Welcome to 2010… Be Prepared to Grow!!!

Keith Edmonds

Keith Edmonds

Another year has come and gone bringing several events throughout 2009.  We have all laughed a little and cried a little, yet we have all been there for each other.  What a great family I am a part of!

2009 has seen several firsts for Arkansas EMS.  We have successfully placed a red letter license in over 50 percent of our professionals with the remaining 50 percent to be issued by the end of March.   Great strides have been made in beginning our Trauma System in Arkansas which has been worked on for many years by many dedicated medical professionals.  We have seen new equipment, rules and regulations and several newly licensed EMT’s and Paramedics in the back of our trucks and on the streets of our great state.  My congratulations and thanks to all of those that have worked so hard to progress our profession to the point it is today.

We have been saddened by the loss of several loved ones and partners in EMS in 2009.  Familiar faces that we are so used to seeing as they work and play in EMS will no longer be there smiling and laughing with us.  We lost a great educator in our state with Jon McMahan – we will all miss his quirks and smiles at conference each year.  We also lost a tremendous leader within our state EMS system with the passing of David Taylor, Sr.  Anyone in the state of Arkansas carries a part of David with them.  Take a look at your license or certification and see what name has signed it.  (“Thanks Buddy!”)  David loved the professionals in our business like brothers and sisters.  He also had a passion for success in our trauma system, licensure and our new rules and regulations.  It was his desire to move Arkansas to the top in the nation with all the improvements we have made.  David will be missed along with each of those we have lost in 2009, yet they will never be forgotten!  It is our duty to see their legacy and passion for our business is carried on and never forgotten.  We need to gather the belts and purse strings, put our big boy/girl britches on and get to work!!  We should refuse to let those things that our friends, partners, leaders and family members have worked so hard on fall behind.

We have the ability to really move mountains in Arkansas and across the nation within the next year.  It is something that we can’t do by ourselves, yet with the person sitting next to you in that truck or the partner back at the station, we can make a difference.

I have asked several of the members of District 1 to do me a favor.  I have challenged each member of the AEMTA in this District to bring a new member to the Association this year.  If you do not reside in District 1, consider this your challenge!!  After working with both the state legislative bodies and the national legislative bodies, I have seen the power of numbers and the ability to make a difference in something we believe in.  However, with a small membership that only renews for the ability to attend conference at a discounted rate, we can’t succeed in moving forward.  We all have Senators and Representatives that were elected to represent us in Arkansas and in Washington.  Without a phone call or an email, they have no idea what we, as a group of professionals, are faced with or what our desires may be in moving our profession forward.  There will be agendas posted here in the LifeLine for immediate attention from our membership.  I will see that the topics that will need to be addressed for improving our EMS are posted and each member will have the ability to make a difference.

In return, the AEMTA will work for you.  We will continue offering the many hours of continuing education that we have all grown accustomed to.  Pending approval at the first of the year, we may see new educational opportunities arise in conjunction with the Trauma System.  These opportunities will benefit not only you, the member, yet will also benefit those that have yet to join our Association.  I ask that you continue to watch the LifeLine for opportunities for our membership as well as our AEMTA website.

It may seem that I have asked a lot of our membership, yet your board, which includes myself, Rod Barrett (Vice Pres.), Meagan McMahen (Sec.), Penny Russell (Treas.), Dwayne Aalseth (Parliamentarian), Tonia Hale, Board Member at Large, Allen Usrey (District 1), Donald Reed (District 2), Judy Taylor (District 3), Brenda Stewart (District 4), Ronnie Russell (District 5), Ben Blankenship (Past Pres.), Nora Jean Harrell (Paramedic Society), Larry New (Instructor/Coordinator Society), Delinda Duckworth (First Responder Society), Tim Green (Industrial Society) and Mark Warford (Fire/EMS Society) are here for you and to assist you in any way we possibly can.  We will work for you and will strive to make the AEMTA a strong organization progressing for your goals in 2010!

There are others that I would like to say a quick thanks to for their efforts in growing our Association.  Ben Blankenship, AEMTA Immediate Past President,  Laura Guthrie, Conference Chair, Sedley Tomlinson, AEMSF Chair, Brenda Stewart, LifeLine Editor, Denise Carson, Pres. Arkansas Ambulance Assoc., Patrick Moore, NAEMT Immediate Past President, KC Jones, NAEMT District 3 Representative,  the Division of EMS and Trauma and you, the backbone of our Association.

My name is Keith Edmonds, and I am proud to be a part of the Arkansas EMT Association and have the ability to work for you.  Should you have any questions that I can help you with, my email is keithedmonds@marioncounty.com and my cell number is (870) 754-9521.  Please use this contact information as you feel necessary.  I enjoy hearing from my family!!

May God bless each of you and keep you safe in your daily endeavors.

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