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National EMS Week 2013

NATIONAL EMS WEEK…. What is EMS? EMS is technically termed Emergency Medical Services. Technically it is providing emergency medical services to people who are in need in a pre-hospital setting.

FROM A TEACHER….. It is a profession in which they teach skills based on Basic and/or Advanced Life Support skills. One in which they see people with a desire (some call it a sickness) to do this job. One they have loved to do and one in which they want to share the knowledge they have gained with others.

FROM A STUDENT……A profession of lights, sirens, excitement, all hours of the day and night being in the middle of sickness, chaos, and wanting to help someone and wanting to be right in the middle of all that happens.

FROM A PROVIDER:….Depending on the service you work for, and I will base this on the amazing one I am a part of: A way of life, one in which they strive to not only do good for the better wellbeing of people, but to have a successful career, business, equipment, great employees, and a positive repertoire. One that is a part of the heart and love they have for EMS and take it to a higher level.

FROM THE GENERAL PUBLIC WITH NO MEDICAL KNOWLEDGE……ambulance driver… (I won’t EVEN get started on this subject).

FROM A SPOUSE, LOVED ONE, And FAMILY MEMBER…..The person I love works hard, long hours, has such a drive and passion for others. They put others’ lives in front of his/hers to aide in all ways that they can. They eat on the go, and they sleep when they can. They talk nonstop about this call or that, they have deep caring emotions in which they sometime can mask those when needed but share when its most important….There is MUCH MORE…however it goes hand in hand with the next category….

FROM the EMT/PARAMEDIC…………A CALLING, A DRIVE, A PASSION, A FIRE, A SICKNESS, A MUST-DO….to help, aide, and be as much a help to someone they can. After long grueling hours of class, clinical, and practice test, onto national tests, and orientation , Often one can watch from the outside the transformation from a green EMT/MEDIC to the seasoned one. One who works away from home, 12, 24, 48 and sometimes 72 hours at a time. One who dines on fast foods many times, can sleep in an ambulance standing by waiting for the next call. Many times walking into the face of danger, shots fired, stabbing in progress, suicide, fights…car wrecks, explosions and more. Watching that person struggle to breath, knowing they have limited time, but calming, reassuring and striving to do all they can for the patient, all while the stomach is churning from hunger, the eyes are heavy with sleepiness, and the uniform still has blood somewhere from the gang member who died in their arms on the last call. Comforting a family when you have busted your butt, did all you could do, begged, pleaded, prayed, and worked even harder only to tell the family their loved one didn’t make it.

How about one who misses a holiday meal, a ballgame of their child, an anniversary, a holiday, or baptism. One who has to watch the child die from a drunk driver and still smile at the grandma or grandpa who fell and broke hip moments later? One who has to curve the emotions at times when they are run down, ragged, only to have to respond to that person who has been sick for 4 days, and decides at 4 am they need to go to the hospital right then. There are benefits….seeing that heartbeat after continuous CPR knowing God wasn’t ready for that person and He allowed you to help. Having that mom or dad come by and bring the child that survived because you were able to intervene during an asthma attack. The guy who sees you months later walks on one leg thanking you because you carried him almost a mile out of the woods from a traumatic incident. I could go on…..The biggest benefit of EMS…. Is actually fulfilling the desire, feeding the hunger, and LOVING the sickness that is deep within.

I offer my praise to all my past, present, and future leaders, mentors, students, teachers, providers and more this week. I thank you all for how you touched my life, how you have taught me, wept with me, laughed and cried with me. Those countless hours that you and your partner alone in a truck talk and share all aspect of their life. Happy National EMS week to all those with this desire, sickness, hunger and PASSION…… I am honored to be a part of this group, and I cannot see myself doing anything else. It IS a CALLING. I thank my family who stands behind me and allows me the freedom and support to do what I love.

From the AEMTA Chaplin

KC Jones, AEMTA Chaplin

KC Jones, AEMTA Chaplin

As my prayers and thoughts go out to Newtown CT and those who lost loved ones, my memories turn to another school shooting on a warm spring day. That day was like any other until the day was shattered with that frantic 911 call.

Just like last Friday my heart sank, and I thought why? How could a loving God allow this to happen?

As Mike Huckabee said in an interview we have systematically removed God from our society and when something horrible happens we ask, where is God? He is there letting us follow our own sinful nature.

The acts of Connecticut & Jonesboro share one thing, they are acts of Evil! No gun control, knife control, mental health reform could stop these actions. One law could have stopped it, Thou shalt not kill! If those who killed these innocent children had been taught this law this would not have happened.

This is one of 10 laws God gave Moses and the children of Israel. We must teach and observe these 10 commandments to live peaceably with others. As long as we keep God out of our society evil acts will continue. Let us put God back into our lives and society. May the God of Peace keep you safe.



As we leave the Labor Day holiday and look forward to the leaves changing in our great state, I ask that we take a moment to reflect on the events leading up to the Labor Day holiday. On August 31, 2010, not only did we suffer a great loss in Arkansas EMS, but we lost part of our family during the crash of Air Evac 30. Our deepest sympathy is extended to the families of each of those that we lost during this horrific incident as well as the loss of our partners in many different aspects.

Most of us have encountered a situation that brings reality to the realm of our life during our years in EMS. If you haven’t had the occasion to reflect on the loss of a friend, colleague or partner, you will most likely in some point during your career. This is a situation that will arise from time to time in which we will reflect on the positive situations that these individuals have brought to our profession as well as all the smiles that they have instilled in our lives. Continued

A Reminder

My name is John and I am 63.

In just over 3 years time I’m going to be driving through your jurisdiction just as you are sitting down to your first meal in 12 hours.  As your order hits the counter I will experience an odd tightness in my chest and dismiss it as gas.

When you take your first bite my wife of 35 years will watch me clutch my chest and stop the car on the side of the road.

Just as you begin to think your bad day is finally slowing down, the worst day of my life, and possibly the last, has just begun.

I’ve slumped over in the car, releasing the brake pedal and the car drifts into a signpost, discharging the airbags.

My wife is hit by the passenger side airbag as she is leaning over to help me, noticing my unconsciousness just prior to her own.

A passerby has stopped and is now describing a motor vehicle accident to your dispatcher.

Lunch is still warm in your hands when your radio alerts to the accident.

You are tired.

You are hungry.

The kids have been keeping you up late.

The rent is past due.

Big deal.  I’m about to die.  While you’re cursing me walking to your rig, my MI is moving and my wife’s head injury is complicating what is already going to be a difficult airway judging by the amount of teeth on the floorboards.

As your rig negotiates traffic, my respirations are rapid and shallow, my wife’s now non-existent.

When you pull up to the scene I need your A game.  I need you trained to the point where what you are about to do comes as naturally as breathing, because we’re having a bit of trouble in that department.

This is not about you.  It’s about me.  It’s about us.

So back to your studies, we’ll meet again before you know it.

Thanks from the family of David Taylor

The family of David Taylor would like to thank each and every member of the Arkansas EMT Association for your thoughtfulness and support during this difficult time in our lives. Your presence helped to lighten our burden, and it was kind of you to take the time to share your memories of David with us. Your words were not only a comfort, but a source of strength for our family during this difficult time. From the bottom of our hearts we want you to know that we love and appreciate each and every one of our EMS family.

– Judy Taylor


Ben Blankenship

Ben Blankenship

Thanks, yes thanks to every one of you.  Thanks for allowing me to be your president for another year.  We had some great successes and we left some things to be accomplished in the near future.  I am most pleased with the legislation creating our trauma system.  I do believe that this one major step in our future will make the most significant difference in our ability to care for our patients that has occurred in quite some time in the history of emergency medical services in our state.

We also obtained licensure for our profession, no small feat.  Lots of work into the effort for this accomplishment and a tremendous amount of time and effort were committed just assembling the bill, in the end it was over 16 pages and the areas of other state law that we impacted were unbelievable.  While some still question the importance of obtaining licensure for our profession the majority of us know that we have made another step in elevating our profession.


Just Listen!!!

There are times in our lives where pride of our business and dedication to our service is at an all time high.  We take several things for granted and never realize that it can be taken away from us at a moment’s notice.  With recent events in my life, I have realized not only how important life may be, yet who is important in sharing my life with. This is where that sense of pride and dedication to our service steps in.

On Sunday, August 9, 2009, I woke as I did every morning with a cup of coffee and a cigarette and sat on my porch and watched the sunrise and listened to the day awake.  I never knew what was brewing deep inside my old bald body until later that morning.  While enjoying my Folgers brew and Marlboro cigarette as I have for the past 32 years, my “chronic indigestion” returned and I began having some pain in my right shoulder.  Continued

The Day the Diamond in Arkansas Grew Dim

It has been 10 years since his sudden death and the end of a successful but too short career.  He served his country, loved his state and never lost the passion to see patients restored to health.

Dr. Hammons was an Air Force doctor who saw the success of pre-hospital treatment for heart attack patients and wondered why they could do it in California and not do it in his home state of Arkansas. He had read the works of Dr. Frank Partridge and visited other advanced training sites. He knew if Arkansas was to ever have Advanced EMT’s (Paramedics), they needed to train here. He had faith that the revolution in emergency medical care was one that was needed here and his dedication to developing a training site. Continued

Remembering "Hammons"

When I hear the word decade it seems like a long time.  When I think that is has been 10 years since Ed P. Hammons died it seems like yesterday and like an eternity.  I think he would be a little embarrassed that we are honoring him again, so long after his passing.  He was a man who did the right thing for the right reasons, not to get recognition or glory.

He was a man from a small Arkansas town who wanted to make a difference.  Having seen what combat medics were doing in Viet Nam, when he came back to Forrest City, AR after serving in the military he decided U.S. citizens at home should get that same cutting edge care before they reached the hospital.  Dr. E. P. Hammons, who just referred to himself as “Hammons”, was one of a kind. Continued

Remember When?

You have completed 80 to 100 hours a week for the past 6 months. Spring is rapidly approaching and you can taste the trout that you will catch along your favorite fishing hole. Your wife and children await with anxious wrist watches waiting on that final end of shift report to be completed and your vehicle to pull up in the driveway. And then… VACATION!!!

Remember the days with no cell phones? These were days when we actually had home phones and we used them. These were days when no caller ID was available to see if it was the office calling. These were the days when we actually used time clocks instead of all the modern up to date equipment, such as a telephone, to clock in and out. A blackberry was something we ate and canned for preserves, not something we talked on and typed on. Email was non-existent, unless you were extremely wealthy and could afford a $2,000 deck of cards to play solitaire with. Continued