So last week I had the opportunity to be in Washington D.C. as an attendee and as an exhibitor at the EMS Today, the JEMS Conference and Exposition. I have attended this conference and expo before but this was the first year that the NFPA as there as an exhibitor. And I must say that this was a very successful confernce and expo for the NFPA.
While we did have a booth as part of the expo I did manage to step away to attend some of the many educational sessions that were offered to the attendees. Some were very fitting as they addressed the need or direction of national ambulance standards. As you may or may not know the NFPA has NFPA 1917, Standard for Automotive ambulances which is currently in revision. Any information about the second edition can be found at NFPA 1917 and select the “next edition” tab. Some other educational sessions I attended, and there were are lot on this subject, were on Community Paramedicine (CP) and Mobile Integrated Healthcare (MIH) as these two topics are “hot button” issues right now for EMS due to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). Now the NFPA EMS technical committee will be meeting in April of 2014 to address these very same topics due to a request for a new project on these subjects. Once the meeting information is confirmed you can find it at NFPA 450 and select the “next edition” tab.
Something else I also found very interesting, while I was attending to our booth on the expo floor, was the amount of foot traffic to the booth and some of the questions that were asked of me. The one I got most frequently was “Why is the NFPA at an EMS conference and expo”? My answer to that question is that the NFPA has almost 40 standards that are related to EMS, with the most recent one being NFPA 1917, Standard for Automotive Ambulances. Most people were surprised with that little fact of how many standards we have relating to EMS and the fact that many of them are not “fire centric”, meaning that they only apply to fire based EMS.
So all in all it was a great conference and expo and I am looking forward to next year’s EMS Today Conference and Expo. This year we managed to dodge the winter weather with just heavy rain, but it seemed that many were faced with heavy snow. The 2013 expo did see some snow but nothing we couldn’t handle. Let’s see what next year brings.
Oh one final note, come see the NFPA booth at EMS World Expo in Nashville, TN this November 9th-13th, 2014. Hope to see you there!