Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Dallas - expo eve

So...I arrived in Dallas without incident.  Which is more than I can say for @Epi_Junky.  So far, this has been beyond my expectations.
For an impromptu meetup (tweetup) at House of Blues in Dallas, it was bigger than anyone could have expected.  The intention of RJ (@hybridmedic) and Scott (@medicsbk) to have a small gathering turned into a group of forty or more all speaking the same language...EMS.  It was beyond what anyone expected.  And then Zoll showed up to make it official.  The support and interest Zoll has in social media and its roll in ems is amazing.  They really understand that it has become a component of ems now and in the future.

Arriving at the House of Blues and not knowing an actual person made me a little nervous.  I had expectations of how I wanted the evening to go.  Earlier in the day I planned the possibility of being back to the hotel early because it didn't go as planned.  The idea that I would be in Dallas for the rest of the week, with nobody to talk to and enjoy the conference.  I am so glad that was not the result.   It ended up being so much more than I could have imagined.  EVERYONE was amazing.  It was as if we had known one another for years.  There was no judgement of who worked where and for whom.  We are all the same person playing a different roll for a different service.  It was great.

I will now break away from this to go and record an episode of EMS Garage.

Don't worry...There is more to come

Monday, September 27, 2010

Dallas, here I come


So, this is my second week with a blog, and this one will be none to exciting, but it will tell a story.

I want to talk about attending EMS Expo in Dallas.  Why you ask?  Because this is an opportunity to hear some of the best and brightest in the profession speaking on what's new and innovative for ems.  From induced hypothermia (yes they are doing that prehospital), to an ambulance that you load the patient from the side.

This year, for the first time ever, I am going to Expo alone. What I mean is there is nobody else from my service making the trip. The people I plan to meet in Dallas are those I chat with through social media on an hourly, daily, or weekly basis. These are people I call my friends, yet we have never met face to face. My wife thinks I am crazy, I think otherwise. I would not be attending EMS Expo if I was not fortunate enough to have become friends with Greg Friese on Facebook and Twitter. He helped me make the trip happen. Thanks again Greg.

Expo is the chance to see all that is ems.  You get to see the newest equipment and apparatus.  It gives you the chance to hear and see what others are doing.  You have to remember that there is a lot to learn from others.  Just because you think you are doing things the best way you think possible, does not mean that someone else out there does not have a better way of doing it. The opposite is also true; they might want to hear how you do it.

It is the opportunity to see and hear from the members of the "service of the year".  What have they done to deserve this honor?  What do we have to learn from them?  Are you happy with just being average?  Do we not strive to be the best?  Imagine the honor of being recognized as the best.

I have the chance to attend leadership presentations from some of the best, such as Skip Kirkwood. If you are not familiar with him, go check out Wake County EMS. Wake EMS is very progressive service in the Raleigh area that is leading the way for ems. They have a prehospital hypothermia protocol, and they have implemented the idea of "community paramedics". I am excited to learn what he has to teach.

Most important though…I am finally able to meet those who have inspired me. Geeky Medic, Happy Medic, Ambo Driver, Ms Paramedic, Imagemedic, Podmedic, and the list goes on and on.  These are the people who have been working so hard to move ems to the next level.  EMS 2.0.  These are the people who inspired me. They awakened the idea from within me, and gave me the tools to expand on the idea. While in Dallas, if I can help them to inspire more people to the 2.0 way of thinking, then that is all that matters.

This week I also get the chance to do a podcast (or two) face to face with the others. I finally get a face for the voice. The podcast thing is kind of funny for me. I remember mowing the yard and listening to ems garage and thinking, "wow, these guys are amazing, I have never looked at it (insert idea or concept here) like that. I thought to myself that someday, I might be on the garage. Others might care to listen to my idea and my opinion. Since I started doing some podcasts, I get feedback from people I know telling me how great it is that I am a part of it.

EMS Expo is about being with friends. Old ones and new ones. It is about round two of darts between Chris and Kyle (I am still accepting bribes guys). It will be the best time you can have doing anything related to work. From standing on the grassy knoll, to eating BBQ, it is an opportunity to sit back, relax, and take it all in.

In a little over twelve hours, I will be on a flight to Dallas and the word excitement just doesn't describe it. See you there.



Thursday, September 23, 2010

A Standard of Care

After a great discussion on EMS Garage last week in relation to these articles, I thought I would go a bit further.

A recent article on Jems.Com discussed the Salt Lake City Fire acquiring the brand new technology of 12 Lead EKG. Really? New technology? It is something the citizens of Salt Lake City should expect from those providing emergency care. But, why has it taken them so long to obtain this equipment. In looking at their website, the Fire Department does not provide patient transport. That is provided by a private company contracted by the city. The article states that they are "working together" to use this new technology. Was the private service performing 12 leads prior to this? I surely hope so. I really enjoyed the quote "time is money". I do hope he meant to say "time is muscle", or the reporter misquoted him. Without all of the facts, it appears that the city is catching up with the modern care and treatment for cardiac patients. Which is more than I can say about the following article which talks about Chicago EMS not having the capability to obtain a 12 lead.

The next article is from last year, but relates closely with the previous. Chicago Behind the times in heart attack response.

Yes, this article is old. However, I recently heard from a reliable source that they still do not have 12 Lead capabilities. I do not enjoy "be-rating" another agency, but…I found this article surprising, yet I was aware of these facts. It is hard to believe that an EMS agency this size, in this day and time, could be so behind. If I were a Chicago taxpayer, I would be outraged. EMS systems in much smaller areas and operating with a far smaller budget have the technology and are using it. 75 ALS ambulances…and not one have 12 lead capabilities. I would also be concerned as to what other forms of treatment are lacking.


The phrase "times is muscle" apparently has never been uttered in Chicago EMS. From the AHA to any current trade magazine or conference, the "Stemi" is still a discussion topic. There is a lot of research and many services and hospitals are "bragging" about their improvements in d2b (door to balloon time). There is little we can do to "save" the patient in these situations. The patient needs definitive care. The patient needs a cath lab.


How can Levinson say that patient care has not suffered? If a patient is having an MI, care is compromised. The 12 lead ECG is now considered a standard of care. Levinson states the cost to upgrade is $4 million. Only 1 % of the department's budget. Really… they could not spend this money on the new monitors and education? Are the hospitals in the metro area not willing to help out with the cost? It states the money was there, but then used for other operational needs. I am curious as to what those needs were.


In the 2007 and 2009 "State of Science" supplements in JEMS, Chicago was a NO for 12 lead, CPAP, and IO. The 2009 supplement also had Chicago listed as a NO for Therapeutic Hypothermia and Intranasal medication administration. After reading this insert from JEMS, I expected Chicago would move forward with the times and begin to implement current technology and treatments into their system to improve upon patient care. Two years have passed, and still no 12 lead. Is their theory that they will just drive fast to the hospital?


This article sheds light on the fact that because you are in a major metropolitan city does not mean you will get modern care and treatment.


Monday, September 20, 2010

Dispatch…Medic 33 is available

Every day, in every city and county, a phrase similar to this can be heard on the radio or read on the screen of an MDC.

After years of trying to figure out what to do with my thoughts, ideas, and opinions, I came across blogging. The thought of starting one of my own entered my mind, and then quickly exited. As the months passed, this idea kept picking at my brain. I realized that "The Blog" is like "The Borg" from Star Trek (No, I am not a Trekkie) and "resistance is futile". What I mean is there was no way I could not start one. No way I could not become involved.

This is an opportunity for me to rant like Dennis Miller, to share my thoughts and ideas, and to further my agenda of changing the perception of EMS in America. If one person changes their idea of what a paramedic does, or what EMS is about, then I will have accomplished what I am setting out to do.

I want to thank CKEMTP, The Happy Medic, 999Medic, Ambulance Driver, Geeky Medic and everyone else who gave me advice and support at creating this.

To all of my readers I say…

Welcome back my friends to the show that never ends. We're so glad you could attend. Come inside! Come inside! (Emerson, Lake & Palmer Karn Evil 9 First Impression Lyrics)