(This post was wrote 12 hours ago whilst sitting waiting for my plane from Baltimore. I post it now while waiting at Heathrow for my plane home!)
This seems to be becoming a bit of a habit for me. Sitting in an airport lounge reflecting on the latest developments in the Chronicles of EMS Story.
This weekend is going to take a while to sink in. There has been so much happen, so many new meetings of like minded people and so many friendships solidified once face to face.
Things couldn’t have gone better with Zoll. To have a partner like them and with someone like Charlotte charging ahead after recognising the possibilities for using social media for a greater good, we really do seem as though we are on a roll.
My Baltimore EMS Today experience ended by being invited to the Zoll Summit in Denver Colorado in 5 weeks time to give a talk along with Justin on EMS 2.0. We have tentatively titled it
“EMS 2.0. What that means and how we can achieve it through the use of social media”
Would you come and see a presentation at a conference on that?
It also looks likely that the Chronicles team will be making an appearance at EMS Expo in Dallas, Texas in September too, and after reading my emails just now, it appears that Justin and Ted had a very productive journey home on the plane to San Francisco yesterday, and they have come up with some fantastic ideas for our next conference, but more on that once things are confirmed.
For the first time in my life, I have also lost my voice!
I have never talked so much and I am now paying for it. If it didn’t hurt so much it would actually be quite funny.
So, what have the Chronicles achieved at EMS Today?
That is what we need to ask ourselves and that is what I need to know so that I can justify being away from my wife and children so much. After all, if we haven’t moved forward, then it has just been a bit of a jolly for me and the boys (and girls, sorry Carissa!)
What we can be certain of after this weekend, is that we know there is a strong market for what we are doing. It has been made abundantly clear, that there is a passionate desire for the everyday medic to have their story told. It doesn’t need to be a dramatic or traumatic story, just real.
After a few hours of being on the conference floor, it became noticeable that our conversations with those who hadn’t heard of the Chronicles followed exactly the same path, and it went something like this:
Someone walks past the stall and sees the fantastic T-Shirts that Zoll got for us. There was a quick double take and a quick scan around our makeshift stall.
“Hi there, have you heard of the Chronicles of EMS?”
“Okay, can I quickly tell you a little about it, so you can let me know what you think about it”
There follows a brief description of how Justin and I met, and what the Chronicles of EMS is and what we are hoping to do with it. This is universally met with the same response….
“Really????, Really????……..That’s awesome!”
Then comes their story.
As soon as they know that someone wants to hear their story, they jump at the chance to tell me about their system, their hopes and their frustrations, and the really exciting thing for me was that this was from an EMT-B right the way up to some EMS Chiefs.
There wasn’t a single Chief of EMS who stopped by to say hello, who didn’t leave without saying that they would love to have the team come and see what they do in their system.
This brings me to the second achievement of the weekend.
As well as the previous plans for Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Ireland, we know have permissions either granted or promised from a Chief for Richmond Virginia, Las Vegas, Florida, Washington D.C, the South of France, and various other smaller agencies throughout the States.
The only problem we have now is to find the time to actually go and visit these systems!
Then there were the networking opportunities.
Not just with Chiefs of EMS and manufacturers, but with our colleagues across the world. Thorsten Hagel from MAS Aeromed in Germany stopped off on the first day to say hello then returned on the second day with presents for Justin and I just to say thank you for what we are trying to do. Then there was the multitude of EMS professionals (and I use that term to use all people working in EMS who think and act like a professional – In my opinion it doesn’t matter if you are an ECSW, EMT-B, Paramedic, Advanced Paramedic or Chief of EMS, you are only a professional if you portray yourself as such) who I had the honour of spending some time with.
Discussions are well underway with a uniform manufacturer after I pushed Justin in the direction of some hi-vis jackets that I liked the look of (Hey, I know my place in things and I know Justin is better at schmoozing the folks who need to be schmoozed!), and believe me when I say that they are going to be something really rather cool!.
Then there were the personal highlights, away from being directly involved in the Chronicles of EMS. I got to meet soooooo many of my blogger and Twitter friends that it was just mind blowing.
There are some who I work with who think that my “internet friends” are not real friends, after all how could they be? Maybe I am just a saddo who has no friends and has to use the internet to meet people to be friends with?
I answer that by being honest and saying I have more real friends in the States and around the world than I have ever had in my close vicinity in the UK, and it makes it so much more special that I have had the chance to hang out with so many of you over the past few days.
In the words of a famous Greek philosopher:
“I love you guys!!!”
I won’t even attempt to list everyone here for the fear of missing someone out, but suffice to say that if we met, and I shook your hand, gave you a hug or just spent some time chatting, then I am talking about you!
A special mention has to go out to some people who made my last night so enjoyable.
Seb Wong, Chris Kaiser, Kevin (@NJDiveMedic) and Mike, who took me out to Hooters for dinner on Saturday night, I had one of the most enjoyable evenings out with friends for a very long time. And that had nothing to do with the Hooters girls (honest Mrs999!)
From making the mistake and thinking I could handle the 911 sauce on the chicken wings to seeing Mike drinking the hottest sauce they had, THROUGH A STRAW!, to hearing about Mikes childhood exploits, seeing Chris trying to get into his oysters with a blunt knife and nearly lopping a finger or two off, to just spending time in Seb`s company and seeing his face light up when his Mike turned up who he hasn’t seen for many a year was just brilliant.
The real downer of the night though was when it was arranged for the Brit to have his photo taken with the hooters girls.
It’s a hard life being a blogger isn’t it?
But most important of all, is that I now get to go home and see my beautiful family again.
And yes, I have got Mrs999 a present this time, although I don’t know how it will go down? Guess I will soon see though.
Anyway, time to go and board the plane again. 9 hours and I will be back in Heathrow for a 3 hours stop over before the short jaunt home!
Speak again soon chaps, it’s been a blast!