Rocco V. Morando - In Memoriam 1927 – 2023
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Rocco V. Morando, the Founder and first Executive Director of the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians passed away peacefully and surrounded by family on the morning of February 21, 2023 after a prolonged illness. He was 95.
“It is with a heavy heart and deep sadness that I inform you of the passing of our organization’s founder,” Bill Seifarth, the current executive director of the organization announced to his staff and board this afternoon. “Rocco Morando was a luminary in the EMS profession and was instrumental in helping shape the lifesaving system we know today. His legacy will continue to provide inspiration for years to come, and we are grateful for his contributions.”
On June 4, 1970, the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians was established following the recommendation of a task force assembled under President Lyndon B. Johnson’s Committee on Highway Traffic Safety. Morando was selected as the National Registry’s founding executive director in 1971 and held that position for nearly two decades.
During his career at the National Registry, Morando oversaw a number of accomplishments, including: the first basic NREMT-A examination administered simultaneously to 1,520 ambulance personnel at 51 test sites throughout the United States (1971); the first recertification of Nationally Registered EMTs based on re-evaluation of skills (1973); the development of the first national paramedic curriculum in conjunction with leading EMS agencies and the University of Pittsburgh (1976-77); and the first NREMT-Paramedic examination (1978); the development of the first NREMT-Intermediate curriculum and examination (1980).
Upon his retirement on December 31, 1988, Morando was honored with a celebration attended by hundreds of friends and representatives from national EMS organizations. The National Registry’s headquarters in Columbus, Ohio was renamed the Rocco V. Morando Building that same year.
The Rocco V. Morando Lifetime Achievement Award, named in his honor, recognizes a lifetime of commitment, contributions and leadership to Emergency Medical Services (EMS). The award is presented by the National Association of EMTs and is sponsored by the National Registry.
Current and former employees, along with those throughout the EMS community, send their thoughts and condolences to Rocco’s family and friends.