I have just got back from San Francisco again, so I thought I would quickly share some things with you all before the Jet Lag really does hit home!
If you have been following the goings on this weekend, you will know what a monumental trip this has been. I have had various people take the ‘mick’ out of me and the Chronicles in the past, when I have gone on about the potential that has been in this project, but what has happened this weekend has shown the impact that we have already had, but more importantly what we can achieve in the future.
Friday night was the premiere party for the Chronicles of EMS episode 1. About 80 people descended onto Hotel Frank from various parts of the United States to share in the experience of what we were about to show.
From the onset, it became very clear that we should have had someone to pull Justin and I away from people after a short while as there were so many people who wanted to say hi and who wanted to ask us about The Chronicles of EMS. Ted and ‘the Dridge’, on the other hand took up their usual places of dashing around trying to iron out problems with this and that so that all of you at home, who couldn’t make it could share in the experience and we streamed live.
It was a surreal experience to have people walk into the room who knew me from the CoEMS trailer and following me on Twitter and Face book and of course my blog, but I only knew them by their Twitter tags or names that I had heard on this podcast or that video etc.
I found myself talking to one gentleman who I quickly realised was Dr Keith Wesley. Now I guess that most medics in the UK may not be familiar with the name, but believe me when I tell you that he has been very influential in American EMS over the span of his career. He remains a man who every medic in the room sees as somewhat of a celebrity, and it there was more than one occasion when I saw someone getting to speak to him who seemed more than a little bit star struck.
He had nothing but praise and hope for what we were doing, but what impressed me most was that we quickly got onto family and had a great conversation about our respective families and what he has learned in his life about the dangers of putting work before family. He gave me some of his words of wisdom and left me with an impression of a wonderful, modest man, who continues to hold great importance in EMS.
Then it was time for the 1st episode to go live. If you missed it or just havent seen it yet, then just click here, sit back and relax!
I think I spent more time watching his responses when the premiere was aired than actually watching the screen! He took pride of place at the front of a semi-circle of people, on his honkers, watching intently…..and he was the first to start the applause at the end. What a moment!!
Throughout the night I was introduced to other people who I had heard of but never had the chance to meet.
A.J Hieghtman, the Editor in Chief of JEMS (journal of emergency medicine) and the editorial Director of Elsevier Public Safety Productions, was also intently interested in what we were doing with the Chronicles and asked some very interesting questions which gave me the hope that maybe there would be some outward support coming our way. We discussed the fact that Justin and I will be at Baltimore in a little over 2 weeks for the EMS Today conference and exhibition, which is of course run by JEMS, and in no time at all, we were discussing how we may be able to showcase the 1st episode to the competitors of the EMSToday EMS Games on the Friday. There is still much to organise and permissions to get etc, but to have someone like A.J Heightmann in your corner, certain problems and obstacles seem to be very small all of a sudden.
Then there was Randy Africano.
Randy is someone who I had only heard of over the last two weeks whilst following some conversations on twitter, but after meeting him and talking with him, I can honestly say that he gets the award for joint most passionate supporter outside of the CoEMS team!
Randy has been intimately involved in the helicopter ems business for a number of years and as I am led to believe, if you fly in an EMS helicopter in the states, he has had something to do with that at some point (His website can be found here). He is a powerful and influential man who comes from a business background, has no medical training, but was moved beyond words about what was happening in the event room at Hotel Frank that night.
His apparent partner in crime for the weekend was Alana Karran who I didn’t get much of a chance to speak to during the premiere party at all, but we had plenty of time later on. More on that in a little while but you can visit her web site here too.
The party continued and I got the chance to mingle with some of the EMS professionals that I have only had the chance to communicate with through the wonders of the internet.
Chris Montera (@geekymedic), Greg Friese (@gfriese), Kris Kaull (@kriskaull) Chris and Gina Kaiser (@Ckemtp & @ginakaiser), Natalie Quixbado (@MsParamedic),Sam Bradley (@sambradley), Lori Moreno (@LoriMoreno), Ann Atwell (@tbchick), Jeremiah (@Jeramedic), Chris (@ChrisMedic), Jeanette Joy (@jeanettejoy) and many more who whilst may not be muti- millionaires and influential business people, are in reality the true life blood of the Chronicles of EMS. These are the people who have spent their own very hard own money to travel to San Francisco, just so that they can be part of a unique evening and weekend. These people are responsible for the success of our show and without them, there would be only a few select people who are aware of the Chronicles instead of a growing international community.
Then there was my borrowed family for the weekend. Kim, Justin’s wife, her Sister, Jason (who I finally got to meet in person, because I have known a secret for a while which I am just allowed to talk about – He is Motorcop!) who really was just as funny as you would think if you read his blog, his Wife.., Dillon and his wife and of course Justin’s Mam and Dad.
The party started to draw to a close and people started to drift off to various restaurants to go and have dinner. Which left our group of close friends and family wondering where to go for food and who to go and eat with.
All Justin and I knew was that there was too much of an opportunity for networking sitting in the next room to miss out on. A.J and Randy were sitting at adjoin tables to each other but already eating. A swift plan of slipping them a business card with ‘Cheesecake Factory – Top Floor of Macy`s, 9pm` on it seemed the best way. Justin moved in for the kill.
“Hey, have you got plans for after this?”
“No, not really”
“Great, let’s get together and talk!”
And that was it. Justin and I were going to have drinks with A.J Heightman, Randy Africano and Allana to discuss where the Chronicles of EMS goes next.
But there was someone missing……Ted!
Frantic phone calls and messages later saw Ted coming from another dinner with some of our supporters to meet with us and the others at 9.
We moved to the Cheesecake factory, got a fantastic table on the balcony overlooking the square and ordered our drinks.
What occurred afterwards was frankly phenomenal. To be sitting in such company and hearing such positive support was very humbling, but also very exciting. We knew we were doing something good when nobody left or stopped talking even after two separate rain showers.
The talk went on till after 11.30pm, and when finally we started to say our goodbyes, Justin looked at me and said:
“Well we have missed our last train home!”
Whoops!!, But this was too much of an opportunity to leave just to catch a train right?
Luckily, Ted had his car and offered to take us back to Justin’s car at the train station about 45 minutes out of the city. Although I know we could have crashed out on Chris and Gina’s floor, I wanted to get back to my amazingly comfortable air bed at Justin’s house.
All of the way home, the three of us went over the evening and how, yet again, the right people were in the right place at the right time.
Things are on the up for the Chronicles of EMS……
There is so much more to come..
Thank you, for all of your support. Hopefully we will get to say that to more of you in person in 2 weeks in Baltimore. If not, I hope you realise that even just by reading this blog and watching the video, you are an integral part of the Chronicles of EMS.
And to prove that point we were just about to start filming our second show under the banner of CoEMS – “A seat at the Table”, where you really can be a part of the show.
More on that in tomorrows post!
But anyway, my good arch nemesis Dr Jet lag has just knocked on the door and this time he has brought Bubba, his older brother, with him too!
Im sorry if I left anyone out, It wasnt intentional, just due to being very sleeeeeppppp………ZZzzzzzz