EMS Today Ends with a Bang - @ JEMS.com

EMS Today Ends with a Bang

Steve Berry delivers closing keynote sessions



JEMS Editorial Staff | | Saturday, March 28, 2009

Miami-Dade Fire-Rescue aced Friday night_s JEMS Games clinical competition finals, which featured a bar scene with five critical stabbing and gsw patients.

Team member Bernardo Bernardo, NREMT-P, said the scenario was difficult not only because of the patients but also because there were a large number of bar patrons. ˙The chaos. Running around. Nobody to help. We had to adapt and overcome,Ó he said. Teammate Eduardo Trapero, NREMT-P, added that not only was the scene chaotic, but they were also missing backboards.

˙These guys did a fantabulous job,Ó said alternate team member and camera man Alex Lozano, NREMT-P. The four-person team was one of two that trained for the competition with their own scenarios.

˙We train hard. We have the luxury that we train hard,Ó said team member Manny Garcia, NREMT-P.

˙It_s a lot of hard work from the beginning,Ó Lozano added. But all that training was worth it. Not only did the team win a host of prizes, including a brand-newvideo laryngoscope fromVerathon Medical, but they also get bragging rights for the next year and the education that the experience provided. For example, the scenario included a bar patron who temporarily took one of the providers hostage with a knife to the throat. All the teams learned about the importance of scene safety from that incident.

˙As a teaching and learning venue, what you saw last night is great,Ó saidDr. Jack Pacey, president of Verathon and inventor of theGlideScope, who presented the video laryngoscope.

Sussex County took home silver, and third place went to Virtua Health.

In addition to the naming of the JEMS Games winners, Thom Dick received the James O. Page/JEMS Award. ˙I_m not one for speeches, but this is special,Ó Dick said. ˙Thanks so much. You honor me more than you could possibly know.Ó

Also announced Saturday morning were the winners of thePrehospital Care Research Forum. The winner for best research was Melissa Bentley, and the winner for best oral presentation was Christopher Shane Henderson. Bentley and Henderson were two of four who gave their presentations during a Thursday lunch session.

After the awards ceremony, Steve Berry gave a humorous and heartfelt closing keynote session.

This year_s winner of the Nicholas Rosecrans Award for excellence ininjury prevention, presented by EPIC Medics Inc. and Lynn Artz, was the city of Edmonton, Canada, for its seniorfalls prevention program. The Nicholas Rosecrans Award was created after the son of Artz and Michael Rosecrans drowned in a pool.

As the closing keynote speaker, Steve Berry, BA, NREMT-P, treated attendees to his unique humor with an inspirational talk about what his ideal EMS system would be. Berry spoke about several aspects he would change in a typical system, such as safety, wellness, public perception, education and honor.

Regarding public perception, he urged listeners to adopt some of the professionalism of our public safety counterparts-- fire, law enforcement and the military. He believes we_re a mix of medical and public safety, but that in order to cement an image of EMS in the public_s mind, we should accept that the public affiliates us more with public safety than the medical profession, and we should work with that perception rather than against it. If he were redesigning your EMS system, he said he would purchase Class A uniforms for everyone and would ensure they had access to effective wellness and weight management programs.

Berry also encouraged educators and conference planners to invite speakers with expertise in grief. Funeral directors and religious leaders focus their careers on compassionate service and could offer valuable guidance to EMS professionals. He said we need to make this connection in order to better serve our chronically ill patients and bring them laughter and hope.

Other strong points Berry made were that paramedics should be degreed and that we need to remember our fallen brothers and sisters. Both of these changes would help us gain respect from our peers and from within EMS as well.

Overall, Berry_s message was a simple one: Humor is an essential amino acid for surviving in EMS. We need to use humor to save our patients and to save ourselves.

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