PHOENIX, AZ — Keith Griffiths, founding editor of JEMS and a longtime advocate for EMS and public safety, was honored at the 15th Pinnacle EMS Leadership Forum with the Pinnacle Lifetime Achievement Award. The award recognizes individuals who have made significant contributions to emergency medical services over the course of their career.
“Keith’s passion for advancing our profession, combined with his storytelling prowess, has inspired thousands of EMS clinicians and leaders and helped millions of people whose lives have been touched by EMS over the last four decades,” said Jay Fitch, PhD, founding partner of Fitch & Associates and co-chair of the Pinnacle Program Committee. “Although he often acted behind the scenes, Keith’s legacy can be seen across EMS and around the world.”
After studying at the US Naval Academy and San Diego State University, Griffiths landed at Emergency magazine. As managing editor, he began to learn the industry and meet its leaders, including James O. Page, who had helped start one of the nation’s first paramedic programs in Los Angeles County. In 1980, Griffiths and Page launched JEMS, the Journal of EMS, with Griffiths as founding editor.
JEMS became one of the leading voices in EMS, publishing articles by legends such as economist Jack Stout, creator of the public utility model EMS system; Jeff Clawson, a pioneer of emergency medical dispatch; and many others. Through his own writing and by helping visionary EMS leaders shape their stories, Griffiths shepherded new ideas and questioned outdated tenets—all while continuously promoting the value of EMS.
“Keith’s love for EMS has fooled many people into thinking that he began his career as an EMT or paramedic, because he has done as much to support EMS as anyone who ever wore a patch on their sleeve,” Fitch said.
After leaving JEMS, Keith co-founded RedFlash Group, a strategic communications consulting firm specializing in public safety celebrating its twentieth anniversary this summer. During his time at RedFlash, Griffiths has continued to help shape the future of EMS, through his work with businesses, government agencies, and non-profit organizations serving the industry. In partnership with Fitch & Associates, Griffiths and RedFlash also helped launch the first Pinnacle in 2006 and has been an integral part of the conference ever since.
In addition to his work with RedFlash Group, Griffiths has also volunteered his time as a board member or advisor to many organizations throughout his career, most recently including the California Paramedic Foundation and the Citizen CPR Foundation. Along with his wife, Heidi, and their daughter, Zoe, Griffiths is a supporter of the Rancho Coastal Humane Society and a frequent foster parent to puppies in need of a home.