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The power of video in EMS education

Reel Emergency’s Hilary Gates and Zach Dunlap discuss FOAMed and body-worn cameras

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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

This edition of the EMS One-Stop podcast spotlights the popular online education series Reel Emergency, which uses real bodycam footage to illustrate various types of medical emergencies. The footage is then discussed in a live broadcast by very well-known emergency medicine physicians, Drs. Peter Antevy, Mark Piehl and David Spiro.

Reel Emergency offers free continuing education credit on the day of the Prodigy EMS based broadcast (you must be in the live audience to receive CE) and is then made available via YouTube for all to view and use as part of their clinical education.

Reel Emergency has now produced 15 episodes and has been viewed tens of thousands of times as both individuals and departments benefit from the content, the expert analysis and commentary, as well as subject matter expert guests.

In this podcast, Rob Lawrence chats with Reel Emergency’s regular host Hilary Gates, director of educational strategy for Prodigy EMS; and Zach Dunlap, clinical education specialist from 410 Medical.

Zach also previously worked for an agency that pioneered the use of body-worn cameras in EMS and offers insight into their adoption and use.


“These real patient videos actually show what’s happening on a call. Where else do you get that? You can’t get that anywhere else and there’s something to be said for doing scenarios and having standardized patients or mannikins, but nothing beats watching the actual call itself because you also have all of the other elements of the call that are really hard to recreate in the classroom. You have all of the emotions all of the bystanders, all of the equipment, the communication aspects you have to worry about, and you have real human reactions” — Hilary Gates

“If you are an educator, and you are teaching a certain topic – anatomy, physiology, scene management, all operations, whatever it is – and there is a way to illustrate that, you should be required to illustrate it with a video – there’s just no better way to do it.” — Hilary Gates

“It should almost be a requirement at this point, the main reason people don’t want body cameras in EMS is because it’s grossly misunderstood.” — Zach Dunlap


1:00 – Introductions

01:35 – REEL Emergency

02:20 – Everyone knows Drs. Spiro, Antevy and Piehl

4:00 – Using video for education

6:10 – Gaining free CE and watching on-demand

07:20 – Using body-worn cameras on the street

08:23 – Using BWCs for performance improvement

11:25 – Suggesting that BWC eventually become the standard of care

12:50 – Where does Reel emergency get its videos from?

14:00 – Filming the Falmouth Road Race and heat emergencies

15:20 – How to view Reel Emergency?


Current Reel Emergency topics include sessions on HP CPR, heat emergencies, peds emergencies, junctional hemorrhage, ped airways, anaphylaxis, intracranial emergencies, delirium, end of life care, GSWs and altered mental status.

Following are additional resources on incorporating body-worn cameras:


Zach Dunlap began his EMS career as a paramedic in Amarillo, Texas. After working in Oklahoma City, he returned to the Texas panhandle, where he worked as a flight paramedic for several years. Zach now resides in Houston, and has served as a flight paramedic and clinical director for a progressive 911 system. Currently, he is a clinical education specialist for a national medical company educating and training clinicians across the country on volume resuscitation. Zach obtained his bachelor’s in emergency health sciences and has always focused on providing excellent patient care through innovative approaches. Zach enjoys sports and spending time with his two children, Brogan and Brynlee, and their Goldendoodle, Claire. Zach is also the assistant treasurer of the Board of Commissioners of Harris County ESD11 in northern Houston.

Hilary Gates, MAEd, NRP, is the director of educational strategy for Prodigy EMS and a volunteer paramedic in the Alexandria (Virginia) Fire Department. She is also a faculty member of the School of Education at American University in Washington, D.C., and teaches Introduction to Community Health in the EM Program at University of Pittsburgh. Beginning her career as a volunteer EMT with the Bethesda-Chevy Chase Rescue Squad in Montgomery County, Maryland, Hilary became a full-time paramedic, EMT instructor and FTO at AFD, and then served as senior editorial and program director for EMS World. She implemented AFD’s MIH/CP program in 2017 and has extensive experience as an EMS educator, symposium presenter and quality improvement trainer.


Dr. David Spiro is a pediatric emergency physician and professor at University of Arkansas Medical System, and he is chief medical officer of Reel Dx. Dr. Peter Antevy is a nationally recognized lecturer and expert in the field of prehospital pediatrics and cofounder of Handtevy Pediatric Emergency Standards. He currently serves as the EMS medical director for multiple fire and rescue departments in Florida. Dr. Mark Piehl is a board-certified pediatrician and pediatric intensivist at WakeMed Hospital in Raleigh, North Carolina, and co-founder of 410 Medical.


Hilary Gates:

Zach Dunlap:


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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.