Last month’s National Rural EMS and Care Conference 2018 in Tucson, Arizona, was a huge success. Thanks to all who helped plan and attended the conference, supporting the mission of the Joint Committee on Rural EMS (JCREC). Attendees included State Offices of Rural Health, EMS Medical Directors, State EMS Officials, federal partners, regional EMS Agencies, and Hospital Based EMS individuals, to name a few.

One attendee noted, “We have been wanting to start a community paramedicine program in our area, but I didn’t know enough about it. I felt this meeting gave me a HUGE insight in not only what it was about, but how to get help and the steps to start it.” Another attendee said “This was my first time to this conference. The primary benefit was networking with other states and learning about their current issues and successes, and them helping me troubleshoot some of my regulatory/program barriers.” Bringing people together from all over the country and giving them time to be together, to network, and collaborate, was of great importance to the attendees.

The conference also lent itself as a platform for attendee engagement. Much work has been done on the Rural Tactical Agenda for the Future. Kevin McGinnis, JCREC C0mmittee Chair, polled the audience during an interactive session regarding objectives for the plan to help frame the work being done. Attendees were asked to weigh in on current objectives being considered, as well as offer up their own suggestions for consideration. The 49 suggestions that were offered ranged from “Standardization nationwide of Community Paramedic or Treat and Refer education Standards” to “Targeted recruitment efforts (age, gender, ethnicity)” and ”Improving community livability as a recruitment and retention strategy for rural workforce.” Results of the poll are available here.

Please be on the lookout for information on the 2019 conference in the coming days. If you have not and would like to view the presentations from the 2018 conference, please click here.

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