News and Events

NAEMSE Symposium 2011: Event Recap

Sunday I returned from 5 days at the National Association of EMS Educators (NAEMSE) Symposium in Reno, Nevada. The Symposium draws educators from throughout North America and beyond for several days of education, networking, and socializing.

Kyle David Bates Presenting Enhanced Visual Presentations

Enhanced Visual Presentations
On Thursday I presented Enhanced Visual Presentations with Kyle David Bates. The emphasis of the workshop is using digital photography and PowerPoint to create your own case scenarios for the classroom or online delivery. Our group of more than 30 educators gathered with enthusiasm, questions, and digital cameras.

We start the session by asking each table group, three to five educators, to do a simple photography exercise – portrait, emotion, and object. This gives everyone a chance to meet their group and begin taking photos. It also gives us a chance to see the cameras our students are using and to begin helping them develop their photography skills.

A couple of things that kept coming up:

  • Every camera with a flash allows you to turn off the flash. Learn how to turn the flash off.
  • Hold your camera steady by holding it close to your body with two hands.
  • Take photos from different angles and points of view to draw the viewer into the photo.

Our students were engaged in the session and worked well together to create photos, cases, and PowerPoint slides using the techniques we discussed. A few key PowerPoint skills and tips:

  • Align objects with the tools available in PowerPoint.
  • Put a border around images so they don’t “fall off the slide.”
  • Use text only to emphasize important terms and concepts.

Thursday night concluded with the NREMT social. Although this was probably the most sedate event ever held inside the “EDGE” night club I enjoyed reconnecting with friends.

Sessions and Exhibit Hall

The conference officially opened on Friday morning. I missed the opening keynote presentation – Randolph Mantooth  – to meet with my boss and a co-worker. Since we live and work from three different states this was the first opportunity for us to meet face-to-face in several months.


CentreLearn Booth at NAEMSE Symposium

After the morning break-0ut session the Exhibit Hall opened. I helped Scott at the CentreLearn booth and enjoyed talking to educators about how they are using CentreLearn for initial paramedic education and continuing education.


After lunch I attended a session by Twink Dalton about continuing education. Twink is a renowned EMS educator (for good reason) and it was my first time seeing her present. She is a polished and practiced presenter. After she was done I had a great conversation with several other attendees about the role and importance of a digital presentation. Much of Twink’s presentation could have been delivered without any PowerPoint slides. The slides she used, like many presenters were text heavy, and didn’t add much to the overall excellence of the presentation. One of the questions I posed to our small discussion group is if an audience expects a PowerPoint and would be disappointed if a speaker simply spoke without on-screen visual aids.

On Friday night the symposium faculty were treated to dinner at the National Automobile museum by Pepid. The food, displays, and company were excellent. Thanks Pepid!

Crash at the Reno Airshow

The symposium was at the Peppermill Resort in Reno. The hotel was crowded with pilots, pit crew, and spectators for the Reno Airshow races. Late in the afternoon Friday a plane crashed into the box seats. I found out about the crash when I saw it mentioned on Twitter. It was a surreal feeling to be so close to a mass casualty incident, but also isolated from helping. By the time I found out about it the patients had already been cleared from the airfield and the investigation had begun. When we drove to faculty event we passed one of the Reno hospitals. The parking lot was filled with ambulances, police cruisers, and media vans. More than anything I would have liked to simply shake hands with the paramedics and thank them for being there to help and doing their best to care for the victims. Thank you Reno area paramedics.

Going the Distance!

Since I presented a pre-conference the NAEMSE Symposium, scheduled through Sunday, becomes a marathon event to attend. Saturday morning I took a break from the symposium for a long marathon training run. Just before sunrise I left the Peppermill hotel and ran to downtown Reno (about 2 miles). After a short lap through the casino district of downtown Reno (another 2 miles) I ran east on the Truckee River trail. A paved trail runs about 7.5 miles east from town before terminating at the Union Pacific railroad and interstate highway. The run was scenic and invigorating. Turning back to run the 2nd half up river (and up hill) made the run a bit challenging. I arrived back at the hotel three hours after I started and ready for more sessions and time in the exhibit hall.

I had the opportunity to film a couple of short videos with I will embed them when they post in the future. In the first video I shared advice for a new EMS educator. In the second I shared advice for a newly graduated paramedic.

NAEMSE Symposium General Session

After lunch Jeff Lindsay gave an interesting presentation about the “Net Generation” – the twenty somethings beginning to enter EMS education and the EMS workforce. The presentation had a strong emphasis on social media and covered many of the themes we discussed on episode 109 (their expectation is clear expectations) of the EMSEduCast.

Saturday night was the all symposium social. The event had a western theme and featured a chuck wagon dinner, mechanical bull and line dancing. Reno area EMS educator, @UnwiredMedic, was able to join us for the social. It was great to meet him face to face, introduce him to other EMS educators, and talk about social media. Check out his blog – the Unwired Medic.

More of Everything

The symposium continued on Sunday with more sessions, exhibit hall time, and networking with friends. I was only able to attend a few minutes of Dave Page’s session on medical errors and paramedic education. What I did attend was very interesting and I plan to invite him to discuss the topic with us on the EMSEduCast.


The 2012 NAEMSE Symposium is already scheduled for August 2012 in Orlando, Florida at the Walt Disney World Resort. The call for presentations is already open.

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.