That’s been the theme of the past couple of months for many of us, on both sides of the needle. The feeling I had after my first vaccination dose was a sigh of relief, which was outdone three weeks later by the further relief I experienced after receiving the second dose. That “ticking time bomb” feeling—Which patient is going to be the one to give me COVID?—was finally subsiding.
When I tested positive for IgG antibodies a little over a week later, I really felt the weight start to lift off my shoulders. I can only imagine how my full-time EMS colleagues felt. I am glad to see most states have placed EMS providers in stage 1A, near the top of the distribution list, and hope you all have received your first if not both of your vaccination doses by now.
With the COVID-19 pandemic, we have endured almost a year now of total flux in how we operate as EMS providers. The virus has affected all EMS agencies in many ways, but whatever the impact, it has been significant. And we know it is not over yet—though there is hope on the horizon, with the multiple vaccines currently under emergency use authorization in the U.S. and similarly available around the world and additional promising options to become available soon.
Just as EMS agencies played a pivotal role in treating the initial wave of COVID-19 patients, so too are they playing a crucial role in the rollout of the vaccine administration. While at least thus far the distribution of the available vaccines here in the U.S. and elsewhere has been somewhat disorganized and ineffective, EMS agencies remain at the ready to deliver the vaccines, along with our other healthcare providers.
We are seeing some promise in getting back to a “closer to normal” prepandemic environment, but we are not there yet. For this reason we are adding a significant CE opportunity to the EMS World portfolio with EMS World Spring, an all-digital event from March 3–5. We have once again gathered the preeminent thought leaders from multiple disciplines within EMS to share with you their knowledge and expertise. What really makes this CE a more comprehensive experience than others? The interactivity. We have even further honed the networking and communications tools we offered at EMS World Expo Virtual to provide you with the most interactive EMS CE program out there—just in time for your NREMT recertification deadline of March 31.
We still look forward to seeing all of you and celebrating our accomplishments in Atlanta from October 4–8, 2021 for EMS World Expo. But in the meantime, we hope you will enjoy the digital learning through www.emsworldspring.com.
Stay healthy, stay safe, and did I mention #RollUpYourSleeve for #EMSvax?
Joshua D. Hartman, MBA, NRP, is senior vice president of the Cardiovascular and Public Safety divisions at HMP Global, the parent company of EMS World.