I first attended EMS Today in 2013. I was awarded one of the scholarships. I was thrilled to be traveling down to a national conference, to learn from some of the best and brightest and to learn how things were done outside of my little corner of the US. I got to meet nationally recognized EMS experts, some of whom I had previously only communicated with online. It was truly an amazing experience. I remember hearing an amazing lecture from a toxicologist on bath salts. Being the least educated person in the in the room who raised his hand and asked him a simple question “so what how do you want us to treat the patient prehospitally who is on bath salts?” I sat through a great legal lecture on documentation, and an informative PIO lecture.
And 5 years later, here I am…. Getting ready to actually be a presenter at this conference, along with many nationally recognized EMS experts, who have so many letters after their name, leaders in the industry. If anyone had told me when I first attended the conference that, 5 years later, I would be presenting at it, I wouldn’t have believed them… yet here I am.
My topic, Vehicle Extrication for EMS, is one that I am very passionate about. During my career I have seen EMS providers do some stupid things often due to ignorance of the dangers as well as due to ignorance as to what the fire department will be doing. I’ve seen EMS providers injured at motor vehicle crashes and other who stand back and let the fire department do everything. Ignoring the fact that extrication is supposed to revolve around the patient and patient care needs to be performed. As a firefighter instructor and as an EMS instructor, I’ve always stressed that EMS should be given the tools to do what they do best and perform good patient care, even if under not so ideal circumstances. As well as make sure that everyone goes home safely. If I can make one person more aware of the risks, and ways they can mitigate that risk, than I have done my job.