I had the thrill and honor of attending the Chronicles of EMS premiere party in person on Friday February 12 in San Francisco. In a whirlwind of travel I flew to San Francisco Thursday night from Wisconsin and was home about 32 hours later.
Part of the purpose of the Chronicles is to connect paramedics and EMS supporters from around the world with one another. My first connection was to be with Chris and Gina Kaiser (Chris writes the Life Under the Lights blog). After several months of corresponding with Chris by email, Twitter, and phone we planned to meet at baggage claim one to share a cab to the Hotel Frank in downtown San Francisco. After glancing quickly around baggage claim area it dawned on me that Chris and I were in different terminals. Not to be deterred I scrambled through a massive circular parking structure find Chris and Gina. And thus my Chronicles experience began. In just a few minutes we were talking about EMS …
Just after midnight local time (2 a.m. home time and 4 hours past my usual bed time I collapsed in my bed in the fantastic Hotel Frank. Ann Atwell a fervent Chronicles supporter found the Hotel Frank and arranged a fantastic group room rate (thanks Ann!). Despite the sleep deprivation I was wide awake at 5 a.m. local time (7 a.m. home time). I spent the next two hours waiting for the sun to come up so I could go for a run. I had an ambitious plan to run to the Golden Gate bridge.
Personal R and R
My running route started by climbing the steep Powell street hill and then descending towards the Wharf. I angled towards the bridge on Columbus and then followed the bay, through the Presidio, to the Bridge. Although it was drizzling I could see the length of the bridge. Not realizing a strong wind was at my back I decided to run all the way to the other side of the bridge to Marin County. The bridge is 1.7 miles long and as you know is a staggering distance above the water. Thankfully the sidewalk is wide and bounded by a shoulder height fence on each side. At the Marin county sign on the far side of the bridge I stopped for some photos and began the run back to the hotel. Total run about 12.75 miles – my longest run since October 2009.
Meet, Greet, and Eat
The rest of my day was spent eating and socializing. I met my graduate school major professor for a late breakfast at Sears Fine Foods on Powell and powered my way through their famous breakfast special – 18 Swedish Pancakes with Bacon. Awesome!
In less than two hours I was eating again. For this meal it was Gina, Chris, Jeramiah (the blogger JeraMedic), Natalie (the blogger MsParamedic), and me at an Irish bar across from the hotel. I wasn’t planning to eat since I had a 1330 lunch appointment, but the lunch special of Manhattan clam chowder broke me. It was terrific.
From their I trekked to Mixt Greens restaurant on Sansome, not far from SFFD station 13, for lunch with Kris Kaull of EMS1.com. Good healthy lunch and great company. The EMS1.com office is just a few blocks away and I was able to meet many of the EMS1.com staff that I only knew through email and phone conversations. It took a brisk walk in the rain to get me back to the hotel in time for the start of the party.
Entering the party room I was immediately greeted by the Justin and Mark receiving line. If you don’t already know the Chronicles of EMS grew from their blog conversations into a transcontinental paramedic exchange in November 2009. The San Francisco side of the exchange was filmed by Ted Setla for the pilot episode of the Chronicles of EMS. The room was filling fast with friends and family of Justin, EMS bloggers, EMS industry press, and local Tweeters looking for a good party (they were not disappointed). The presence of locals taking advantage of this networking opportunity was one of the most interesting aspects of the evening. They loved the premiere episode, professed strong support for EMS in general, and said they would enjoy watching more from the Chronicles of EMS team.
I spent my evening trying to meet as many people as I could (a meet-up how to tips post is in the works). The main event – screening of the premiere episode – brought silence to the room as everyone glued to one of the large screen televisions. Our attention was captured by the cinematography, easiness of Mark and Justin in sharing and learning from one another, and realization that EMS has cross-cultural themes. Look for my review of the episode in an upcoming post.
The remainder of the party was primarily spent answering and asking these two questions:
1. What did you think?
2. What happens next?
The spread of food at the party was wonderful, but dinner beckoned. I joined Chris, Gina, Natalie, Jeremiah, Chris (geekymedic), Amy, Karen, Keith (hey doc Wesley), Sam, and another guy (sorry I never caught your name or didn’t remember it) for a fantastic seafood feast at a restaurant on Sutter. Of course we talked about the Chronicles premiere, EMS systems performance, education, research, and all things EMS, but we also found time for NASCAR, Packers, travel, and more.
My carriage was about to turn into a pumpkin and I wanted to find Mark, Justin, and Ted before the night was over. They were a few blocks away at the Cheesecake Factory. I was grateful to have some one on one conversation with each of them. We talked blogging stats, conference attendance, Chronicles future, and about family. We are all blessed with wonderful and supportive spouses and energetic young children. I admire how Justin and Mark have put themselves out there in front of the entire world.
With my window for sleeping slamming shut fast I headed for the hotel to pack and prepare for an early flight. I was soaring across the Golden Gate at 6:20 a.m. about 21 hours after I had run across it the morning before. I left San Francisco grateful for the opportunity to meet so many wonderful people and to take in some amazing sites. I am also optimistic for the future of the Chronicles of EMS.
If you have yet to watch the Chronicles of EMS Premiere it is the first link in the below link list.