Thursday, December 1, 2016

IEMSA 2016

Hey guys! I recently returned from the Iowa EMS Association's annual conference, in Des Moines, Iowa. Two days of classes, exhibit halls, and networking with other EMS professionals. I am exhausted! But also excited. I learned so much! From playing with expensive pagers to stuffing my backpack with free merch, it was a blast from start to finish. In case you were wondering, I did take a few pictures.

I got to meet the crew of Nightwach! If you haven't seen their show on A&E, go immediately and watch it. No, I'm serious. Come back and finish reading after you've been blown away by their work. 
Now that you've seen Nightwatch, I can proceed. I absolutely loved every minute of their presentation, despite not having the courage to approach them. Actually, any talking I did while I was there was initiated by someone else. I was too busy taking everything in to worry about making conversation! But that's okay; because for the first time, I met people that understood my conversations. These people spoke my language! A language where words like 'LifePak, halligan and HazMat made sense to both parties. It felt amazing. Speaking of parties.. You wanna see it? 

It was so beautiful, I almost didn't know what to do with it. I am still questioning their decision to entrust me with a crystal glass and linen napkin, but nothing shattered, spilled, or otherwise went disastrously wrong. Despite my initial impression, the food was delicious; 
the cheesecake especially so. After being seated with perfect strangers, we did what medical folks tend to do, and started talking about medicine. It was then that the question was asked. 

"What service are you with?" 

Me; "Oh, I'm not with a service. I'm an EMT student."

"But if you're not graduated yet, are you allowed to be here?" 

BOOM. My 'eligibility was questioned on multiple occasions. By peers, by teachers, by friends.  
I did, actually, discover that the minimum age for a class I attended was 21. It turned out to be my favorite class, with an absolutely amazing teacher. But back to that burning question, was I allowed to be there? Yep.  Did I doubt it? No.  
It's a question I've answered many times, and it never fails to make me smile. As an Explorer, I am seen as a young, wide-eyed wannabe. A peg lower than a rookie. People who recognized the department on my shirt were more than happy to hear of this new program. There are many opinions on young people in EMS; especially in high school. Most around here are positive. 
Yes, we can be insecure, shy, and clumsy. But if you see in me a girl passionate about learning, about helping others, then I am content. 

I realize this post rambled a bit, and for that I apologize. If you have any questions, or would like to recommend a conference you've attended, drop me a comment! 

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