EMS Web Summit: It’s Going to Be Huge


I remember how exciting my first EMS conference was.  As a new paramedic I was in awe of what the speakers had to share, and wondered how they became so knowledgeable about the topics they presented.  Now Jim Hoffman, a true pioneer in online education and podcasting at EMS Office Hours,  has made several nationally recognized speakers available free of charge to anyone with an internet connection.  Several of them have had a significant impact on my career, and I am excited about the possibilities for EMS with them able to reach so many  people.  The EMS Web Summit is Thursday, May 17 from 10am-7PM.

I first read Peter Canning‘s book Paramedic: On the Front Lines of Medicine before I got into EMS.  I was intimidated at first and thought there was no way I could do the things he wrote about.  It gave me a realistic expectation of what EMS work was, so nursing home transfers and idling on street corners came as no surprise.  I reread his book while I struggled as a new paramedic, and appreciate how open he was about his experiences.  Peter has an ongoing series on his blog Street Watch: Notes of a Paramedic about the changes he’s experienced in EMS.  It is a great read, and his discussion at the Web Summit will help us EMS 2.0’ers prepare for what’s ahead.

In paramedic school I was truly lucky to have Dan Limmer as one of my educators.  From writing the textbook to keeping it real in the streets, from clinical care to managing scenes, and from treating patients with compassion to treating each other with respect, Dan gets it.  He is one of the brightest minds in EMS today, and his presentation on being a mentor should not to be missed.

At my first EMS Today Conference I attended Bob Page’s Wide and Fast, In Lead II You’ve Got No Clue lecture.  I was mesmerized by how he made such a complex topic so easy to understand.   Using “edutainment” to emphasize his points, the grim reaper chased a heart around the screen.   I bought and recommend his 12-lead ECG book, and am excited to see what he has to offer at the Web Summit.

At the darkest point of my career, when I dreaded going to work and was close to leaving the field, I stumbled across Steve Whitehead’s blog The EMT Spot.  My life and career has not been the same since.  There are other people out there! I almost said out loud after reading his mission.  As someone who is never content with the status quo yet surrounded by people fighting against anything else, Steve’s writings inspire me to continue working to make EMS better tomorrow, and to treat my next patient with respect and compassion today.  Creating a rapport with our patients is badly neglected in most EMS education programs, and I cannot wait to see what Steve has to say about this.

Around the same time I discovered Tim Noonan’s Rogue Medic blog.  As the status quo’s worst enemy, he challenges us to support every treatment we deliver with evidence that it helps patients.  When I’m preparing a presentation or article, his blog is my first search engine for the latest research.  I don’t always agree with his interpretations, but if a study is recent and relevant, Tim has it covered.  Who would dare question using epinephrine for cardiac arrest, no less a paramedic?  Tim does, and I guarantee you will view resuscitation differently after his presentation.

I am still recovering from my experiences as a new EMS educator.  Five minutes before speaking to 50 people, I was given a canned presentation covering a generic topic that I had no special knowledge about.  When my three hour class was done in 30 minutes, people were running for the door.  I vowed never to do that again and wanted to be better prepared.  Greg Friese and his EMS Educast co-hosts feature experts in all aspects of EMS education, and is a great resource for developing instructors.  Greg despises the ticket-punch, say we did it con-ed model so prevalent in our industry, and he strives to deliver current, in-depth content as Director of Education for CentreLearn Solutions.  Anyone who says quality education cannot be done online has never met Greg, and the Web Summit is the perfect medium to learn what he has to say about it.

Kelly Grayson is also a fierce advocate for EMS professionalism and improving our education standards.  Starting with the title of his blog, A Day In The Life of an Ambulance Driver, Kelly is also hilarious and reminds us not to take ourselves too seriously. His presentation will surely be as entertaining as it is educational.

Finally, I met Dave Konig at last year’s EMS Today.  I told him I liked to write and have ideas I’d like to share, but that I know almost nothing about computers.  I was in good hands, because Dave is the EMS master of social media.  His and Greg Friese’s PIO Social Media Training is the go-to resource for agencies to embrace and use social media instead of fearing it.  I had a great time hanging out with Dave at the last EMS Today, and got to meet other great people in person whom he helped me connect with through blogging.  Dave will be right at home at the Web Summit.

Those are the speakers whose work I am most familiar with or have a personal connection to.  Troy Shaffer, Sean Kivlehan, Jamie Todd, Rommie Duckworth, and Evan Feuer are equally accomplished experts in what they are presenting, and I look forward to learning what they have to share.

The EMS Web Summit Thursday, May 17 from 10 AM to 7 PM.  It’s Free. Don’t miss it. Register here.

 

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