EMSToday 2012 Recap.

EMSToday 2012. I had been looking forward to that week since the previous year when The Bandaid Brigade won Gold Passes for the following year.

We practiced our skills, preparing for The JEMS Games and The Cook Off, then it happened. For those that I didn’t get to talk to in depth, here’s what happened.

On the 22nd of January, I got hurt. I herniated and tore a disk in my back (L5/S1) and screwed my pelvis and my hip up about three different ways. To say I was in pain was an understatement. I was playing Paramedic at the time and I won’t bore you with the details, but, I would do it again, even knowing what the end results would be. I would never ask someone to do something I wouldn’t do on my own, so this is where I ended up.  I’ll apologize now. I have been living the life of ‘Better Living through Chemistry’ the last few months and will continue at least for a while longer. If something doesn’t seem right, or it just seems disjointed, it probably is, but hopefully I’ll be back to my normal self soon.

So, I went into EMSToday pretty down on myself. It would be the first time I wouldn’t be leading a team in the JEMS Games and just with an overall feeling of just not being well added to my blue mood. I was attending, once again, with a very close knit group of friends, which made everything that had to get done much easier. The cars were loaded up, animals were kissed goodbye, and off we went.

Once in Baltimore, it was like being home. We arrived on Tuesday; earlier than most, but the city was still swarming with people with Stars of Life and Duty Sweatshirts.  That first day, on our way for dinner, a cop stopped us and asked what was going on; why were there so many ‘Ambulance Drivers’ in the city.  We explained about the convention and the cop began to laugh.

“Guess we’re in for a long week.” He said as he motored off on his Segway.


The JEMS Games were different this year. They introduced the wireless Sim Man and a scenario based event versus the mega code on crack format they used to have.  Personally, I enjoyed the new version better than the code driven scenario; the scenario based idea makes those running the call have to stretch their abilities further.  In the code based, it was easy; push enough drugs and do the right things and you could move on to the next station. With the scenario based, it is forcing providers to use medications that they may not normally use in their jurisdictions and making them learn how to use them. I can honestly say I’ve learned two distinct styles of treating Asthma patients and the JEMS Games provided me with a third. While I may not be able to use the drugs, I can certainly use the techniques that I learned to help out.

The Cook Off…I must doff my cap to the winning team. We came in second and it was a great fight. I must admit, I felt quite horrible trying to cook along side our favorite Ambulance Driver trying to give a talk on Sepsis. I enjoyed listening while chopping vegetables.  The comment about ‘beef broth and sea monkeys’ had the entire table giggling, which helped to break up the tension in the group.

The best part about the week was probably suprising Double D with his wife. Double D had long wanted to have his wife attend an EMSToday conference, but this year, it fell near his birthday. Eight months of cloak and dagger planning culminated into one night where the Mrs. Double D and their daughter, Widget, appeared in the hotel room. This year was definately more subdued due to not being able to really go out and party, but what we didn’t do at one of the local bars, we certainly accomplished in our hotel room.  To say that myself, Hawkeye, Double D, Frosty, Mr. Macs, Capt. Smurf, Mrs. DD, Trauma Eagle, Butters, and FNG didn’t have a blast would be an understatement. My apologies go to the people in the room next to us; we were loud and acting crazy, but we don’t get to let our hair down very often, so thanks for not calling the cops on us.

Getting to meet Randolph Mantooth was also a big thing for me. His keynote address was truly phenominal. So many of the things he said rounded out my entire career. From his speech, I finally felt better about myself as a whole; if my career ended tomorrow, I would be content with where I am at now.  I am content with whom I’ve left pieces of my soul with.  I was thrilled to be able to have a picture taken with him and to get the opportunity to speak with him for a moment. I will remember that moment for the rest of my life.

All in all, Baltimore was fun. I wish that I got to hang out with those that I get to see on such a fleeting basis more, but I hope you accept my apologies for not being more social and outgoing; a lot of times, by the end of the day, I wanted to do nothing more than to curl up in my bed and go to sleep.

So, my hat is off to EMSToday 2012 and I am preparing for EMSToday 2013.  Depending on how I feel, we may even try to venture to NOLA for EMS World…who knows.

Have fun and be safe.



  1. It was great to see you again!
    Inspired by you and your team, and the fun you’ve been having, we’re going to try to put together a team to cook next year.

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