Contemplating life.

Emergency Services Show 2012, part II

Whilst gear is cool, it’s the networking that adds the heart and soul to these events. Meeting a bunch of enthusiastic and like-minded people in a country far far (or not so far, depending on your definition) away from home was invigorating and exciting. I’d been in touch with a couple of people virtually but had never actually met them in person before – what a better event to change this?

The first day I met up with Matthew Harris who runs HarrisCPD – a great site (not only for UK Paramedics) to keep on top of the fast evolving field of paramedicine. We explored the halls together for the day, chatted about a few different ideas and thoughts about the current paramedic environment in the UK, and Matthew even managed to sneak me in to his live podcasting of the event! Listen to it here. It was great to have someone to wander around and chat with, gave the whole day a much more relaxed and friendly atmosphere.

Unfortunately Matthew could only come for the one day, but not to worry, there were still plenty of people and stands to visit, for example the College of Paramedics (read their review of the show here). I was also very excited to finally meet TJ (aka @meditude) in person, who then promptly ran away (maybe I should have combed my hair differently? Did I brush my teeth properly?). Alas, no, he was just off to give a lecture on Mental Health from a paramedics perspective, which brings us nicely to the Continuing Professional Development seminars:

Both the College of Paramedics and PhysioControl offered some very interesting (and well attended) CPD events both days. I attended the following (with some key points of interest)

  • Mental Health for Paramedic Professionals: Not much training is provided to deal with patient suffering with mental health issues. Yet it is estimated that 10-20% of all calls in the UK have a component of mental health. A novel idea was proposed by TJ, the presenter: Specialist Mental Health Paramedics. We already have Paramedic Practitioners, Critical Care Paramedics – why not specialise in Mental Health? Some rudimentary calculations and thoughts from yours truly: Critical Care Paramedics are sent to really sick patients, but the call volume equates to approximately 2-3% of all calls. Given that mental health takes up a much larger chunk of call volume – surely one could argue a decent case for the introduction of such specialists? I think a trial is needed.
  • Management of Minor Injuries: Presented by a long time Paramedic Practitioner (PP), an overview was given how PP’s have positively influenced healthcare in the UK. An interesting point made was to leave the patient with enough information if they are not conveyed to hospital – enter the Patient Information Leaflets (these are from the South West Ambulance Service). Great idea!
  • Emergency Childbirth: A situation I’ve been in a couple of times, and a situation I dread again, again and again. I just don’t like it…but that doesn’t help, I need to keep refreshing my mind just in case I come in to such a situation again. Initially the course was cancelled as the midwife couldn’t make it – but then luckily last minute a Paramedic turned up and volunteered to fill in, as she had been a midwife in her previous career. Thank you!
  • Dr Richar Lyon talked about Improving outcome from OHCA: The TOPCAT 2 project – the video is from Resuscitation 2012 on Vimeo. Watch the video, it’s very interesting what one can achieve by analysing the data, getting a structure and education framework in place to then achieve some really good improved results.
  • Mark Whitbread, Consultant Paramedic with the London Ambulance Service (LAS), talked about 12 lead ECGs. Not my strongpoint, but the way he explained it de-mystified the whole approach nearly instantaneously. Impressive. Mark is also the man behind implementing true STEMI care within the LAS, a short video can be seen here.

Emergency Services Show 2012, part I

Well, I was going to present you with these three posts shortly after the actual event, but instead found myself in hospital. Please send your disappointments and hatemail to Mr In.fectious Mononucleosis, 16 Swollen Tonsil Street, Throatland.

Last Wednesday and Thursday (22nd and 23rd of November 2012) I went to the annual Emergency Services Show in Coventry, West Midlands, UK.

Impressions as a first time visitor? Quite large, mainly geared towards fire and rescue services (a lot of big red trucks and fire retardant clothing, but together with law enforcement products there was a not insignificant amount of Paramedic and healthcare-related stands.

Here are some interesting products I came across. For the record: I don’t take any money from anyone, everything showcased here are goods and inventions that I found interesting, listed in alphabetical order:

  • The Corpuls 3 monitor sports an interesting concept: it can be broken up in to three parts, namely the monitor, the cable module and the defib module – all linked via Bluetooth. Apparently great when carrying patients down stairs, I’d want to try the system out for myself. Corpuls isn’t a well known brand in the English speaking world (yet?), but is widely established in the German part of the world – the current ambulances in Frankfurt/Main (where I started my EMS experience as a volunteer) has them, and seem to be happy with them.
  • Jones & Bartlett Learning: A new “Emergency Care in the Streets” from Nancy Caroline is supposed to come out next year. They have also taken over the publishing for the UK national JRCALC guidelines, due to come out February 2013. A variety of interesting books, presented with smile. Remember, College of Paramedics members receive discounts!
  • Prometheus Medical Ltd has a new SPHERe (Specialist Pre-Hospital Emergency Resuscitation Course) on offer, based on structured information gained whilst analysing, structuring and vastly improving cardiac arrest outcome in the Edinburgh/Scotland area (more on this on the CPD post shortly)
  • The UK Home Office Centre for Applied Science and Technology (CAST) had a stand too – interesting to know how the government is involved (not having lived in the UK before), and how they help out the emergency Services. For example, it was explained to me all emergency vehicles are checked by them for electrical interference (radios etc). There’s much more to it though, check out their website.

Unfortunately, the stands of JESIP (Joint Emergency Services Interoperability Programme), and the AACE (Association of Ambulance Chief Executives) were unmanned when I walked past. I looked around for anyone in the know, but no show. Disappointing, but there were some brochures with weblinks for more info. Remember, I’m new to the UK, a show like this is a great way to get to know how everything works, and what governing and advisory bodies are in place. An unattended stand (without even a notice) is a bit of a let down, and doesn’t convey a good message.

There was obviously much more stuff at the show, but many of the details unfortunately got lost as my virus started attacking me the minute I was on the train home. To find out more? You’ll just have to come next year!

In the meanwhile, here are some pictures:


There were big cars…


There were little cars…


Cars that look like balloons


Cars so mean they need to be fenced in


Cars Boats so comfortable that Fluffly Huskies rest their tired heads on them


Looks like a normal Firetruck…


…but it’s a rolling Social Media advertisement!


Emergency Services Show 2012

I will be at the Emergency Services Show 2012, held this week Wednesday and Thursday (21st and 22nd of November). Looking forward to meeting new people, catching up on the latest technological developments and getting some CPD from the College of Paramedics.

There will be a couple of us meeting up on Wednesday at 1215hrs outside the College of Paramedics stand (Hall 3, stand E71, floorplan here). I’ll be live-tweeting together with a bunch of fellow tweeters – be sure to follow the #ESS2012 hashtag.

Hope to see you there!