Monthly Archives: January 2015

Did You Watch 'Nightwatch' Last Night?

It appears that at least in some EMS circles, the premiere of the new A&E series called ‘Nightwatch’ on Thursday (1/22) was a highly anticipated event. I don’t know if it was just a coincidence that it was also the opening day of the NAEMSP conference held this year in New Orleans, where the EMS-themed reality show was filmed, but I am sure that viewing the first episode at Manning’s restaurant with the NOLA EMS crew must have been quite a party. For me, it was a quiet night of watching the show along with the simultaneous #Nightwatch Twitter stream for live commentary from my fellow medics.Nightwatch-respond-to-call

Overall, everyone seemed to be very impressed and pleased with the portrayal of EMTs and Paramedics (with some almost “cameo-like appearances” by NOLA firefighters and police.) I felt the realism was refreshing especially when compared to the stylized public safety shows like the drama of Chicago Fire or the satire of Sirens, in fact, it was much closer to the seminal classic of Emergency! than I would have expected. The incidents were definitely real, clearly they were “cherry-picked” to find interesting moments, but absolutely no doubt that we were witnessing actual history in that town. There were the edited interview commentaries interspersed with the action reminiscent of The Office cast “breaking the fourth wall.” However, there were also a few things missing. Not a single hairy, sweaty chest that needed a 12-lead; no non-emergency transports; no lift assistance; and only a single call for EtOH. It is rare in my rural EMS experience to see a GSW, let alone multiple shots and even multiple victims over the single shift, but we are talking about the “Big Easy” here, not my hometown.

While I was pleased with the general realism as a accurate portrayal of our profession to the public, I did notice the almost non-stop use of lights and sirens. While Code 3 responses make the best television, it also feeds the impression that we are all adrenaline junkies that like to drive fast and “We do everything an emergency room can do,? as Holly the paramedic tells the camera, “but we do it at 70 miles an hour riding through the streets of New Orleans.? Hardly the stuff of “community paramedicine.”

I look forward to future episodes, perhaps they will find a creative and exciting way to communicate the value of SSM posting. I’ll be watching for it!



Filed under EMS Topics, News, Opinion, Technology & Communications, Training & Development, Vehicle Operation & Ambulances, Videos

EMS Today 2015 Makes Winners

The reason I choose to attend any conference is to improve myself, my knowledge, or my skills in some way. As an EMS professional, I have many choices in conferences to attend, but the single best meeting for me to make progress toward all of these goals is the EMS Today conference. There are many reasons for attending EMS Today 2015 in Baltimore next month including the learning and networking opportunities, but here are the top 10 (in video form) from the JEMS editor-in-chief, A.J. Heightman.

Another favorite reason for attending a conference is to get credit – CEU credits! With the March deadline coming up for those with re-certification coming due, gaining credits within the next month can be extremely valuable. The exhibit hall has speakers throughout the day on Friday and Saturday and you can see the schedule at this link to help you plan your time wisely. There are also many informal networking opportunities each night at relaxing local venues across the waterfront. (Watch my Twitter account for notifications of those.)

Finally. JEMS has offered a prize for one lucky winner using a promo code each month during the Early Bird registration period. The winner for this month was one of our very own readers – Robert Resetar. He has won an Apple Mini iPad. He just needs to get in touch with me with his contact information to claim that prize, so if you know him, please send him a congratulations. You may even be able to find him taking notes at a session soon using his new tablet device.

If you haven’t registered yet for this conference, you have already missed the early discounted registration period, but you can still be a winner using the promo code EMSBDALE which extends a discount on your registration fee. The only way to lose is by not attending!

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Filed under Conferences, EMS Topics, Funding & Staffing, News, Technology & Communications, Training & Development