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FirstWatch to host series of Conversations that Matter for leaders in EMS and public safety

SAN DIEGO, Calif. - The coronavirus pandemic has forced EMS and public safety leaders to cancel travel, turn conferences into virtual events and miss out on many of the conversations that often lead to new ideas and collaborations. But it also affords new opportunities, like the chance to have those discussions with colleagues from around the world without leaving our homes or offices.

On Thursday, October 1, FirstWatch is launching Conversations that Matter, a series of virtual roundtable discussions featuring leaders talking about some of the most important issues facing our professions. FirstWatch Improvement Guide Mike Taigman will facilitate, engaging the expert guest speakers and audience in dialogue to encourage information sharing and collaboration to help tackle tough problems.

“One of the highlights of my four-plus decades in EMS has been traveling and learning from old friends, new colleagues and everyone in between,” Taigman said. “While my accumulation of frequent flyer miles has certainly slowed down, my desire to talk about the issues that matter, learn from each other and chat about the future of EMS, public safety and public health is greater than ever.”

Conversations that Matter scheduled so far include:

  • On October 1, Taigman will be joined by Pam Farber, RN, EMT-P, a former firefighter/paramedic and fire department infection control nurse who now analyzes and tracks outbreaks around the world, and Silvia Verdugo, MD, MPH, FirstWatch’s medical director, to talk about preparing for flu season during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • On October 14, Taigman and FirstWatch President Todd Stout will discuss Data-Driven Crisis Leadership with Tim Burns, a captain and quality improvement officer with Montgomery County Fire and Rescue in Maryland; Catherine R. Counts, PhD, MHA, a health services researcher with Seattle Medic One in the Division of Emergency Medicine at the University of Washington School of Medicine; Scott Dorsey, deputy chief of Snohomish County Fire District 7 in Washington; and Pat Songer, the chief operating officer of Cascade Medical and executive director of the National EMS Management Association.
  • On November 6, Taigman and Dr. Verdugo will talk to Michael Redlener, MD, president of the National EMS Quality Alliance and Medical Director for EMS Quality at Mount Sinai in New York, about evidence-based quality measures in EMS.

“For more than twenty years, the best thing about FirstWatch has been learning from each other, from our customers and from our colleagues throughout EMS, public safety and beyond,” said Todd Stout, FirstWatch’s founder and president. “We’re excited to have these conversations with people from around the world who are able to join us to talk about the things that really matter to our patients, our organizations and our communities.”

Learn more about these virtual roundtables and register to participate here.

About FirstWatch

FirstWatch helps public safety and healthcare professionals serve their communities through the use of technology and the science of quality improvement. Drawing on deep experience in emergency services, the FirstWatch team develops software and personalized solutions to help organizations continuously improve at what they do. Founded in 1998, and based in Carlsbad, Calif., FirstWatch has partnered with more than 500 communities across North America to improve outcomes, efficiency, safety, and operations. Find out more at