EMS Tips

Event Review: EMS Administrators Association of California Conference

The 2010 EMS Administrators Association of California was held June 8 and 9 in San Diego, California. I had the honor of being invited to present two sessions. The first session was a co-presentation with Michael Stelzner of the, about social media. He and I introduced the relevance of social media, how it is being used by EMS organizations, the importance of a social media policy, and answered questions from the audience. The next day I presented a session about trends in elearning.

What’s a LEMSA
I learned a lot about how the California EMS system. As I understand it the state is divided into 31 LEMSAs – Local EMS Agencies. Each county has its own medical direction, protocols, and oversight over the delivery of the medical care in the LEMSA. The Medical Director for the State EMS Authority, Dr. Steven Thratt, presented on several statewide issues including organizing all of the state’s providers into a single database (California has nearly 60,000 EMTs) and tracking certification compliance.

Wireless Healthcare Technology
The conference theme was technology and information. The day 1 key-note presenter described many medical devices, many of which that are already commercially available, for tracking and transmitting patient data. He also described numerous other uses for rapidly emerging wireless technology. My reaction to his presentation was a mix of gee whiz and unanswered questions. Primarily, what are the roadblocks to diffusion of technological innovation in EMS and how can those barriers be overcome?

Vendor Exhibit Area
The exhibit hall was well-sized and suited for the needs of the attendees which were primarily system administrators, program managers, and service chiefs or CEOs. The most represented category of products was different forms of technology and data management for hospital bed availability, patient billing, and electronic patient care reporting. I continue to be impressed by the ESO Solutions web-based patient care report system. The intuitive information flow and data entry features reflect that the ESO ePCR was designed by and for paramedics.

I also had a chance to talk about the roll-out of education programs with a Physio-Control representative in the now available Physio-Control University which is powered by CentreLearn. He and I are both excited about the 12 Lead and Capnography courses by Tim Phalen and the other lessons that are in development.

EMS Systems
Have you heard the phrase, “If you have seen one EMS system you have seen one EMS system.” For reasons that probably will never be entirely clear to me the way in which EMS is administered and delivered varies widely around the country. Alameda county, which includes Oakland California has several million residents, but still a total population less than Wisconsin. Yet Alameda county has an EMS administrative staff that dwarfs the EMS office of my state, Wisconsin. I always appreciate the opportunity to visit and learn about other EMS systems.

Learn more about the EMS Administrators Association of California.

By Greg Friese

Greg Friese, Stevens Point, Wisconsin, is an author, educator, paramedic, and marathon runner.

Greg was the co-host of the award winning EMSEduCast podcast, the only podcast by and for EMS educators. Greg has written for,, Wilderness Medical Associates, JEMS Magazine, and EMS World Magazine, and the NAEMSE Educator Newsletter.