The events of 2017 highlighted the importance of fire and EMS. Fires, floods, droughts, earthquakes, hurricanes and mass-casualty incidents exacted a financial toll exceeding $300 billion, not to mention the physical and emotional toll to responders and their families.
While our resources were frequently stretched beyond belief, fire and EMS consistently rose to meet the demands placed on them. This is a source of great pride and accomplishment with many valuable lessons learned.
The IAFC’s EMS Section Board changed significantly in 2017 with the addition of several new directors and the passing of the chair baton. In November, the board met to discuss the future of the EMS Section. You’ve probably already seen the results of some redesigns that have been planned to enhance communications between members and add value to EMS Section membership.
IAFC KnowledgeNet, the association’s online collaboration and connectivity portal, works for over 1,400 section members for posting questions, exchanging best practices and sharing ideas. You can learn more about configuring your settings in this online community from the KnowledgeNet Guide for the EMS Section (PDF).
Two other works in progress are an update to our webpage, which will include a comprehensive collection of list servers useful and critical to fire-based EMS chief officers. In the past, we often posted news on drug shortages, CDC alerts and national EMS information to our Google group, which we’ve migrated to KnowledgeNet. These postings were culled from list servers that individuals could subscribe to if they knew about them. Our updated webpage will be a one-stop shop for new and tenured EMS leaders interested in staying on the cutting edge of local, national and international EMS information.
The EMS Section works as your liaison to a wide range of fire and EMS associations and organizations crucial to EMS practice, education, testing and development. To date, we haven’t had a centralized location for sharing reports and information brought back from our many delegates to these organizations. We’re finalizing a liaison reporting system that will allow members of the EMS Section to access a member-only webpage containing all of our liaison reports, contact information for liaisons to other organizations and descriptions of the roles each of these organizations plays in the bigger picture of EMS.
Lastly, as chair of the EMS Section, I want every member of the IAFC to know that our section is here for you. We recognize the immense role all of you play in delivering high-quality EMS to the communities your serve. The EMS Section has an immense, valuable and incredible number of amazing EMS leaders. It’s my goal to enhance our ability to share information, talents and resources not only with each other through our KnowledgeNet platform, but also with the entire membership of the IAFC. I encourage anyone with interest and a desire to get involved to contact me either through KnowledgeNet or by email.