If you’ve ever been involved with designing and specing out a custom ambulance and waited for it to arrive from the factory, you know how I felt on Sunday morning as we launched the redesigned Web site.

When you see a beautiful new ambulance pull up in front of your headquarters, you feel a great sense of pride and accomplishment because you designed it to meet your specific needs.

Unlike a demo ambulance that doesn t meet all your needs, a custom ambulance is built the way you, the customer, want it. Exterior design, interior compartments, lighting and other features are built exactly where you want them and function exactly as you want them to function.

With a demonstrator, you get what someone else designed and have to live with features that aren t exactly what you want. Trying to get an ambulance manufacturer to redesign compartments or features on a demonstrator is usually costly and not practical.

We made a decision several months ago to part ways with our contracted Web designer and bring the design and content development of in house where it could be developed and enhanced easily on a daily basis by our staff. Jim Page taught us to stay as close to our customers as possible, so we wanted to bring our Web site inside the JEMS editorial think tank to be able to have more of the “JEMS touch” on this important information medium than was possible with a contracted agency.

Our parent company Elsevier Inc. also approved the redesign because our division, Elsevier Public Safety, wanted the flexibility to add features and formats, whenever necessary, to meet the needs of our customers the 130,000 of you out there who visit the site each month.

Launched in 1995, was a pioneer in providing EMS resources on the Web. Today, is continuing that leadership. The largest online resource for EMS professionals, is now much more robust and content-rich and features easier navigation, reference tools, and the most comprehensive Buyer s Guide in the industry.

The re-design incorporates an easier-to-use interface that allows faster navigation and increased accessibility. will continue to feature original, insightful columns from a variety of EMS experts names you know and trust. Each article also now has an advanced function that allows you to comment and share your views immediately. This will help us keep our finger on the pulse of the EMS profession and develop content around what you want to read and see.

The JEMS Buyer’s Guide, hallmark of JEMS for our readers and advertisers for 21 years, is now completely incorporated into, allowing you to research products rapidly and find what you need.

As I clicked through the fresh, modern pages of our new site on Sunday morning, I envisioned paramedics and EMTs crawling all over a new rig and turning on all the switches to see how they worked and what they operated. I clicked the menu bars and delved into the site pages like a new medic going on their first code.

When a custom ambulance is delivered to you off the assembly line, usually a few modifications need to be made locally before it s fully operational. A few extra bells and whistles need to be installed, shelves need to be stocked exactly as you want them, and a few tweaks need to be made until everyone is satisfied and the vehicle is ready to serve the public.

There are a few modifications we need to make to to make it function exactly as envisioned, so we ask for your patience as we do so. We also want you to continually watch our progress in enhancing the site during the next few months. We ll be adding features that will help you do your job better, be safer, and recruit and retain your personnel longer. That s what JEMS has done for more than two decades, and it s what we’ll continue to do for you with our enhanced Web site.

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