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Message from the new AEMTA President

Ronny Russell
Hello, for all that might not know me, my name is Ronny Russell and I am your newly elected AEMTA President for the 2014-2015 Term. As President of the new administration I would like to thank Dwayne Aalseth and his past Board of Directors for all their hard work and dedication, not only for the association but for the members and Arkansas EMS.

As always with each new administration, we will face many new challenges, first of all by earning the respect and trust from the general membership, second by showing that we are going to strive to make things better not only for the Association, but for its members and Arkansas EMS.

We have several new things planned for this year, and as members I hope you take advantage of them. Also we will continue to hold our Board meetings bi- monthly and encourage any member to come and attend one of these board meeting and give us any feedback or concerns you might have. You can go to www.aemta.org and look on the front page in the announcement section and see the date, time and location of each meeting.

One of the great things the AEMTA has to offer to its members is our annual Spring Fling which is only 10 days away, which is March 7th and 8th at the Durand Conference Center in Harrison Arkansas. Again by popular demand this year we will be adding an extra day and having a First responder Competition which will be on March 6th at 1:00pm with registration starting at 12:00.

As President and along with the new Board of Directors, promise that we will work hard for you in whatever it takes to make Arkansas EMS be the best it can be! I hope everyone has a safe and productive year and if you have any questions or concerns please feel free to contact me either contact me by email at: rrussellems@yahoo.com or my cell at (870) 692-1927. You also can contact any of the other Board Members; their info can be found on the website, just look on the left side of the webpage and click on Board Members.

Ronny Russell
AEMTA President
I Support Arkansas EMS, AEMTA and NAEMT

Conference Wrap Up

Dwayne Aalseth

Dwayne Aalseth

Well another conference has come and gone and as usual you have made it a success. And as usual there are parts of the conference we need to address. By your reviews we had a very good conference and most enjoyed our 2013 conference in Hot Springs the birth place of the AEMTA. So I hope you accept my challenge to bring one person to conference that has never attended before, and make this a yearly EMS family reunion. From competitions, opening ceremonies, to the banquet we had a great conference and look forward to next year. We saw two very prominent Arkansas EMS providers inducted into the Arkansas Hall of Fame in Janie Kennedy and KC Jones.  We saw the first female participant in the table of honor (Tonia Hale). We saw the birth of Dumas EMS’s child in the EMS Challenge go center stage. I hope all that attended had fun and thank those who worked the streets so others could be there. Continued

EMS Week Recap

Dwayne Aalseth

Dwayne Aalseth

Once again this year’s EMS Parade of Lights was a success. On Monday a couple of days before the parade, we met with Governor Beebe which was a great time as usual. Governor Beebe told us how impressed he was with Arkansas EMS, and that he brags on us every chance he gets. He then signed the proclamation to make EMS week official, and then took pictures with everyone present.

Then on Wednesday was the Parade itself, with the lineup at War Memorial Stadium. At the lineup we had several ambulances, fire apparatus, and POV’s. With the LRPD motorcycle units escorting the parade, everyone traveled lights and sirens through the streets of Little Rock to the Capital. Once at the Capital we had a great program presentation that included key note speaker, Trauma Section Chief Bill Temple. During the program the AEMTA announced the 2013 Hall of Fame inductees; Janie Kennedy and KC Jones.

Next we moved to the Section of EMS for a reception with great food, fun and fellowship. EMS Section Chief Greg Brown gave a presentation as to his vision of the Hall of Fame area. Attendees went home with several door prizes and giveaways. Afterwards the Governor’s Advisory Council (GAC) met giving all attendees a vision of the future of EMS in Arkansas.

If you didn’t get a chance to join us this year, go ahead start planning for next year now. EMS Week is always the 3rd week in May, with the Parade of Lights being on Wednesday. Come show your EMS Pride at your Parade of Lights during EMS Week in 2014… See you there!

In the meantime, be sure to check out the Parade of Lights photo gallery after the jump…

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President’s Perspective

Dwayne Aalseth

Dwayne Aalseth

Happy New Year! I hope everyone had a great Christmas and Santa brought you everything you wanted. The Board (2012 and 2013) and I have been working hard for you and the rest of the AEMTA. There are a few things that will greatly affect our membership in the next year that you need to know.

First the Board voted to partner with American Income Life Insurance Company to provide every member with a $2500 accidental death and dismemberment benefit. This is at NO COST TO YOU or your family, and is in effect at this time. We also signed up for an option for your services, companies, and departments to become a partner, which could add an additional $2000 benefit. This coupled with the Arkansas EMS Foundation’s benevolence fund, could give every member’s family $5000 in the event of an on or off duty accidental death. You will be receiving a benefits letter and package soon that will explain all benefit opportunities. You do not have to return the card in the packet to receive the $2500 benefit, but by not returning the card it will limit other benefits that you are eligible for.
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Conference Follow-up

Dwayne Aalseth

Dwayne Aalseth

Hello and hope all is well in your area. Conference was a great success with increased attendance and a lot of fun. Thank you to those of you who filled out your evaluations, I have gone through them and noted a few things that we can improve on next year. For the majority, evaluations were good and it seemed most had a great time. There are a few things I would like to address with the membership as a whole. Debbie Shea of Mena, AR is the winner of the evaluation drawing. She will receive a free registration for Conference 2013.

The biggest problem we had was the sign in sheets. This was a requirement from the Arkansas Department of Health Section of Trauma due to our grant. We have talked to both the Section of EMS and Trauma, we feel all obligations have been met and it will not be held against you if you did not sign the sheet. We are looking into a machine that will scan your name badge when you enter a class room; if this is able to be done I think it will alleviate the distraction and inconvenience.

Second the AEMTA is a non-profit organization that has no political opinion. I do apologize to anyone who was offended by our keynote speaker; it was not intended to be a political speech aimed at one entity or another. The intent was to make all of our members aware that their vote counts and that we all need to be aware of the issues effecting EMS. The nominated -incoming chairs are looking for a great motivational non-political speaker for next year. Continued

Tenth Annual Parade of Lights

Dwayne Aalseth

Dwayne Aalseth

Over thirty emergency vehicles proved EMS is more than a job; it’s a calling in Little Rock, Arkansas on May 23rd. The tenth annual parade of lights saw EMS units from through out the state, starting from War Memorial Stadium and ending at the State Capitol. At the State Capitol, participants were treated to a helicopter flyby on the steps prior to going into the Capitol Rotunda. In the Rotunda Governor Mike Beebe presented the proclamation of National EMS week. Also the inauguration of the first five Arkansas Hall of Fame inductees took place. Afterwards participants met at the section of EMS for food, fun, and door prizes. What a great way to celebrate Arkansas EMS! We also would like to recognize the following companies that joined in our annual Parade of Lights for the first time.

  • Faulkner County Emergency Squad
  • Des Arc Ambulance Service
  • Flippin Fire Department
  • Arkansas Fire Training Academy
  • Ozark EMS

Follow the link below to view the photo gallery from the parade of lights!

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President’s Spring Update

Dwayne Aalseth

Dwayne Aalseth

Well spring has arrived, and so did our Spring Fling event, which was attended well and actually broke previous attendance records. It was a great time with excellent education, food and vendors. I thank all that attended and all that worked hard on making the 2012 Spring Fling a success. One group I feel we must mention is Evergreen Packaging out of Pine Bluff, 20 First Responders from their emergency response team attended an AEMTA event for the first time.

With that being said, it is off to our next major event, the Parade of Lights and the first ever Arkansas EMS Hall of Fame. Both events will be held on May 23, 2012 starting off at the East Side of War Memorial Stadium in Little Rock. We are asking for ambulances, fire or rescue apparatus, law enforcement units, and even POV’s. If it has lights and sirens and responds to medical emergencies, we want it. Line up will start at 08:00 and around 09:15 the parade will start going through Little Rock to the State Capital. At the State Capitol we will be met by the Honorable Governor Mike Beebe, and a short program commemorating Arkansas EMS and National EMS Week. We will then travel to the Section of EMS at the Freeway Medical Building for refreshments, door prizes, and the inaugural Arkansas EMS Hall of Fame. With this historical event, this is one day no EMS provider should miss, so we hope to see you there. Continued

Happy New Year!

Dwayne Aalseth

Dwayne Aalseth

Happy New Year! Hope your Holiday was bright, and Santa brought you what you wanted. The AEMTA will be hitting the ground running for you, our members. We have a few legislative issues we are working on, Spring Fling in March, new memberships, and bylaw proposal changes among other things.

Spring Fling is headed our way quickly. It will be held at Arkansas State University in Monticello. Penny Russell is working on some great speakers and entertainment. The full agenda with speakers, vendors, and sponsors is available on the Spring Fling website. Our contract hotel will be the Holiday Inn Express, fully remodeled and a hot breakfast should make a great stay. They will be providing a room for a meet and greet social Friday night. This will be a BYOB event with no open marked containers allowed by law. Cups will be provided by EASI ambulance and you may store your drinks in a cooler. So make your plans now, and come join the fun.

You may have heard that the AEMTA voted to give a one year membership to all Licensed EMS Providers (EMSP) in the state. And some may have some questions as to why we did this? Continued

Message from the Incoming President

Dwayne Aalseth

Dwayne Aalseth

As this year ends, so does our current administration. Come January 1, your newly elected officers will take over. As President of the new administration I would like to thank Keith Edmonds and his past board for their two years of hard work and dedication. We face many new challenges in the next two years, but cannot forget the current ones we face. We as an association will continue to support Keith in the feats that he was unable to accomplish during his term.

We have several new and exciting things planned this year, and as members I hope you take advantage of them and get more involved. I encourage you to attend the board meetings to give us your feedback and ideas. The bi-monthly Board meetings will be held the 2nd Tuesday of each odd month (January 10th, May 8th, July 10th, September 11th and November 13th) at the Freeway Medical Building Section of EMS in Little Rock Arkansas at 9 am. Our two annual meetings will be at Spring Fling, March 10, and Conference, August 3, with times to be announced.

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Final Perspective

Keith Edmonds, AEMTA President

As I enter into the final few days of my term as your President of this great Association of professionals, I have taken the time to reflect on some changes that have occurred over the past 2 years as well as some of the directions in which we are heading.

I have never been so proud of our profession as I am today. We have come along way since I entered this business in 1980 and it is because of you, the Arkansas EMS Professional, that these changes have happened. We as a profession, have stood strong over the years asking for changes that we encounter daily that affects the patients we care for. We have drastically improved the profession in the eyes of others across the state and are now recognized as the licensed professional we have all wanted.

It is because of the membership of this Association that has dreamed of seeing changes and speaking up to the Board of Directors that these changes have occurred and will continue to occur for years to come. We have gone from the complacent and compliant professional to a voice that has been heard and recognized and is ready to respond at a moments notice with very little questions asked. We are a strong family that is bound together with one common goal: Patient Care!! For this, I applaud each of you!

Continued