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Latin America’s Best Paramedic Minds Gather for EMS World Americas

For the second year in a row, Latin American EMS experts and paramedics met at the EMS World Americas conference to share insights, gain clinical knowledge and skills, and network with colleagues from North and South America. This year’s event was October 18–22 in Querétaro, México.

The 2018 format closely matched that of last year’s inaugural event in Bogotá, Colombia, with preconference courses followed by three days of high-quality conference sessions. EMS World Americas partnered with the NAEMT to provide continuing-education credits at the show.

Preconference Courses

Participants took part in several continuing education courses, such as EVOS (EMS Vehicle Operator Safety), Tactical Emergency Casualty Care (TECC), Advanced Medical Life Support (AMLS), and ACLS for Experienced Providers (ACLS-EP).

Thanks to NAEMT’s well-established network of paramedic training centers throughout Latin America, these preconference events help promulgate NAEMT’s high-quality, evidence-based programs. Each class was taught by regional and international faculty members who volunteered their time.

“Every course coordinator, instructor, and support staff member for each of our courses was committed to excellence,” says Victor Pimentel, MD, who served as preconference coordinator. An amazing staff of EMS students from Mexico City’s Instituto Politécnico Nacional, a leading university with a school of medicine, volunteered as moulage victims and helped staff the hallways of multiple simultaneous track sessions.

Representatives from key stakeholder groups throughout Latin America expressed interest in expanding many currently available NAEMT programs within their countries.

Main Conference

As we’ve all come to expect from any EMS World event, EMS World Americas featured high-quality educational sessions from world-class presenters. Participants chose among lectures from four tracks—BLS, ALS, Critical Care, and Rescue—in addition to the opening and closing keynote lectures.

The opening keynote speaker, Juan Cardona, EMS division chief for the Coral Springs (Fla.) Fire Department, spoke about the lessons learned from the Parkland school shooting. David Olvera, from the International Association of Flight and Critical Care Paramedics, delivered a wonderful lecture on human factors in advanced airway management. David Page provided an update on the International Paramedic Registry’s efforts to validate an international exam for prehospital care providers.

Paramedic Networking

As with any other international event, EMS World Americas provided ample opportunities for participants, exhibitors, paramedics, and faculty to network. These new opportunities can be priceless. Such is the case for many industry product representatives trying to understand the wide diversity of EMS systems throughout Latin America. Similarly, in the exhibit hall attendees got a chance to know more about the flagship products of industry-leading brands directly from the distributors serving Latin American markets.

This year’s event included participants from the United States, Canada, Argentina, Ecuador, Colombia, Costa Rica, Chile, Guatemala, Venezuela, Perú, Puerto Rico, and of course Mexico.

Next Year

As part of the closing ceremony, Page, event organizer and editor in chief for EMS World’s Spanish-language publication, EMS World Revista, officially announced the venue for the 2019 conference: EMS World Americas 2019 will be held in the iconic city of Quito, Ecuador from March 27–31.

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Gustavo Flores, MD, EMT-P, FP-C, is the director and chief instructor at Emergency & Critical Care Trainings LLC, a company that provides continuing education to healthcare providers. He is also an air-medical crew member for REVA Air Ambulance and volunteer member of First Response EMS, both in Puerto Rico. He is associate editor of EMS World Revista.


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