Buckle Up for the Ride

Buckle Up for the Ride

By Scott Cravens, EMT Jan 02, 2013

EMS is at a crossroads. Yeah, yeah, how many times have you heard that before? If you’ve been in EMS for awhile, probably more than once. So I’m not going to say it. Instead I will just say, “Buckle up,” because the delivery of healthcare is changing and EMS (if that’s what we will continue to be called) can play a critical and expanding role if we are willing to engage in the process.

Healthcare delivery has to evolve in order to accommodate a shrinking physician workforce and the increasing healthcare needs of an aging population.
Since the 1970s we have seen the advent of advanced practice nurses and physician assistants come to the forefront of medical practice to help provide care for increasing patient numbers. So why not add advanced practice paramedics and primary care technicians to the medical continuum and save time, money and our jobs in the process?

This and many more questions will be explored in a dialogue taking place starting this month in print, online and in September at EMS World Expo, called EMS 2020. The reason we chose the year 2020 is because the average amount of time it takes a bill to become a law is 7 years. That means we have to not only anticipate the mobile healthcare needs of the population in 2020, but we have to craft a plan to meet those needs this year.

Join in the conversation at EMSWorld.com/2020 because much of the effort has to take place at the state and local level, so don’t wait for someone else to take the lead in your region. We need all hands on deck.

And for fun, give some thought about what our new acronym should be. I was thinking Out-of-Hospital Medical Experts, or “OH ME”!

Leaders want to provide first responders with guidelines to follow when handling calls relating to human trafficking.
The study will assess Florida's Division of Emergency Management's response to Hurricane Irma and determine the lessons learned.
The state funding will provide 120,000 doses for first responders, including Pittsburgh park rangers.
The budget cut allowed the department to cross-staff, using firefighters to staff ambulances due to medical calls outnumbering fire calls.
Starting next year, the insurer will reimburse treatment that doesn’t require the emergency department.
One of the two Northern California wildfires have been fully contained due to cooler temperatures and light rain.
Kenneth Scheppke challenged longstanding traditions in patient care that have not withstood current scrutiny.

EMTs and other first responders who treated the wounded on scene of the Vegas shooting could be at risk for post-traumatic stress.

All EMS, fire, and law enforcement agencies in the county will participate in the drill along with 100 volunteers portraying victims of the shooting.
As the state begins facing the effects of the opioid crisis, medical professionals, law enforcement and prosecutors join the national discussion on possible solutions to the epidemic.
Only one of three in the country, the "rapid extrication team" assists in rescuing injured firefighters while local crews battle the forest fires.
The paramedic-staffed chase car would respond to ALS calls in a timelier manner and help alleviate several local fire departments' calls.
Las Vegas and Orlando massacres set a solemn tone for the normally festive event.
In a project to raise grant funding that began a year ago, the Richmond Ambulance Authority and VCU Health teamed up to provide 35 of Richmond’s Public Schools with Bleeding Control (BCON) equipment. 
Mercy Health's new two-story, 29,000 square foot center features a Level 1 trauma center, an expanded surgical area, and more comfortable patient and visitor access.