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How community paramedicine is thriving in the UK

Dr. Linda Dykes and Rom Duckworth discuss trans-Atlantic lessons in emergency management

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This episode of EMS One-Stop With Rob Lawrence is brought to you by Lexipol, the experts in policy, training, wellness support and grants assistance for first responders and government leaders. To learn more, visit

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In this EMS One-Stop international edition, Host Rob Lawrence welcomes Dr. Linda Dykes, an emergency medicine physician from the UK, and Rom Duckworth, fire captain and paramedic EMS coordinator for Ridgefield (CT) Fire Department.

The discussion begins with the demise of the U.S. ET3 program, and then the group examine how community paramedicine is thriving in the UK and the lessons to be taken away.

Rob and Linda also discuss the EMS World Expo “International Roundup” session they have jointly delivered together for the last 7 years and how they extract best practices from all international attendees. Rob, Rom and Linda then discuss the similarities and differences in emergency management tactics, techniques and procedures, and identify trans-Atlantic lessons already being exchanged.

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About our guests

Dr. Linda Dykes

Dr. Linda Dykes qualified from Newcastle (UK) Medical School in 1996, trained in the northeast and Mersey regions, and is one of only a handful of doctors in the UK who are dual-qualified in both Emergency Medicine & Primary Care/General Practice. Even fewer remain active in both specialties, and she is believed to be the only dual-qualified EM/GP in the UK who has also gained experience working in acute community geriatrics, in a “Hospital at Home” service. Linda also spent 2 years working regular shifts in Ambulance Control, and has dabbled in the development of telephone algorithms via a short secondment to NHS111 Cymru/Wales.

Equipped with this unique skillset – plus a track record of successfully building up services – Linda sees the NHS through a unique lens, and loves to work at bridging the gap between hospital and community services.

Rom Duckworth

Rom Duckworth is a dedicated emergency responder, author and educator with more than 30 years of experience working in career and volunteer fire departments, hospital healthcare systems, and private emergency medical services. Rom is currently a career fire captain and paramedic EMS coordinator for Ridgefield (CT) Fire Department, the founder and director of the New England Center for Rescue and Emergency Medicine; and is the recipient of the American Red Cross Hero award, Sepsis Alliance Sepsis Hero award, and the JEMS EMS 10 Innovators award.

As the author of chapters in more than a dozen EMS, fire, rescue and medical textbooks, as well as over 100 published articles in firefighting and EMS magazines and websites, Rom is working to advance leadership in modern emergency services education.

Learn more

Rob, Linda and Rom will also be delivering an international seminar: “Major Incidents & Disasters – an International Masterclass” on Saturday August 5.

For most emergency services personnel, major incidents are a rare event – maybe a handful at most in a career; maybe none. Few will become experts from personal experience alone, so learning from events that have gone before is crucial to preparedness at national, organizational and individual levels.

This unique webinar brings you five world-class speakers, each of whom has operational, tactical and/or strategic experience (and some of them all of the above!) of major incidents from the UK, U.S., and Lebanon. Between them, they have responded to incidents ranging from boots on the ground at 9/11, to coordinating the pandemic response for an entire country, and everything in between … bus crashes, train derailments, gas explosions, bioterrorism, forest fires, floods, and hurricanes.

This is an event where theory, research and first-hand experiences come together. Our speakers will share not only what they’ve learned from their personal experiences, but what they wish they’d known beforehand and what crucial points they now find themselves passing to others.

This webinar is aimed at those who may have to plan for, and/or respond to, major incidents. As well as the obvious emergency service personnel, think also of hospital staff outside ED, council workers, undertakers, utility companies, coroners’ teams and many more. The event is also open to the general public, and promises to be a fascinating and absorbing morning.

Rob Lawrence has been a leader in civilian and military EMS for over a quarter of a century. He is currently the director of strategic implementation for PRO EMS and its educational arm, Prodigy EMS, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and part-time executive director of the California Ambulance Association.

He previously served as the chief operating officer of the Richmond Ambulance Authority (Virginia), which won both state and national EMS Agency of the Year awards during his 10-year tenure. Additionally, he served as COO for Paramedics Plus in Alameda County, California.

Prior to emigrating to the U.S. in 2008, Rob served as the COO for the East of England Ambulance Service in Suffolk County, England, and as the executive director of operations and service development for the East Anglian Ambulance NHS Trust. Rob is a former Army officer and graduate of the UK’s Royal Military Academy Sandhurst and served worldwide in a 20-year military career encompassing many prehospital and evacuation leadership roles.

Rob is a board member of the Academy of International Mobile Healthcare Integration (AIMHI) as well as chair of the American Ambulance Association’s State Association Forum. He writes and podcasts for EMS1 and is a member of the EMS1 Editorial Advisory Board. Connect with him on Twitter.