A Seat at the Table

Buried within all the excitement of the premiere of the Chronicles of EMS Reality Series is another premiere I’m proud to be a part of.

Over the years EMS has been serving their communities we seem to be finding ourselves out in the cold when budgets are doled out or reimbursement tables adjusted.  The practitioners on the street, in the patient’s bathroom, bedroom, living room, deepest darkest days are largely ignored when industry heads meet to discuss where the trade may go.

They’ve talked of minimizing standards to maintain a constant flow of low paying jobs and EMTs eager to step on the gas and run the lights and sirens.  Study after study showing one way is wrong so another can get a bigger market share.  All the while our pagers are going off and alarm bells are ringing.

If we’re lucky enough to have a voice in the discussion, we are looked at as an afterthought.  A nod and a smile greets our suggestions for improvement, often with a “we tried that before, it didn’t work” which is the EMS version of a pat on the head.

Various committees and organizations sprung up with a spot for us, among dozens of others, making sure we had no chance to be heard.  EMTs and Paramedics were never given a seat at the table.

So we made our own.

Social media has us sharing ideas and concepts in a way they never saw coming.  Research can be done from home instead of at a far off conference of owners and Chiefs all striving to prove themselves as having the best system.  We can now call their bluffs, and they can call ours.

A Seat at the Table takes one element we discovered while filming the Chronicles of EMS Reality series and expands it into a format rare in our industry: Video.  This element was the civil discussion of differences by street level EMS personnel who took the time to comment about what Mark and I were learning from one another.

There are plenty of EMS videos available for viewing online and by purchase, but never before has a filmmaker with a vision and a background in EMS taken up the challenge to document what we’re talking about.

Take a look at this snippet Ted Setla and I shot to explain to investors the power of Chronicles of EMS:

Chronicles of EMS – The purpose from Thaddeus Setla on Vimeo.

The Chronicles of EMS:A Seat at the Table is a table top discussion program filmed in the round and is scheduled to include as many people involved in the future of EMS as we can find.

Each time the Chronicles team travels, A Seat at the Table will be close behind to take advantage of the unique people we might meet and want to hear from.

Not only will we be sharing ideas, but getting answers to questions from those in charge of where we’re all going.  Mark Glencorse and I will be there but you will be as well, following each episode as it is filmed HERE in the ustream chat room (scroll to the bottom). When you listen live to the filming, Mark and I will be monitoring your comments and questions for the panel and including them in where the show goes.

That chair you’re sitting in will now be at the table, a voice in where our young profession leads.

Watch the Chronicles page for updates about filming in your area and if you want to be in studio with us, let me know. thehappymedic@gmail.com.

Bookmark the link to the Seat at the Table page as upcoming episodes, topics and guest lists could change suddenly as we’re sent all over the world exploring how EMS systems operate.

See you there.

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