I am back from another Iowa EMS Association annual conference and have to say, it was a great time as always. I wore my EMS 2.0 pin with pride and had to explain the meaning to quite a few people. I also wore my CoEMS shirt and had a few people ask about it, and a few that knew what CoEMS was. I presented on Saturday morning and in my closing, guided my audience to the Chronicles website and asked for their support in presenting EMS as it really is for the world to see. I am also happy to announce that I will hold an at large position on the IEMSA board.
I spent over two hours in a class focused on technology. Let me tell you, this geek was on the edge of his seat. This logistics expert presented multiple ways that his agency is using technology to help both management and medics on the street. From being able to view traffic cams on an MDC from inside the ambulance (for passenger only), to viewing current and upcoming weather direct from the National Weather Service. I learned how to use CAD dispatch data and overlay it with GIS to see where the calls occur. Useful for agencies that do not use deployment strategies but have units in stations. When resources are depleted, they move available units to where calls are more likely to occur. I learned more about narrow-banding and 700 and 800 mhz than I ever wanted to. But…being the tech geek that I am, I enjoyed it.
Was surprised at a lecture from a physician on ems and community involvement. It was EMS 2.0, and he didn't know it. I had a nice talk with him afterward and was surprised that we know a lot of the same people in relation to community paramedics. There will be more on this talk in a later post.
What I want to get across here is that you MUST become a member of your state EMS association. This is the perfect spot to begin to have a voice. This is the opportunity to see what is new in ems, find out what others around the state are doing. It gives you the opportunity to discuss problems and solutions to problems that are affecting ems across your state. Plus, it is a chance to catch up with old friends from the past. A former co-worker, a former classmate, a former instructor.
If you wish for change, you need to have a voice. Being affiliated with your state's association allows your voice to be heard. It allows you to be a part of an organization that represents YOU. Many will say that the state association is just a "good ol boy club". Well, if that is true in your state, change it. Become a member and vote them out. Or better yet…run for a position yourself. All I ask is that you don't sit silent on the sideline and allow things to remain status quo.