David Page, MS, NRP, has had several accomplishments during his 35-plus year career in emergency medical services (EMS). His current projects include the launch of an International Paramedic Registry that improves patient care by certifying EMS providers outside of the United States.
Calling it a “lifelong dream,” Page will be the keynote speaker at EMS Today, which is being held August 24-27, in San Antonio, Texas.
“When I heard Mike Taigman and Baxter Larmon talk about things in their bucket lists during keynotes in the ’90s, I remember thinking – one day – maybe I could earn the honor to open EMS Today,” according to Page. “It is such a privilege to address our peers and such an enormous responsibility to share a vision and really move the profession in the direction we think is healthy and good.”
Page is the director of the Prehospital Care Research Forum at UCLA and a field paramedic with Allina EMS in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area. He also serves as the chair for the International Paramedic Registry. Despite that, he still loves working ambulance shifts the best.
During his keynote, Page hopes to bring lightness to the darkness. He knows EMS providers have had a “rough” year – first with the COVID-19 pandemic, and then the death of George Floyd, where Page said people were mad at EMS providers just because they represent first responders.
“I think the finding inspiration in challenging time is definitely one of the concepts I am playing with,” Page said. “I’m toying with a time in our history where we had an unpresented test. The folks that are in the trenches are as crispy as crispy can get. We’re going to want to, I think, find the spinal cord if you will, the core of who we are. That was definitely tested in the last year.”
“We’re in a COVID fog,” he added. “I think this keynote, I hope, will inspire us to look toward a brighter future. With humility, heart and irreverent humor, we need to find that resilience and strength at the core of our EMS culture.”
Page, a native of Mexico, plans on using his keynote to discuss advances made in other countries and how they can be implemented here. Page lists innovations in Singapore where a new device encourages civilians to get involved with CPR before the ambulance comes, how Canada is experimenting with drones to deliver automated external defibrillators and how Colombia is using WhatsApp to dispatch ambulances.
“Are we ambulance drivers? Or are we coming into our own age of evidence and research? How are we going to move that forward?” said Page.
Since attending his first EMS Today conference in the late ’80s, Page said he has seen a “growing up of the profession.”
“I found the depth of the education to be unmatched and it inspired me to be a better provider, a better EMS clinician and a better instructor,” he said. “I found a home with EMS providers who are more conscious, deliberate and smart about their care. And I found EMS Today was a place where those types of thinkers were gathering and discussing how to improve our profession, and be in charge of our own destiny.”
Do you want to see Page deliver his keynote address live and in person? Register for EMS Today here!