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Where in the World (of EMS) Is A.J.?


Today starts a special fun and informative series we thought you would enjoy as unpredictable EMS junkie and JEMS Editor-in-Chief A.J. Heightman takes off on two-weeks of European EMS adventures. Much different from the famous NBC Today Show’s “Where in the World is Matt Lauer," which features a dozen cameramen and staffers, A.J., known for his love of EMS and unpredictable adventures and activities, will be alone or tagging along with other EMS officianatos to seek out tips, techniques, tactics and (of course) toys (and equipment) to share with you, our readers.

His first stop is the popular German emergency service exposition, RETTmobil, a massive exposition and conference an hour’s train ride from Frankfurt, Germany, in the village of Fulda. This year, RETTmobil features 400 vendors and many innovations that A.J. (and you) will be hungry to hear about (and see).

Armed with four cameras, you can be sure that A.J. will capture and share digital stills and video that are worth seeing. Because of his constant travel and activities, A.J. will be posting photos and snippits of his travel experiences on jems.com, as well as the JEMS Facebook and LinkedIn pages, and on the special EMS 2020 Vision page.

A.J. will be seeking not just new innovations, but as part of the EMS 2020 Vision Program, an initiative started by Ferno, Washington, to look far into the future to see where, and how we can make EMS safer and more productive for the EMS community. He will be seeking solutions from European EMS providers and leaders that can be used in the U.S. He knows that the presentation of solid, researched and innovative ideas often get catapulted into American EMS systems via the pages of JEMS and has taken on a grueling 14-day packed schedule to seek them out and report on them for you.

After RETTmobil, A.J. will be off to London, where he will spend time with officials from London Ambulance Service (LAS). A.J. is well aware of the work of LAS and, as an MCI guru, appreciative of the daily preparations, training and professionalism of the men and women of LAS.

He’s also a big fan of LAS Medical Director Fionna Moore, a spunky, progressive and innovative medical director and member of the Eagles Coalition, the major metropolitan medical directors from some of the largest EMS systems in the world. Fionna is a popular speaker at the Gatherine of Eagles annual conference in Dallas.

Because of high call volume, system demand and national health care initiatives, Fionna and her team of EMS administrators have implemented some of the most innovative initiatives in the world including, special event and MCI planning that received rave reviews during the 7/7 terrorist attacks in London and during the recent London Olympics; practices such as 12-lead recognition and STEMI alerts by BLS crews and special programs to reduce system load on emergency crews by using special screening and resources to move non-emergent cases throughout the London healthcare system.

A.J. will also be visiting with the crews of LAS and its deputy director for operations, Jason Killens. A popular speaker at the JEMS/EMS Today Conference and Exposition, Killens recently participated in an International panel discuss as a part of the EMS 2020 Vision program and was aghast at the number of ambulance accidents and deaths in the U.S., something not experienced (or tolerated) in London. One of A.J.’s goals is to see how LAS and others in Europe can operate so much safer and with such a high level.of culture of safety in EMS.

After London, A.J. will take a train to Warwickshire, England, to attend the annual Ambulance Leadership Forum, which includes the Association of Ambulance Chief Executives Conference and College of Paramedics. In addition, this year, it will include the International Roundtable on Community Paramedicine on May 20-23.

The venue for the event is the beautiful Chesford Grange Hotel in Kenilworth, Warwickshire.

Community paramedicine (CPP) is a worldwide trend and A.J. will join community practice paramedic leader, Gary Wingrove of Minnesota and other CPP developers to hear how the concept and practice is advancing in Europe.


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