Sunday, September 5, 2010

EMS 2.0 - What is the next step?

Unless you're new to reading EMS blogs, you've probably heard of EMS 2.0 by now. A phrase first coined by The Happy Medic, it has taken off like a wildfire. If you are new to the concept, here is a basic run-down from fellow blogger, CKEMPT at his site Life Under the Lights:

EMS 2.0 is a concept that’s time has come. The Emergency Medical Services is on the cusp of fantastic change.

What we call EMS 2.0 is the brainchild of Happy Medic, but it is the product of every EMT and Paramedic that has ever looked at what we do and thought of how we could do it better. Through the brainpower of the readers and writers in the EMS Blogosphere we’ve grown the idea into something powerful. Maybe even revolutionary. EMS 2.0 is the maturation of the Emergency Medical Services. It is the growth of the industry out of the adolescent trade phase and into a grown-up profession.

EMS 2.0 is spreading like wildfire. In a few short months, the idea is hitting the blogosphere like a freight train. It is not the paternalistic style of “change” in EMS that is usually crammed down our throats by outside influences, rather it is the ideas, thoughts, feelings, and yearnings of the EMS professionals themselves that is driving the movement. And yes, it is a movement. “Grassroots” would be a way to describe this… So would “Revolution”.

Join us. I’ve been writing on this a lot since I started my humble, little blog. I think that I’ve helped to kick start this movement… but I don’t own it, we all do.

I couldn't agree more. People like CKEMTP, Happy Medic, Rescue Monkey, Greg Friese, Rogue Medic, and many others have been pounding the pavement in every way they can to advance EMS and in many way, promote the values of EMS 2.0, but it seems the movement has taken somewhat of a back-burner.

This time a year ago, EMS 2.0 used to have a headquarters, as it were. Any person looking to discuss the industry and what it could be simply had to go to, but I wouldn't suggest trying to follow that link now, because it no longer leads to anything.

Which is exactly my point. Where is it all going? I have noticed that several of the #fireemsblogs have links on their sites for EMS 2.0, and the content provided at those links is invaluable, but they are missing something. They are missing the bonding element.

I am here today to ask one thing: Is EMS 2.0 that important to us? Does it not deserve it's own home? Hasn't it become something powerful enough that we should gather to it, instead of bringing it to ourselves? We have been kind to it, enough so that we have all tried to provide a couch for it to sleep on in our blogs, but maybe it's time we all grouped together to take the next step.

What is the next step?

Thursday, September 2, 2010


I don't know how many of us do this or take notice of this, but EMS workers seem to have the worst eating habits possible.

Any time I clock-in to work a shift these days, I prepare myself for the worst (the worst food possible for my body). If it doesn't involve grease, sugar, and carbs in earth-shattering quantities, it probably won't be on my plate. Hamburgers, fried chicken, french fries, and soft drinks are the mainstays of my diet. Salads and any other foods that don't involve a deep-fryer have no place in the immediate future of my shift. Whatever does happen to land in my lap won't be there long anyway.

It's like we're in a unspoken competition with ourselves and each other to see who can devour our meals the quickest. It is true that we can be on a tight schedule where we are only allotted a few minutes to get our lunch or dinner in, but most of the time we end up sitting around the table with indigestion and tightly-buttoned shirts.

Why do we do this to ourselves? Our eating habits are borderline self-abuse. The more and more I think about it; I find it ironic that the people who sign up to protect the health of others seem to do the least to protect themselves.

Maybe the continuing education classes that we take should be a little more extensive in our personal well-being than just safe lifting techniques. It is entirely possible that we may just need to educate ourselves of the risks our eating habits pose to us. We might be able to take a note out of our brothers in the fire service on their exercise requirements. Perhaps a higher-calorie diet would be permissable if we are doing more to burn those calories in our daily grind.

What are your thoughts on the current EMS diet? Are you currently in a service that has implemented a plan to fight the obesity epidemic occuring within our own stations? How would you personally take charge of this situation?

Your ideas are always welcome!