In this, the final issue of a tumultuous year in the history of the world, when we are still caught in an unwholesome war that has revealed us to ourselves in numerous unsavory guises—I give you the shame of Abu Ghraib, for starters—the temptation is to focus upon the past to help create the new future: to reconsider, reevaluate, revise. To hope and pray and promise that next year we will do it better, faster and stronger, and we will do it with more—more strength, more speed, more smarts, more courage, more determination, more perfection, more decency, more kindness, more awareness.
As President Bush begins his second term, it is difficult to know what is ahead for us, except to acknowledge that our citizenry remain deeply divided on many issues, and that many of the same old problems—especially those of safety and security, of good health and bad, of nature’s and man’s capricious and willful actions—will still be around to plague and harass us. Perhaps one difference will be that allocated funds for frontline response will finally begin to flow freely so that training, equipment and recruitment/retention will be possible; perhaps another will be that EMS salaries will attain reasonable numbers. We can only prepare to be surprised; nothing else is certain. We urge you to make your voice heard at as many levels of government as possible. Remember that it is your government, and that its leaders are responsible to you.
The coming year holds many riches from EMS Magazine for our readers. Just a few: Our new Online Continuing Education Program is up and running, offering CEUs in lecture format, complete with visuals and sound. Please see page 37 for complete information. And you can still get CEUs through the pages of EMS, only now they’re certified by CECBEMS. The EMS EXPO, co-located with NAEMT’s annual meeting, which was so successful in Atlanta this October, returns to New Orleans August 23–27, 2005. Please mark your calendars now so that you can be sure to register in time. The EXPO is being acclaimed by all as the most successful and important EMS conference and exhibition in the industry! Finally, a new book from Thom Dick, Steve Berry, Jeff Forster and Mike Smith debuts from Summer Communications in January. And that’s just the beginning!
In her editorial on page 18, Associate Publisher/Managing Editor Nancy Perry tells you about this Buyer’s Guide and explains how to use it during the coming year to your best advantage, while the balance of the issue contains interesting and instructional educational material to help you improve your performance on the job.
We’ve very much enjoyed working with you this past year, and wish that the coming one will be filled for all with good health, happiness, wealth and much cheer!