commitment to improving patient care, supporting healthcare professionals, and driving organizational excellence provides an enduring legacy that deserves to be honored and celebrated.

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