The EMS Today conference kicked off in Baltimore yesterday. Editor-In-Chief of JEMS AJ Heightman gave a warm welcome to the early morning crowd before the presentation of the colors by the Baltimore Fire Department Honor Guard and the arrival of the Fire Department of New York Pipes and Drums. The pledge of allegiance was recited, a moment of silence was observed for those who have responded to their last call this year and also in memory of those responders we lost on September 11, 2001. FDNY Pipes and Drums played a rendition of Amazing Grace and AJ put out a call for attendance at the National EMS Memorial Service. The service this year will be June 25 at 6:00pm in First Presbyterian Church, Colorado Springs.
…We are the marines of healthcare…
–Dr. Brent Myers, Medical Director of Wake County North Carolina
In the opening keynote address Dr. Brent Myers of Wake County focused on how our practices are changing over from anecdotal based hypothesis to an evidence based driven model. He spoke on how EMS was becoming it’s own physician sub-specialty, the recent white paper calling for a federal lead agency for EMS, and how things are often “lost in translation”.
What I found most intriguing was when he told an anecdote about a conversation Chief Skip Kirkwood had with a US Marine. “You’re not entirely a sailor and not entirely a soldier, how does that make you feel?” Chief Kirkwood asked the man one day.
The Marine replied, “I’m just fine. I’m a Marine.”
This is really a great concept. To be able to accept the profession for what it truly is, a hybrid functionality designed for a specific purpose. The debate about whether we are public safety or public health should come to an end.
We are neither.
We are EMS… the marines of healthcare.