EMS Week in New England


Will Chapleau, EMT-P, RN, TNS | | Monday, June 16, 2008

First of all, I want to say how proud I am of all of you who makeEMS your career. I appreciate everyone I've ever worked with, and the patients who put their trust in me on their worst possible day. I'm grateful also to theAmericanCollege of Surgeons Committee on Trauma for their commitment to prehospital care and for allowing me to spend a considerable amount of time in support of prehospital concerns.

I had an interesting EMS Week this year. A while back, I got an invitation from a friend, Sarah Seiler atAlbanyMedicalCenter inNew York, to speak at their annualEMS dinner. Looking forward to spending time with friends and speaking at a dinner honoring the Albany-areaEMS community, I accepted.

OnceAlbanyMedicalCenter put out early advertising of the event, I got an e-mail from Cary Stratford fromSpringfieldHospital inSpringfield,Vt. They had heard I was speaking a couple of hours away and wondered if I would also speak at theirEMS dinner. Working with Sarah, we were able to work out the schedule so I could do both. This has made for a memorableEMS week.

First, I have had a couple of very hectic years and need to tell you, spending a few days driving around in New England was an incredible change of pace that was refreshing and re-energizing. Second, it was a humbling experience to be a part of two evenings honoring the people that care for their friends and neighbors when the worst happens to good people.

At both meetings, the hospitals honored the dedication and professionalism of their prehospital care providers. Whatever the level of licensure of these professionals, it was clear their skills and consistent performance were appreciated by the hospitals that received their patients.

I've been teaching, writing and speaking for a long time. My lectures of late have been largely about prehospital science -- what it tells us about our practice and how we can progress. I always end my presentations with a challenge to the audience to participate in research to tell their patient-care story and have their history become a part of the science that determines our future practice.

At both meetings, first responders, EMTs, intermediates and paramedics were enthusiastic participants during my presentations and spent time talking to me and asking questions afterward.

At times when I find myself struggling in meetings over public policy, protocols, curricula or legislation, I need reinforcement of the value of the effort. Dedicating time to prehospital care providers, many serving as volunteers for their communities for 30 years or more, reminds me of the worth of efforts on their behalf. It leaves me invigorated to continue the fight.

Thank you to Sarah andAlbanyMedicalCenter, Cary Stratford andSpringfieldHospital, and all the EMS providers that spent EMS week with me inNew England. I'm humbled and pleased to have the opportunity to spend an evening with you. I hope I was of some service to you. To all of you working inEMS, likewise, it's an honor to serve, and I'll be happy to continue.

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