Gathering of the Eagles

In a recent post, I praised CEMSMAC, the state EMS Medical Advisory Committee made up of the medical directors from each of Connecticut’s five EMS regions. I have been in EMS over twenty years, and I can tell you, I grow more and more optimistic about the future of EMS thanks to the growing maturation of emergency medeical physicans. Whether individual and working together on committees and in organizations, they are demonstrating a committment to patients, to evidence, and to making a better system.

If there was any place I could be this weekend, besides sitting here at home playing with my five-year old daughter (and working the ambulance tomorrow), it would be in Dallas for the annual “Gathering of the Eagles” conference.

Here is the description of the conference from the Gathering of Eagles website:

The EMS State of the Sciences Conference (dubbed by media as “A Gathering of Eagles”) has become one of the most progressive and important EMS conferences worldwide.

The faculty, derived from the U.S. Metropolitan Municipalities EMS Medical Directors Consortium (The “Eagles” Coalition) is comprised of most of the jurisdictional EMS Medical Directors for the nation’s 35 to 40 largest U.S. cities’ 9-1-1 systems as well as the chief medical officers for several pivotal federal agencies such as the FBI, U.S. Secret Service, White House Medical Unit and also includes several global municipalities such as London (UK) and Sydney (Australia).

In essence, this small but cohesive cadre of leading emergency medical services specialists not only oversee the medical aspects of day-to-day 9-1-1-type emergency responses and early resuscitative interventions for trauma, stroke, cardiac care and other critical emergencies in the nation’s (and some of the world’s) most populous cities, but most of them are also responsible for much of the medical aspects of homeland security and disaster management in these high-risk venues (in which nearly 100 million persons dwell and make their livelihood). Their ability to deal with these significant responsibilities is, in many ways, facilitated by the close cooperation of this unique convocation of physicians who also generally serve as the main interface between local government and the medical community at large in these metropolitan municipalities.

The purpose of the highly popular annual Eagles conference is to share with participants — and faculty alike — the most cutting-edge information and advances in EMS patient care, research and management issues — as well as trending challenges (and lessons learned from those challenges) — while also introducing novel patient care strategies and techniques.

Beyond the faculty, this unique global EMS conference is also famous for having pioneered the 10 minute bullet plenary presentation, “lightning rounds” and other innovative educational advances which have not only provided the attendees with 40 or so plenary presentations over 2 days but, according to conference evaluations, have also changed nationwide medical practices almost overnight. Accordingly, the consortium has become extraordinarily influential in shaping future EMS practice trends, medical aspects of disasters and homeland security — not to mention day-to-day 9-1-1 responses and resuscitations worldwide.

One day I will go. In the meantime I await their posting the PDFs of their presentations on their web site. They truly are the cutting edge, and I am anxious to learn where they believe we are going.

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