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EMS Today Opens to Large Crowd

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In the words inscribed by one of this year's EMS Today Conference & Exposition attendees, it's on like Donkey Kong. And as another attendee wrote on the whiteboard that stands in the Baltimore Convention Center, where the conference kicked off this morning, we "still don't know enough."

But that's the point of this conference.

"We know that you are here because you care about patients Ú and your EMS system," said Jeff Berend, vice president and publisher of Elsevier Public Safety, as he addressed the early morning crowd of attendees who gathered in one of the convention center's ballrooms for the opening keynote session. "We are honored by your dedication."

It's certainly the dedication to learning as much about patient care and EMS operations that brings attendees to the EMS Today Conference each year. "This is a wonderful conference. It_s a great opportunity for you to learn and network," said Dr. Robert Bass, adding that the only way to advance prehospital care is to move together, an action which can only be accomplished through the networking that occurs at national conventions.

Those EMS professionals who have advanced prehospital care through dedication and innovation, where recognized through several awards, which were announced at the morning session. John P. Pryor, MD, FACS, an EMS physician who was killed Christmas Day in Iraq, posthumously received the first award in his name. Accepting the award was his brother, Dr. Richard Pryor. It was presented by JEMS Medical Director Dr. Ed Dickinson and paramedic Mike McEvoy.

Upon accepting the award, Dr. Richard Pryor asked the attendees why they should care about a deceased emergency medical physician who died overseas. "You should care because he_s not only my brother. He_s yours too."

Dickinson said the award embodies is what Dr. John Pryor stood for: EMS physicians who got their start in the field and who are approachable, give back, make EMS better and are never arrogant.„

"He really embodies this, and I can't think of anybody better to get this award," Dickinson said, the emotion showing in his voice.

Also receiving an award was Thom Dick. The longtime JEMS author received the Excellence in EMS Journalism Award, presented by Keith Griffiths. Dick received the award, Griffiths said, because he challenges the status quo, has a love for fellow prehospital providers, and demonstrates care and respect for patients. "Thank you. Thank you, Thom for sharing your perspective and for sharing it so eloquently," Griffiths said.

"It_s been nothin' but fun. Thanks. Thanks a lot," Dick said when he accepted the award.

"And that is vintage Thom Dick," Heightman added.

Next, Heightman announced the winners of the EMS 10 Innovators award. They are as follows:

  • Norma Battaglia, prehospital manager, Tucson Fire Department;
  • Jennifer Fernandes, community educator, City of Edmonton, Canada;
  • Frank Guyette, MD, associate medical director of STAT MedEvac;
  • Gregg Lord, director of National EMS Preparedness Initiative for George Washington University;
  • Greg Mears, MD, medical director of North Carolina Office of EMS;
  • Brent Myers, MD, medical and administrative director of Wake County EMS;
  • Richard Serino, EMS Chief of Boston EMS;
  • William Troup, fire program specialist for the U.S. Fire Administration;
  • Larry Wiersch, chief executive officer of Cetronia Ambulance Corps., and
  • Gary Wingrove, director of strategic affairs for Mayo Clinical Medical Transport.„„

After the awards were given, Suzanne Frey Sherwood, RN, MS, CNS, began her discussion on five historic trauma cases and whether the patients would live with today_s medical care. She discussed the deaths of Thomas Jonathan "Stonewall" Jackson, Princess Diana of Wales, and former presidents James A. Garfield, William McKinley and Abraham Lincoln. She determined that Jackson and Garfield would have lived, McKinley would have had a 50% chance of dying from sepsis, Diana could have lived with speedy care and surgery, and Lincoln might have lived with impaired speech and vision, provided all had fast prehospital care and a full trauma team at a specialized center.

"It is a team. That is why I think we can get up in the morning and the middle of the night and do what we do," she said.

2009 JEMS Games Preliminaries and Preconference Workshops Well Attended

Before the opening session officially started the 2009 EMS Today Conference & Exposition, many attendees went to preconference sessions and all-day workshops. Also on the two days before the conference started on Wednesday, the 13 teams that signed up for the JEMS Games went through several clinical stations during the preliminaries, which went off without a hitch.

On Tuesday, JEMS Deputy Editor Lisa Bell blogged about the JEMS Games preliminaries. She discussed the amount of duct tape needed to ensure the teams going through the stations during the prelims were safe. In her blog about the JEMS Games judges, JEMS Associate Editor Lauren Coartney asked questions of the newest and youngest judge as well as some old hats. Check it out to learn what it takes to be one of the people who determines which teams go on to compete in the final scenario on Friday night. Also, read Assistant Editor Michelle Barbeau_s blog to learn how a couple of the teams will celebrate if they win on Friday.

The JEMS Games finalists were announced on Wednesday afternoon. They are:

  • Sussex County
  • Miami-Dade A Team
  • Virtua Health

These teams will compete during the final JEMS Games competition on Friday night in the Baltimore Convention Center.

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