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EMS Today Opens

Brent Myers, MD, MPH, FACEP

EMS is standing on the precipice, ready to embrace times of great change, said Brent Myers, MD, MPH, FACEP, who delivered the keynote that opened the 2011 EMS Today Conference & Exposition. He said EMS is moving out of what he likes to call its “adolescent phase” into an era he thinks will be characterized by evidence-based medicine.

“There is a balance and we’ve got to move from lost in translation to better care,” he said, stressing that EMS will move from doing what is best to doing what is required, measuring care with outcome data.

He also said EMS will benefit from having a place in the house of medicine, which has happened with the recognition by the American Board of Medical Specialties of EMS as a subspecialty.

He said this future will possibly even include funding from a lead federal agency.

“We as a house of medicine have treated EMS as a transportation agency for too long,” he said. “We have the evidence to say ‘we are moving forward.’”

He said that moving forward will include bridging the gap between being a public safety and public health agency.

He outlined five items that have been lost in translation that will become key in the new health-care reform environment. They include 1), patient outcomes measure success (the primary focus); 2) preparedness (to measure public safety success); 3) prevention  (to measure public health success; 4) using science to lead the way; and 5) receiving funding from accomplishing the above.

Before Myers delivered his forward-thinking keynote, JEMS Editor-in-Chief A.J. Heightman, MPH, EMT-P, announced the winner of the John P. Pryor Street Medicine Society award and the 2010 EMS 10 Innovators in EMS award.

John P. Pryor Street Medicine Society
The award is named for the late John P. Pryor, an emergency medical physician who got his start as an EMT and paramedic. Pryor was killed in 2008 by an improvised explosive device while deployed overseas. William “Randy” Marriott, MD, medical director for the Dayton (Ohio) Fire Department, received this award for his dedication to EMS. The former EMT and paramedic, who is involved in disaster preparedness and response programs, embodies the spirit of the award through his modest and personable nature.

“It’s clearly very humbling to receive an award like this,” Marriott said. “There’s no way I will ever feel worthy of this award.”

Marriott was joined on stage by his son, a collegiate EMT. He said he couldn’t do what he does without help. In fact, he could’ve have even started in EMS without the help of an EMT certification program who allowed him to enrol in the program despite the fact he was a few days short of the age of 18.

He said the best thing about the award is that “I can receive it simply for doing what I love.”

EMS 10
After Marriott received his award, Heightman announced the winners of the 2010 EMS 10 Innovators in EMS Award. These 10 individuals might all hail from different places in the U.S. and be involved in different areas of EMS. However, they all share two characteristics in common: They are innovators and they are humble about their accomplishments. The are as follows:

David Aber, NREMT-P
• Was instrumental in obtaining a $420,000 grant for carboxyhemoglobin monitors.
• Because of David’s hard work, Delaware is the first state in the nation to have the statewide ability to monitor carbon monoxide levels in all firefighters and patients on every run.

Chief Jeffery Dumermuth, CMO, EMT-PS
• Formed the Iowa EMS Alliance.
• In this system, the city of West Des Moines paramedics rotate shifts between units staffed in fire stations and the hospital. It forms a critical service based out of a city EMS agency, housed in fire stations and transferring critical patients around the entire state.

Ray Fowler, MD, FACEP
• Advocated for the establishment of EMS as a medical specialty with the American Board of Medical Specialties.
• Dr. Fowler is the primary reason this goal has been achieved—one that will have a profound impact on EMS. Dr. Fowler’s lifelong commitment to EMS and the advancement of EMS as a profession is exemplified by his most recent project.

Greg Friese, MS, NREMT-P
• Is the lead co-host of the EMS EduCast, a weekly one-hour Internet radio show for EMS educators and providers.
• He’s an innovative educator for CentreLearn, creating cutting-edge online learning modules for EMS organizations across the U.S.

David Hiltz, NREMT-P
• Conceived, promoted and assisted in the development of successful HeartSafe Community programs in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York and Rhode Island.

Lt. James Logan, BPS, IC, EMT-P
• Created a unique, innovative training program for responses to bombing victims and terrorism.
• Thanks to his efforts, hundreds of firefighter/paramedics have experienced true-to-life scenarios and training.

Nicholas Miller, BS, CCEMT-P, I/C
• Developed an intensive, 14-week groundbreaking program that transitions specific military medics to NREMT paramedics.
• It’s the first program of its kind in the U.S. and the first to receive approval from the U.S. Army Department of EMS.

Chris Montera, EMT-P
• Worked tirelessly to lead a team of local and state healthcare stakeholders through a process that will put Community Paramedics into practice in Colorado. He has engaged and aligned the local hospitals, medical providers and public health as they have embraced this new healthcare model.

Daniel Patterson, PhD, MPH, EMT-B
• Through his numerous studies on the safety culture of EMS, the teamwork/conflict levels between providers, and the effects of sleep and fatigue levels on providers, he has been able to show industry-wide trends that can improve safety in the field.

Tawnya Silloway, EMT-P
• Compiled a handbook for her company to use in the event of a line-of-duty death.
• She then approached the American Ambulance Association to give access to the handbook to all ambulance agencies, which the AAA released at its annual meeting in November. The National EMS Memorial also included it on its website.

A Warm Welcome
The opening keynote session also included welcome speeches by Baltimore City Fire Department Deputy Chief Alexander J. Perricone and Dr. Robert Bass, executive director of the Maryland Institute for EMS Systems. It also included a moment of silence marking the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and a call for attendance at this year’s National EMS Memorial Service, which will be at 6 p.m. June 25 at the First Presbyterian Church in Colorado Springs, Colo. He also urged attendees to return to the ballroom for the JEMS Games finals, which start at 6:30 p.m. on Friday night.

Heightman also thanked attendees and told them to enjoy themselves and learn. “The success of this conference is really in large part due to you.”


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