"Frumpydumple" is just one of the things I took away from these last two days. The other was a reinforced confirmation that I will never, ever drive in downtown San Francisco again. It was a means to an end, however, and that was the "Chronicles of EMS" premiere at the Hotel Frank. On arrival, I went looking for it's creator, Ted Setla, (@Setla) and found him wound in wires, tape and last minute tech stuff. I was also looking for Chris Kaiser (@CKEMTP) who had tweeted me about a new idea he wanted to talk about. Going out the door to get a bite, I immediately recognized Natalie Q (@msparamedic) and Jeremiah Bush (@jeramedic). Even though I hadn't seen these two in the flesh, it felt like meeting my own kids! Jeremiah comes from LA County and said he started following this group after hearing my interview on EMSEducast with Greg Friese. That was a good feeling. Natalie is a sweetheart and doing amazing things for a 23 year old farm bred paramedic in Louisiana.
That started the parade of EMS bloggers, podcasters, writers and videographers, some of whom I had met and others who were new. As the video started, I stood next to my friend Theresa Farina from the San Francisco Paramedic Association and realized I was also standing next to AJ Heightman of JEMS magazine. We all watched in awe as England's Mark Glencorse (@medic999) experienced his first taste of San Francisco EMS with SF Firefighter-Paramedic Justin Schorr (@thehappymedic). When it was over, AJ turned and asked what I thought. I was almost speechless. It was sensitive, revealing, cathartic and ... real. Even better said by a tweet today: "@mduschl: Great job by #CoEMS guys. No heroic stories, no pseudo dramatic cases, just our real life in EMS. We need more of this!"
Dr Keith Wesley, another person I was honored to meet, got a group together for dinner and we found ourselves in a private wine room of a very upscale SF restaurant: Chris Kaiser, Chris Monterra (@Geekymedic) Dr. Keith, Greg Friese, (@gfriese), Natalie, Jeremiah, my friend Dr. Jim Brasiel, spouses and others. It was a wonderful relaxed meal and sharing with some of the best in EMS.
After breakfast this morning, a number of us carpooled across the bridge to Casa de Setla which was also the set for "A Seat at the Table", a new web series that recognizes that all EMS people should have 'a seat at the table' when it comes to making prehospital care better. At the head of the table was the laptop with all the people in the chat room who were listening and interacting with us. Three sessions were filmed, all with our stars, Justin and Mark and a mix of Chris Kaiser, Natalie, Jim Brasiel and myself. It was excellent discourse on everything from the "Chronicles" to the effect of social media on EMS to where this may all go in the future. This was just the start of what could be a never ending series of subjects with EMSers from all over. Needless to say, I was proud to be asked to be part of it.
In the last two days, thoughts were shared, ideas hatched, alliances created, and a unique community gained strength. The excitement surges. This is no longer a group of people that knows each other only by what they can say in 140 characters at a time. They read each others blogs, listen to each other's podcasts, text and Skype. EMS as we know it is about to change, so hang on and go for the ride!
I'm a 30+ year paramedic with experience in ambulance and fire department environments. I'm currently a consultant doing EMS training and QI for fire departments. I'm a published non fiction author and have written magazine articles, textbooks and stories. I'm completing final edits on my first novel which is heavily based on my own experiences as a paramedic, and write quarterly for "Interventions" magazine. A new project is developing a video webseries for First Responders Network called "Disaster Sam", which will highlight stories of disaster EMS workers and the "people" that work in EMS. I promote EMS social media and the intent to make the world of EMS a better place.