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EMS World: Why EMS trade shows still matter

Being at EMS World and seeing fellow practitioners reminds me of our industry’s opportunity to evolve

I look forward to visiting the EMS World Expo convention and trade show, with a mix of excitement and trepidation.

Our industry is a small one; being here reminds me of that. It’s hard to walk through the lecture halls or show floor aisles without running into colleagues and friends. Many I’ll see but once a year, at this event. Yet we catch up in a few minutes, share observations and notes, bid fond farewells and move on. Contrary to feeling hurried, I cherish these brief moments as spot moments of real learning, from folks who care as much about our profession as I do.

I look forward to what’s new and cutting edge in not only tech, but also in clinical and operational management. There are more developments happening today than in the past 15 years. There is greater awareness of safety issues that plague our industry, evolution in our practice beyond the lights and siren, and a greater dependency on data and all things digital. What new ideas are on the horizon?

Perhaps there won’t be any, something I do fear when going to a major show. Like most industries, we have to adapt and innovate in order to thrive. Unlike most trades, our providers come from a rich mix of public and private companies. Many associations speak to one aspect or another of our practice; we struggle to find a unified voice. This mix can keep us from moving forward.

Yet I am still hopeful that we will find that unified voice that speaks for the entire industry. Being at EMS World and seeing fellow practitioners reminds me of that opportunity. Talking excitedly about new developments and arguing passionately at restaurants and bars about what they mean is proof that we are ready to take on new challenges and break new ground.

Make sure you come by the EMS1 booth and check in with us. You’re the reason we exist, and we’d love to hear from you. If you see me in passing say “hi!” and let me know what’s on your mind!

Art Hsieh, MA, NRP teaches in Northern California at the Public Safety Training Center, Santa Rosa Junior College in the Emergency Care Program. An EMS provider since 1982, Art has served as a line medic, supervisor and chief officer in the private, third service and fire-based EMS. He has directed both primary and EMS continuing education programs. Art is a textbook writer, author of “EMT Exam for Dummies,” has presented at conferences nationwide and continues to provide direct patient care regularly. Art is a member of the EMS1 Editorial Advisory Board. Contact Art at and connect with him on Facebook or Twitter.