President Biden issued the official EMS Week proclamation on May 13, 2022, designating May 15-21, 2022 as National EMS Week, honoring the work of the nation's EMS providers. The first EMS Week was in 1974 and was declared by President Gerald Ford, according to the American College of Emergency Physicians.
Northeast Tennessee EMS-Rescue Conference
EMS Week is getting another round of applause this week as the Northeast Tennessee Regional Health Care Coalition has provided funding to bring in National EMS speakers Steve Berry and Chris Ebright to speak at this year's conference in Johnson City, Tennessee. Washington County-Johnson City EMS, Inc. (WC/JC EMS) has coordinated the region's EMS conference for 26 years, with only a brief hiatus in 2020 due to COVID.
The EMS Conference provides the latest information and techniques to the EMS providers each year for all of the eight counties of the Northeast Tennessee region. Attendees routinely travel from outside the area to attend the regional education session, coming from across Tennessee, Virginia, Kentucky, and North Carolina for the quality programming provided.
Conference Coordinator, Nikki Lewin, of WC/JC EMS says her goal is to "keep costs down by using local experts when possible, using local physicians and other specialists, and seeking sponsors and grant funds to bring in national speakers to draw interest." Lewin says the Health Care Coalition has been instrumental in helping them secure speakers this year.
Nationally known speaker, Steve Berry, gained notoriety and rose to national prominence with his EMS-themed cartoons and book series - "I'm Not an Ambulance Driver." His work has appeared in numerous EMS journals and websites and he is a frequent speaker at EMS conferences.
The "Whiteboard Wizard," Chris Ebright is the lead instructor for The University of Toledo EMS Program in Toledo, Ohio. He has educated hundreds of first responders, EMTs, paramedics, and nurses for 26 years with his trademark whiteboard sessions. Ebright has been a featured presenter at numerous EMS conferences across the US over the past 15 years.
Show and Tell
Local EMS and public safety agencies from around the region proudly display some of their latest equipment at the regional EMS conference. We are expecting a static display from Med-Trans Corporation of one of their current aeromedical helicopters - used locally by HEART, or Highlands Emergency Air Rescue & Transport (yes, that's a mouthful!). HEART is the successor to the helicopter program known as Wings Air-Rescue after the merger that formed Ballad Health System and employs many of the former personnel from Wings Air Rescue and Welmont One Air Transport.
In addition to helicopters, ambulances, and specialty rescue equipment, the Tennessee Highway Patrol is expected to return with their roll-over simulator, which displays the results of not wearing a safety belt.
“Every day, emergency medical service (EMS) providers put the needs of their communities above their own as they respond to crises, treat injuries, and save lives. Their heroism has been on full display throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, as resilient EMS workers across the country have provided essential care to Americans. This year’s Emergency Medical Services Week theme, 'Rising to the Challenge,' pays tribute to the brave frontline professionals who work tirelessly to help their fellow Americans get immediate medical attention in their hours of greatest need... During Emergency Medical Services Week, we share our appreciation for the selfless EMS professionals who provide lifesaving services every day and risk their lives each time they answer the call of service. We also honor the EMS providers who have made the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty to protect their fellow Americans. Our Nation owes a tremendous debt of gratitude to these heroes and their loved ones” - President Joe Biden