3 reasons to attend the EMS PRO conference
Keep up with the latest best practices and learn from EMS experts, vendors and peers at the annual conference and trade show
Sponsored by EMS PRO
By EMS1 BrandFocus Staff
Continuing education is a key career builder for any industry, but especially in EMS. Conferences are a great way to pack a lot of learning and professional development into a short period of time.
The EMS PRO conference offers three days of educational sessions covering diverse topics for a variety of roles within EMS. The event, May 31-June 2 at the Mohegan Sun Resort in Connecticut, also provides the opportunity to check out the latest tools and technologies on the trade show floor.
Here are three reasons to attend this year’s EMS PRO conference and expo:
1. Take advantage of the educational opportunities.
In addition to state and national requirements for certification and licensing, it’s important to stay on top of new developments in prehospital practice. EMS PRO offers three days of educational sessions designed to accommodate all skill and experience levels, as well as specialized tracks like pediatrics and obstetrics.
Conference organizer Greg Allard says demand was so great last year that they expanded the education sessions from two to three full days to give attendees more opportunities for learning.
“There was such a demand for education, and there was such a response by the speakers when we asked for submissions that we changed our formatting this year,” said Allard, who is also vice president of American Ambulance Service in Connecticut.
Allard says he is most excited about the variety of classes that will be offered and the quality and experience of the presenters.
“Our general track is so diverse, and we have so many different things in there,” he said. “That’s one the greatest things about going to an expo like this – you have so many options to be able to see different speakers.”
He also touts the flexibility of the educational opportunities. Participants are not required to preregister for the CAPCE-accredited courses – simply register to attend the entire event and choose your sessions on site. Each 90-minute class equals 1.5 continuing education credits toward required accreditations, which vary by state.
A new tool to record class attendance makes it possible to provide both this level of flexibility and the documentation needed for attendees to receive credit.
“In years past, we’ve scanned each person’s ID badge,” Allard said. “We’ve now secured the technology so that you can just walk through the door and it scans you automatically.”
After the end of the show, each attendee gets an emailed report with his or her total number of credits to submit to their accreditation authority.
2. Check out the latest tools and tech at the trade show.
For a less formal but no less informative learning opportunity, Allard recommends spending some time on the 38,000-square foot trade show floor.
“We have a great number of returning exhibitors, but we also have a number of new participants this year,” he said. “We pack in as many exhibitors as we can, and we try to make that as diverse a group as possible.”
By interacting with vendors and checking out the new products and services available for EMS, including new EMS vehicles, attendees can gather new ideas and potential solutions to the challenges they face in the field.
“The field providers themselves will see a product, and they might be able to go back and solicit their administration or chief and say, hey, we saw this great piece of equipment at this exhibit hall and we think you might want to take a look at it,” Allard said. “So it exposes the attendees to the changing technology, whether it’s a device, software, a vehicle – any of those things. It’s all positive exposure.”
The exhibit hall is also an important arena for networking and the opportunity to compare notes with other EMS providers.
3. Network and exchange ideas with peers from around the country.
Networking with peers from different agencies around the country is another key benefit of attending a conference like EMS PRO. The opportunity to compare and exchange ideas with people who do what you do but in a different organization and setting can be even more educational than the organized courses.
“The networking is phenomenal,” said Allard. “Being exposed to other people from other regions, other services or the tools that they use might have an influence on you once you strike up a conversation with that person. There’s always something that you might be able to bring back to your place of employment or where you volunteer to improve what you’re doing.”
EMS PRO also offers an opportunity for outreach to the next generation of EMS professionals with a special two-course track dedicated to Boy Scouts. The Scouts and their parents go through the exhibit hall and see what EMS professionals are doing in hopes that the experience may spark an interest in EMS as a career or volunteer opportunity.
“Having this forum was an excellent opportunity for professional people to offer these Scouts their expertise in first aid and emergency preparedness,” Allard said. “We’ve actually sold out every class that we’ve ever done for them, and we’ve expanded because the demand has always been there. The kids love it, so it’s been very positive.”