Keith Edmonds, AEMTA President

Keith Edmonds, AEMTA President

What a wonderful 2010 South Central Regional EMS Conference we enjoyed this year. My utmost respect and appreciation to everyone involved in putting together such a great event. I know that each person involved in this event put a lot of free time as well as great efforts in seeing that each EMS Professional had the opportunity to come together and learn new and innovative ideas as well as brush up on some of the information that may have been stuck in the back of our minds. We also had the opportunity to rub shoulders and hug necks of those of our family that we haven’t had the opportunity to see in the past year as well as talk the streets with our comrades in arms.

I certainly wish that I could thank each person, ambulance service or anyone involved with our annual EMS Conference. The dedication that all of you have shown in making a difference in some one’s life is unremarkable and exemplary! We all know that it would take an enormous amount of time to make that happen but you know who you are and how much I do appreciate your efforts.

Thanks to the Sponsors who have assisted the Arkansas EMT Association with the support that you have shown over the years as well as the new Sponsors that have come aboard with the Association. Your efforts to assist us with our conferences as well as our Profession is unmatched! We greatly appreciate you and look forward to working with you for many years to come.

Our vendors were great this year in bringing in many new items in our Profession for us to see and touch as well as learn from. The appreciation for all of our vendors that support our Association astounding from all of us with the Arkansas EMT Association. We know that they could have been some where else showing their equipment, yet they chose to share their business ideas with us, the greatest EMS family on the face of the earth, the Arkansas EMT Association.

I personally want to thank over 250 attendees of the EMS Conference this year for showing that you care about yourself, your family and your co-workers by going to the Arkansas Heart Hospital booth and getting your free cardiac check up done. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for doing this and hope that each of you got a positive outcome of the tests that were performed. This is the type of dedication that it takes to ensure that we go home to our families safely in the morning when we have completed our shifts. It has been one of the most difficult times I have ever experienced in my life, when my dispatch and my partner had to call my wife and children and let them know that I had suffered a heart attack on duty and was being flown to a cardiac surgeon to assist me. I hope that you never have to experience that in your lives and I thank you again for stepping up to the plate to ensure that your family does not receive that dreaded phone call.

Many positives have came from our 2010 EMS Conference in addition to the education that was received by all in attendance. One of the most exciting to me,because of the passion and respect for all aspects of my EMS family,is the pursuit of a certification process for our Emergency Medical Responders. This is an event of major proportion for all of those EMS Professionals that work with the Emergency Medical Responders across our great state. I ask that should you have any questions or comments both in the positive or negative, to let myself or Dwayne Aalseth know as soon as possible. We will be working hand in hand with the Arkansas Dept of Health, Section of EMS as well as the Arkansas Fire Academy in the continual pursuit of assisting the Emergency Medical Responder in gaining the much needed support, education, protocols and the overall respect that they so deeply deserve for their efforts in assisting not only the EMS Professionals, yet the neighbors and friends of their communities that they serve. What an elite group of people that we have the opportunity to embrace in our EMS family!! These are the people who crawl out of bed at 0300 hours and drive to the scene of a hang nail or that person who has had flu like symptoms for 3 weeks without even a second thought. All the time, doing this of their own free will and expense without even thinking of compensation in most cases. We certainly look forward to the processes involved and wish the best of circumstances for everyone in our Profession. The Emergency Medical Responder committee will begin working very soon to assist in developing this program so we may present this to our Legislators in the 2013 General Assembly for passage.

Continue keeping an eye on the Arkansas EMT Association website as well as the LifeLine online newspaper for educational opportunities across Arkansas as well as continual changes that affect what we do on a daily basis.

I, once again, thank each of you for your efforts that you put forth each day. You do make a difference in the lives you come in contact with and I thank you for that. Continue your hard work and dedication to our Profession and you will be blessed richly for your efforts when that one patient hugs your neck or says thank you!