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EMS News in Focus
by Arthur Hsieh

'Camel ambulance' puts our EMS problems into perspective

If one individual with very few resources can still provide service, surely our First-World problems can be dealt with

By Arthur Hsieh

My last several columns have taken some EMS systems to task. In this modern day and age, it feels like a few folks believe that remaining in the EMS Stone Age is perfectly fine, even if it’s to the detriment to the communities they are supposed to protect. 

So it was with great pleasure that I read this blog post on the travel site I can’t imagine a more polar-opposite situation, where a single person provides field care services to a very remote, very poor area of the world. Using a camel at first, and now a jeep, the physician does what he can to provide care and comfort to his community.

And that is the spirit that drives most of us to do the right thing in our business. If one individual with very few resources can still provide service, surely our First-World problems can be dealt with.

I know it’s a Pollyanna, rose-colored view of the world, but I’d like to think that it is still filled with folks who strive for excellence in the face of adversity. 

Speaking of optimism, I’m heading to the 2014 Pinnacles EMS Management and Leadership Conference, which runs until July 25. With the major changes that are happening in our industry today, it’s more important than ever to bring our best and brightest to discuss and plan for our profession’s future.

I’ll be tweeting @arthsieh; you can follow the conference using the hashtag #pinnacle2014. 

About the author

EMS1 Editorial Advisor Art Hsieh, MA, NREMT-P currently teaches at the Public Safety Training Center, Santa Rosa Junior College in the Emergency Care Program. Since 1982, Art has worked as a line medic and chief officer in the private, third service and fire-based EMS. He has directed both primary and EMS continuing education programs. Art is a textbook author, has presented at conferences nationwide, and continues to provide patient care at an EMS service in Northern California. Contact Art at
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