If anyone ever asked me what the internet was, I would tell them that it is a series of fads. Ideas, popular websites, and social media networks come and go sometimes at the blink of an eye. Does anyone remember Myspace? I didn’t think so. . .
There is one fad though that has come about in the last three years that needs to be recognized, and people need to be reminded that it is still there. While some might say it is not for them, the EMS 2.0 movement actually lives in all of us. Any EMT or paramedic who has ever said “I think I have a better way to do this” deep down shares his or her beliefs with Justin Schorr, Chris Kaiser, and everyone else who had input into that initial manifesto.
I was reminded the other day that although it might be quieter than it was a few years ago, people are still talking and sharing about EMS 2.0. I was in a uniform shop in a remote town getting fitted for my new threads, and there, in a cabinet with about forty or fifty patches from police departments and fire departments from the surrounding states was an EMS 2.0 patch. I do not know how it got there, but I do know that it was not from Justin, Setla, Random or myself. Someone walked into that uniform shop, and said “hey, I’ve got a patch for you.” And knowing the people that carry those patches and pins around with them, that was followed with “Let me tell you a bit about it.”
Currently, the blueprint for the rebooting and redesign of EMS is a simple one. All we need to do is find what works for our particular system. Start with something simple. Explore alternate treatment options, or rethink staffing and response. Realistically, it could be anything.
There are questions to be answered about the future of our profession, and it is our responsibility as the current crop of prehospital providers to decide for ourselves where we want to be in the next ten or fifteen years because in ten to fifteen years, we are going to be the ones making those decisions. Grassroots movements are typically slower than the mainstream one, and in a field filled with people who are so bent on instant gratification, that can make it difficult to just sit and wait, but we must not lose focus. Do not be afraid to share ideas, but be mindful of how you do so. Above everything else, don’t be afraid to think about what might be possible down the road.
The profession is ours for the taking, and for many of us, it is more than just a job; it is a career. It is up to us to determine the next step, and figure out where we fit into the future of the medical and public safety worlds. Choose wisely, and never lose sight of your goals.