EMS World Expo Quick Take: America’s EMS has talent

Participants in Stand and Deliver, the shining gem of Expo, gave us everything they had


A year ago, New Jersey Paramedic Charlene Barber of Hackensack Meridian Health of JFK EMS and Natalie L. Zink, paramedic and now Medical College of Georgia medical student, entered a competition, the prize to speak on the national stage at EMS World Expo. This year’s disruption of COVID-19 denied them the actual podium, but the power of Zoom gave them the virtual stage.

The competition was “Stand and Deliver,” the opportunity for future EMS idols to show their X-factor with their presentational skills, public speaking ability and great industry knowledge. Fast forward to 2020 to the virtual EMS World Expo and Barber presented on Bias, Culture and Purpose, and Zinc joined a panel in a session entitled “Bariatric, Psychologic, Gynecologic.” EMS has got talent and this great program has delivered two new speakers to the circuit.

Now in its second year, Stand and Deliver allowed yet more new speakers to come forward and I felt very privileged to be the British judge in this special reality show. I was excited to be joining by a stellar panel of judges including such names as Barishansky, Liebig, Collopy, Loscar, Kivlehan, Friese and more. All gave generous amounts of their time to greet, listen to, offer valuable critique and I suspect in many cases, continue to mentor what turned out to be an amazing pool of new talent. Greg Friese beat me to the jump when he announced that Stand and Deliver is one of the best things to come out of this year’s EMS World Expo virtual conference.

The format saw the speaker logging into Zoom, and after introductions, launching into their virtual set with judges (only 3 at a time) listening in to the content to ensure there was engagement, style, content, comprehension, great visual presentation and that the overall package was up to the national podium. The responses, all positive, upbeat and delivered with a view to raising the game of those entering were well received and throughout the process, stars emerged.

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