You don’t have to provide great education and trade-show treasures to lure people to Arizona in January, but no one will complain if you do.
The National Association of EMS Physicians held its annual show in Tucson this year, fielding a provocative program that featured less cardiac arrest, more about kids and an enhanced international component. The NAEMSP program also regularly features important new research, and this year hosted the rollout of revamped national trauma triage guidelines.
EMS World spoke to the chair of the NAEMSP’s Program Committee, David Slattery, MD, FACEP, EMS medical director for Las Vegas Fire and Rescue and an associate professor at the University of Nevada School of Medicine, about putting this year’s show together.
Did you solicit content for this year’s show, or did enough come to you to select what you wanted?
Our president asked each of the committee chairs to provide suggestions for the Program Committee this year, and that was a helpful source of ideas—obviously there are fantastic thought leaders on all those committees. The No. 1 source of our ideas was our membership survey. We send out an annual survey to our members concerning items they want, things that are important and their educational needs, and try to incorporate those as much as possible. And we look at all the comments from last year’s evaluations, good and bad. So the main source of our direction is really our members.
What kinds of things did they tell you they wanted this year?
The No. 1 thing, from our member surveys and evaluations from last year’s conference, was that there was too much cardiac arrest discussion. People felt, ‘We’ve heard about this already; let’s talk about something else.’ So we downplayed that in the general sessions.
The second thing was, there’s a huge need for pediatric EMS education, and we made an effort to really bolster our program this year with a lot of big-name speakers in pediatric EMS and emergency medicine. There’s a gap that exists between EMS and pediatric emergency medicine, so we saw an opportunity not only for pediatric emergency physicians to bring their expertise to our medical directors and providers, but for EMS to become more involved with their training programs as well. All those talks were well received, and we’ll continue to strengthen that in the future.
What makes a good presentation?
No. 1 is that beyond expertise, the speaker has to bring to the table real-world, practical take-home messages. We told our speakers this year, ‘Whatever you do, our participants need these take-home points at the end of the day.’ Speakers have to be dynamic and engaging, and that can be tough. People who are experts in their field may not always be the best speakers. They need to be able to connect with the audience, engage with them, and at the same time send that message that’s going to result in improving their practice back home.
NAEMSP 2012 Program Highlights
Tragedy in Tucson: Battalion Chief Brad Bradley, EMT-P, of Tucson’s Northwest Fire District, and emergency physician Joshua Gaither, MD, spoke about lessons learned from the January 2011 mass shooting that injured Rep. Gabrielle Giffords. Bradley’s take-away points included block resourcing and the use of tactical triage on scene; he credited the successful field response to first responders recognizing the enormity of the incident (which had 19 patients) and requesting proper resources early. Gaither emphasized the importance of tailoring disaster plans for VIP involvement, which at the hospital end requires aggressive control of crowds and media.
Pediatric Emergency Medicine & EMS: Drs. Marianne Gausche-Hill, Peter Antevy and David Persse examined the interface between EMS and EM as it applies to kids. Gausche-Hill noted that while around 10% of EMS calls involve kids, pediatric issues have relatively few champions in EMS and overall poor representation in various committee structures. Solutions include embracing recommendations of the IOM’s 2006 reports on emergency care; healthy state EMS for Children (EMS-C) partnerships, with incorporation of relevant experts on state committees; and enhanced policies, protocols and regionalization at the local level. EMS and hospitals should appoint pediatric coordinators, define competencies and develop guidelines.