I want to take a moment and share with my EMS family a few things that are on my mind and address several questions that have been brought to me from you guys and gals.

The AEMTA is YOUR Association! It is the duty and responsibility of the Board of Directors to answer to you as a member and to ensure that the membership, as a whole, is fed to their desires. The AEMTA is not a place for personal agendas and desires of just one or two people, it is a demand of the membership to move our Profession forward in a way that paints Arkansas EMS as one of the most Professional organizations in Arkansas. When the AEMTA Board of Directors agreed to provide a one year free membership to each licensed individual in Arkansas, it was to bring our Profession together as a family in moving us forward to reaching the goals that we, as a group desired. It is vitally important that you, as a member, respond to your Board of Directors with the situations you are faced with as well as the desires you have to benefit you as an EMS Professional. It is also the duty of the AEMTA to work with each EMS organization in Arkansas on their needs and desires as well. Whether it is the Arkansas Ambulance Association, the Arkansas Department of Health – Section of EMS, Arkansas Department of Health – Section of Trauma, the Governor’s Advisory Committee on EMS, the Trauma Advisory Committee or the Trauma Regional Advisory Committees, the AEMTA must provide the support to these agencies in moving us forward with the goals of you, the member. Not only is the AEMTA supported by the membership, it is also supported by each and every organization I have listed as well as others I am sure that I have forgotten.

It takes each and every one of us to make the changes that are needed to ensure that we are not dumped to the way side by those who can make a difference for our Profession. Our legislative staff in Arkansas is working for our Profession in making changes that you as a licensed Arkansas EMS Professional have requested. This occurs on a daily basis as I answer many phone calls and emails from them in regards to situations they are faced with in their communities as well as direction on moving our Profession forward. They have assisted you in more ways than you may be aware in the past 6 years I have maintained an office with the Association and are working diligently on changes today.

The Arkansas Department of Health – Section of EMS will be presenting in the very near future, our new rules and regulations for EMS Providers in Arkansas. These have been worked on since the early 2000’s and have made it to finality. The process involved in getting your new rules and regulations submitted for approval has taken many, many hours of work with the Section of EMS and Trauma as well as many of our EMS Professionals. We should be proud of the work that has been subjectively provided to ensure that these will provide the most current guidelines for improving patient care. The ultimate goal of these new rules and regulations are to provide us with what we have asked for over many years, a well-organized set of guidelines in providing the best for those we serve in a simple format for each of us to be able to understand and implement with no question. However, it is up to you to ensure these rules and regulations move forward as required by the State of Arkansas. We must study them carefully as they are presented in as many EMS formats as possible and provide feedback, whether positive or negative with what we find. Our Section of EMS wants to know your opinion as these rules and regulations are made public. I applaud Greg Brown and the entire staff of the Section of EMS as well as David Taylor, Sr. and all the employees that have gone from the Section prior to today. Each person involved in that office since 2000 has been a part of bringing our State EMS together in providing the optimum in patient care as well as ensuring that the goals of our EMS Profession has been met. They have been able to do this because of you and the information you share with them each time you speak with the office or a representative.

My ultimate goal is to ensure each and every licensed EMS Provider/Professional in Arkansas remains informed of the positive impact you are making in the field as well as the direction in which we are moving forward as a Profession. I personally appreciate each and every one of you for making such a difference in your community and providing the best patient care possible for those who are having a terrible day. You have been noticed, you have made a difference and your job is commendable!! I thank you for the personal sacrifices that each of you make in order to maintain a calming reassurance to each patient you contact.

Keith Edmonds