Digital Supplement, Special Topics

March 2010 Supplement, EMS 10: Innovators in EMS 2009

This supplement profiles the top 10 innovators in EMS who drove the profession forward in 2009. These individuals were nominated by their peers in recognition of their hard work, dedication and selfless efforts to make a difference in the delivery of EMS or in the lives of patients and providers.

Leaders of the Pack in 2009

This special supplement, sponsored by Physio-Control Inc. and JEMS, profiles 10 EMS innovators who were selected by an expert panel from dozens of nominees. Each finalist was selected based on their successful implementation of at least one key EMS innovation in 2009, and was nominated by an individual or organization that recognized their hard work, dedication and unselfish efforts to make a difference in the delivery of EMS or the lives of those delivering or receiving it.

The Resuscitator

You could call Dr. Mickey Eisenberg’s book, Resuscitate! How Your Community Can Improve Survival from Sudden Cardiac Arrest, a labor of love. But that wouldn’t fully encompass his passion—or mission—for saving people who have suffered cardiac arrest.

The Big-Picture Thinker

Even as a teenager, Dia Gainor was fascinated with EMS. Her first job, working in a county EMS office, allowed her to personally experience the challenges and excitement of the industry. Most importantly, she got to see what was necessary for an EMS system to work successfully. She learned that everyone had to contribute individually and as a group, much like performers in an exquisite, choreographed dance.

Beyond Status Quo

Like many counties around the nation, Greenville County (S.C.) EMS is grappling with how to address an ongoing paramedic shortage. The busy EMS agency fields some 60,000 calls a year, and the need for qualified paramedics is sometimes acute.

Spotlight on Sepsis

It’s no secret that EMS providers have to be up on the latest medical technologies and conditions. This can be challenging given how quickly things change, and it sometimes might seem better to just ignore it all. However, T. Ryan Mayfield, EMS educator and quality assurance/quality improvement (QA/QI) research specialist for Porter, Littleton, Parker EMS in South Denver Metro, noticed an educational gap in paramedic training that he simply couldn’t ignore. 

Preventive Measures

Every year, hundreds of EMS personnel fall ill or die due to job-related illnesses or circumstances. Just how many succumb, where, how often and why, is still somewhat of a mystery. It’s a riddle that has always bothered Geoffrey Miller. 

The Change Agent

An internationally respected leader in prehospital care, Dr. Paul Pepe’s contribution to EMS spans more than three decades. While the depth and breadth of his work is unmatched, the bulk of his research—and passion—is in prehospital cardiac arrest and trauma resuscitation and prehospital care, most recently evaluating how estrogen can improve resuscitation rates with a team of prehospital care experts.

The Connector

As an electronic documentation manager for the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department, John Pringle experienced first-hand the disconnect field providers feel in sharing patient information with local hospitals. He thinks there’s been a need for some time for the entities to be linked electronically to allow sharing of patient information in real time.

The Green Builder

Energy and power have been an increasing problem in this country, especially when it comes to powering the equipment in ambulances. With a need to energize power stretchers, portable radios, ECG monitors and a host of other equipment on an ambulance, the need for fresh, fully charged batteries is a constant challenge.

The EMS Pit Crew Chief

To say that Robert Boyd Tober, MD, FACEP, has been involved in all aspects of medical direction for Collier County, Fla., would be an understatement. The 30-year veteran, who is medical director for Collier County EMS, has been a driving force in protocol development, in-service curriculum development, and the creation of innovative programs and technologies that have saved thousands of lives over the years. His most recent innovation, a tiered medical care program, has led to return of spontaneous circulation (ROSC) rates that are far above the national average.

Community Outreach

Every day, EMS providers in communities around the U.S. respond to thousands of 9-1-1 medical calls. Most of these calls are, indeed, emergencies, which require the expertise and aid of paramedics. There are, however, a small percentage of calls made to 9-1-1 by people who could be better served through alternate means of support.

The State of EMS in 2010
Over the past 30 years, EMS has evolved from a mostly volunteer offshoot of medicine to a comprehensive system of early emergency care that s based on science, state-of-the-art care and high-technology procedures and has saved tens of thousands of lives.

Grant to Enhance EMS/Hospital Data Exchange

The White House announced Tuesday that the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) has been awarded one of 15 Federal Beacon Grants to demonstrate the capacity of electronic medical records.