I am sitting in the San Francisco airport waiting for my flight home and reflecting on this last trip to the US (But there is a whole other story which I will share in the next post!!)
The whole purpose was to come and film a few more episodes of the Seat at the table show, but this time it was going to be a little different. We werent going to be in Ted Setla’s Garage (and yes, as hard as it is to believe, those first 7 episodes of SATT where filmed in Ted Setlas garage), but instead in a proper TV studio in San Jose.
The other difference was that it was the first time that Justin and I had to film with guests who were not already our friends and colleagues.
But before they all arrived, we had to get set up :
Once we were ready our first guest arrived, Jon Clotier from Zoll Medical.
As you know, Zoll has been our main sponsor and strongest industry supporter since we started this crazy journey, so it was great to have Jon on to share his views on where the industry and profession is heading as far as technology and equipment go. What pleased me most of all about this session was that it wasn’t an advert for Zoll products, more like a discussion between three paramedics, with the added benefit that one knows ALOT about the technology side of things.
Next up we have the President elect of the International Association of EMS Chiefs, and Chief of EMS for Oakland Fire Department, Bill Sugiama; and Mike Taigman, the General Manager for AMR, Alameda County. This discussion was fascinating for me. Mike shared with us the experiences that he is having leading the way in setting up a community health program utilising his Medics and the support services in his area. He seems to be making significant strides forward for US EMS, however, looking in from a UK perspective brought about some interesting points to further delve into.
Chief Sugiama, helped us to understand how his fledgling organisation (IAEMSC) is working hard on a national level, to try and raise the level of awareness of EMS within the political spectrum and give EMS its own unique standing in the US political spectrum. (Oh and I did ask why it is called the ‘International’ association when it appears to be just America!
The final program saw Justin and I talking with Carl Kustin, Fire Captain, City of San Mateo (President of Lee & Associates), Gerry Kohlmann, Fire Chief (Retired), Conference Chairman for TAK – Response ; and last but not least Jason Hoschouer, Motor Police Officer and Contributing Author to American Cop Magazine. The discussion was intended to look into the reason that the inaugural TAK Response conference is actually needed. Why is it that agencies still seem to have a difficulty working together in times of extreme stress and how can this be made better?. Gerry has some amazing ideas about it all, and he really was a fascinating man to listen to and to question. The same goes for Carl Kustin, who brought in some real life examples of when things go right and when things go wrong. Jason brought the operational police viewpoint to the table which balanced the conversation between senior managers and operational staff. Personally, I would like to see an episode dedicated to law enforcement and EMS working together and would love to have Jason back on at a later date.
And a HUGE thank you goes out to those that were in the chatroom at various times throughout the afternoon. We tried to get as many points in as possible, but it wasnt so easy this time. Rest assured though, either Justin or I were always looking and reading what you guys were up to and that helped us mold the conversation into something that we hope speaks to you guys too.
The one thing that blew my mind though, was after all of the filming, Justin, Ted and I are standing around the table just chatting to Carl and Gerry, and they start telling us about how they handled the task of co-ordinating the recovery and search of part of the pile after the 9/11 attacks.
I just stood back and listened in awe at these two men.
It really is amazing the people I have met thanks to this little ol blog and the things I write.
I hope you enjoy the episodes as much as we enjoyed making them. The first one should be due out next week, and will also be broadcast to resident of San Jose on the Public Access Channel.
I will post the link whenever Mr Setla puts out an episode.