EMS Tips

Day 3 at Wisconsin EMS Association Conference #WEMSA

Saturday was the closing day of the Wisconsin EMS Association conference.

An Amazing Value

As you look for an EMS conference with national, high caliber speakers, a large exhibit hall, and a rich social scene I want you to consider traveling to WEMSA 2014. Consider this:

  • The block room rate was $109 per night at the downtown Milwaukee Hilton (this included parking which is normally $24 per night). The hotel is linked by sky walk to the convention center.
  • The conference fee for WEMSA members is $90 per day. Each day features a key note session and three 75 minute CE sessions.
  • Beverages and snacks are provided to attendees at no additional cost.
  • Speakers that you regularly see at national conferences like Dr. Ed Racht, Rom Duckworth, Will Dunn, Tom Dunn, Jon Politis, Connie Mattera, Jason Dush, Scott Bolleteter, and Paul Werfel were on the program this year. Speakers of this caliber are the norm at WEMSA. Expect another great set of speakers in 2014.
  • It might be cold but there is lots to do in Milwaukee – some of the events going on this past week: Milwaukee Admirals hockey game, Milwaukee Bucks game, Harley Davidson museum, and Milwaukee public museum.
  • Plentiful and reasonably priced dining options. I took a group to dinner at an Italian restaurant. Our bill, including drinks, appetizers, entrees and the tip came in at just under $45 per person.

If you were at WEMSA, why do you think it is a good value? 

Wisconsin EMS Association website.

From WI EMS Association Facebook page,


The comedy at the NAEMT booth, adjacent to me, continued on day 2.

NAEMT staff member to passerby, “Are you familiar with the NAEMT?”

Passerby, “I am never taking your test again!”

NAEMT, “You are thinking of the NREMT – National Registry of EMTS.”

Passerby, “I don’t like your tests either.”

NAEMT, “Our education courses, like PHTLS, include a test, but we offer many great member benefits.”

Passerby, “I don’t like any of you.”

Better luck with the next passerby.

Website for the National Association of EMTs.

I am a member of NAEMT because it is the only national voice for all EMS practitioners. The member benefits I receive are more than double the annual membership fee.

I maintain my NREMT certification because it gives me employment portability as a paramedic and it sets a minimum set of criteria to maintain knowledge related to the actual workplace analysis of working paramedics.

Both are important, but they are two very different organizations.

Presentation: Responding to an Active Shooter

I attended the first 45 minutes of a presentation on EMS considerations for an active shooting incident presented by Bill Justice and Jerry Biggart. I was familiar with many of the concepts, but thought the speakers were especially effective at communicating the following:

  • A hostage taken is a much different type of incident than an active shooter.
  • Paramedics, with plentiful law enforcement protection, should move through the warm zone providing life saving interventions.
  • An open mind and 100% buy in are necessary to change how EMS responds with law enforcement to active shooters.

I have some more notes on this presentation that will be part of an upcoming post.

What did you learn today? 

I asked many of the CentreLearn booth visitors, “what did you learn today?” as they grabbed a handful of the famous CentreLearn click pens.

With a slate of great speakers and wonderful topics I was routinely disappointed when the response to my questions was a blank stare, ummmm or ahhh, or a restatement of the session title. Such as they gem:

Me, “What did you learn today in one of your sessions?”

EMT, “I learned about the airway.”

Me, “What did you learn about the airway?”

EMT, “That the airway is important.”

Not pen worthy. Not pen worthy.

Sigh … It is up to you to decide what you get out of a conference. The speaker is a small part of making it great.

By Greg

Elearning designer, writer, podcaster, blogger, presenter and paramedic. To relax I run and bike as far and as fast as I can. Also like to read a lot and fast.