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In Your Words

“The State of EMS” presented some interesting perspectives on the industry from our current leaders. The “30 Years of EMS” timeline was a nice touch. As the first full-time employee of JEMS, however, I offer the following “different” milestones from the first 10 years I worked there. Some of these were covered as influential articles in A.J. Heightman’s editorial. In no order of priority, they would include:

  1. JEMS was the first public safety magazine to cover GRID, AIDS and its impact on prehospital care. This led to the journal promoting universal precautions.
  2. JEMS broke the story on Ford E-350 ambulances catching on fire, which was picked up by USA Today. Many ambulance services converted to diesel. (Now they’re reverting!)
  3. System status management was first introduced as a concept in JEMS. It started a whole change in thinking about how to quickly and more effectively respond to emergencies.
  4. Medical priority dispatch was first introduced in the pages of JEMS. It changed the face of dispatch.
  5. Continuing education units were offered through a certified teaching facility through JEMS.
  6. The concept of a “unit hour” was also first introduced in JEMS. Unit hour utilization is still a standard industry measurement today in major systems.
  7. Automated external defibrillation (AED) was first introduced and promoted through JEMS.
  8. JEMS sponsored and supported, from their beginnings, fledgling groups that included the Commission on Accreditation of Ambulance Services, National Association of EMS Physicians, National Emergency Number Association and the State EMS Directors, to name a few.
  9. JEMS created surveys designed to aspire to the “gold standard,” as Jim Page put it, including the 100-city survey (now 200) and the salary survey.

I suspect that other JEMS “alums” would have additional milestones to share. It’s heartening to see JEMS continue to pursue not only the best EMS available, but also to strive for excellence and shape the conversations for what will be the best tomorrow, too. Press on!
Rick Minerd, JEMS staff, 1981–1990
San Diego, California

Just read Guy Haskell’s article, “Cold Turkey,” and he hit the nail on the head. I was forced to go cold turkey in 2006 when I had to quit my flight medic/RN gig because of Lou Gehrig’s disease. I’m still in withdrawal. The day my NREMT-P certification lapsed was one of the saddest in my life. There’s nothing like EMS, and it will always be a part of who I am. I miss it terribly. Maybe there needs to be a DSM-5 diagnosis for this pathology? JEMS
Claudia Burrows, RN
Muncie, Indiana



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