Available courses

The Difficult Airway Course: Virtual 2021 - Failed Airway

At the end of this program, the learner will be able to:

  • Define the key elements of the failed airway.
  • Understand the common elements of national guidelines for management of the difficult/failed airway.
  • Explain how to prevent a failed airway.
  • Explain how to manage a failed airway.


Active Shooter in the ED: Chicago's Mercy Hospital

On November 19, 2018 at 1447, Tamera O’Neil MD was gunned down in the parking lot of Mercy Hospital in Chicago. The gunman then entered the ED and began a shooting rampage in which two other victims were killed and numerous others were hurt. In painful irony, the ED staff had just completed active shooter training, but was it enough to respond to this tragedy? Come to this terrifying, heartbreaking, and inspirational lecture to learn how EMS, police and hospital staff contained chaos, utilized available resources and created innovative solutions to optimize patient and staff safety.

Authentic Sims & Exams: Online

Choose the correct assessment method, and your exam becomes much more valid. The correct assessment will feel realistic and authentic to the candidate, helping them to own their performance on the exam, rather than blame the examiner! This session will explore the difference between different types of performance examinations, how behavioral descriptor questions do not measure situational judgment, and how multiple-response items may better assess dynamic patient situations. Participants will practice with exam item types to ensure their ability to return home to improve their own exams, whether a primary instructor, CE provider, clinical educator, or manager.

Bariatric, Psychologic, Gynecologic

Between 2017 and 2019, Missouri's Christian Hospital EMS (CHEMS) provided care to a patient weighing approximately 1,625 lbs. During this time we provided in-home treatment in collaboration with medical direction from Washington University, state resources, hospital administration, hospice, behavioral health, and our mobile integrated health team. In addition CHEMS provided complex transportation of the patient multiple times to and from the hospital and ultimately postmortem care and transportation to the cemetery. Using video footage and photographs, we will discuss how we provided in-home treatment, demonstrate the role EMS played, identify resources needed, list barriers to care and solutions, explain the multisystem approach for transportation, and share our lessons learned.

Best Evidence or Best Guess? You Be The Judge

This session of the International Scientific Symposium allows us to turn to the experts: the medical directors and system administrators who must use the prehospital care research to make decisions about protocols, patient care, and system policies based on the evidence presented each year.The panel will expertly help audience members determine if the science available is really best evidence or still best guess.



Best of 2020 ISS Research: Oral Abstracts

This session in the International Scientific Symposium is a fast-paced blend of presentations. There will be “must-know” project summaries and blending in original projects where the primary investigator will have a few minutes to describe their research. The audience will have the opportunity to make comments and ask probing questions.



Bias, Culture and Purpose

Race is a term for biological color. Racial biases affect our ability to care for our patients. They can also affect our ability to work with those of different backgrounds and beliefs. The color of one’s skin is just that—color; there is no mention of ethnicity and culture. This presentation will open the eyes of the spectator so that there is a better understanding of being self-aware and how to conquer being color-blind.

"Putting purpose back into practice" will teach educators a new approach to scenarios and simulation. An approach that encourages failure on the first scenario so a student can build off those lessons in a second scenario immediately proceeding it.  This approach has been proven to lower error rates, improve familiarity with a patient type, and improve confidence in students.

Blood in the Streets

The panel will discuss the deployment of prehospital whole blood. SAFD EMS and Seattle Medic One will compare their prehospital whole blood systems which includes why whole blood, or any new treatment, may be deployment-ready in Texas, but why it takes a concerted effort for most other states.

This session provides an overview of prehospital blood administration programs and the current evidence on the use of blood in the field, including Balanced Component Therapy and Low Titer O+ Whole Blood. The discussion will include patient outcomes and lessons learned, including regulations from state statutes, FDA and American Association of Blood Banks.

Case Studies: Patient Management Challenges

Using case studies submitted to the speakers, Faith and Anne will act as experts to review active or past patient stories and brainstorm treatment and navigation options, as well as communicating lessons learned. They will discuss best practices and exchange ideas about caring for their most vulnerable patients, including those who've perhaps been historically marginalized and/or taxed our local systems. Each patient case will be discussed using the CPS MERITS model of assessing and addressing patients' needs.


Curing Reimbursement Woes

Sick of dealing with all the red tape regarding reimbursement? If the answer is yes, then this session is for you! Understanding three simple steps in ambulance reimbursement will help cure the reimbursement woes and frustrations of ambulance personnel and management alike. It all comes down to preventative management versus reactive management. As Benjamin Franklin stated, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” This presentation will focus on three simple steps that ambulance personnel and management can do in this reimbursement regulatory world that will mitigate compliance risk and protect the integrity of their revenue cycle process.


Effective MIH/CP Programs

Community Paramedicine 101: What every EMS personnel needs to know -- Learn how communities across the country are leveraging community paramedicine and mobile integrated health for better patient care. Both administrative and operational employees should familiarize themselves with these tools to ensure comprehensive program design. Anne Montera will provide an overview of MIH-CP: where did we come from? Where are we going?  Steven Kroll brings emergency medicine triage to the location of the patient. With telehealth communications that includes the responding EMS crews, a patient can be assessed, diagnosed, referred, and treated in place. Ariella Bak will share Lessons Learned when building her MIH/CP program and how they prepared and executed. Finally, Kris Kaull will share the role of communication in MIH/CP? What hurdles do we see? 

Electrolytes, Toxicology, Pharmacology

This talk will center on hyperkalemia, hypokalemia and hyponatremia. There are five ECG changes of hyperkalemia, five ways to drive potassium into the cell, and ways to use calcium. Hypokalemic arrhythmias will also be discussed along with the treatment of torsades and the use of magnesium. 

This session briefly covers the versatility of sodium bicarbonate in the treatment of various toxicologic emergencies, as well as a brief history of opioids and the pharmacology of fentanyl and naloxone. 


Empowering Students

There’s a reason why scaffolding is used in construction: It provides essential support until a structure can stand on its own. The same holds true for prehospital learning. Want to know how instructional scaffolding increases your students’ ability to quickly learn and apply complex concepts? Learn how instructional scaffolding can make you a better instructor, while simultaneously doubling the amount of information your students can learn.

Students need to be given the confidence to perform in the classroom and in the field.  How can instructors motivate them and show them that they are capable and competent? Salim will discuss the importance of showing students how they can conquer their fears and be excellent providers.


Epis and EMs

Even though major incidents are unpredictable, they occur in all jurisdictions so having a flexible plan that will guide you from start to finish is crucial. Further, too often different disciplines prepare their incident management plans in silos without a full understanding of the resources surrounding them. During this session you will hear from 4 speakers that will break down several different aspects of resource management to consider to better plan your incident management. Join these experts as they discuss how data plays a crucial role in both the planning and inter-agency management planning between public health and pre-hospital care providers. Gain an understanding on the different components that leaders need to consider when managing major incidents.  Walk away better prepared from the lessons these leaders have learned in their on-the-job experiences managing major incidents.



Family Members: Can They Understand EMS?

The spouses, significant others  and family members of EMS providers are unsung heroes who simply learn to live on the outside. But what if the family members of EMS providers could be brought into the fold? Can relationships be more complete? Can someone who doesn’t experience the EMS tensions really understand us and what we deal with? This panel discussion will include EMS providers, spouses, family members and psychologists answering these questions and more.



From Slideshow to Smartphone: Podcasts for EMS Education

Listen to an expert panel discussion covering the "why" "what" and "how" of developing an EMS podcast as an educational tool for first responders and paramedics. The panel will consist of content experts who created successful platforms for their agencies and beyond.  




Global Ops: Across the Pond and Beyond

International speakers return to provide their popular and highly-rated annual EMS Global update. The EMS world is in fact a village, and the speakers will provide their usual entertaining update celebrating the similarities and differences of operational and clinical practices around the globe. The addition of international attendees in the audience provides for a high-energy and informative information exchange.



Have I Mentioned that I Hate OB? Delivery Emergencies

Hey! I never signed up to be an L&D nurse!  What happens when your patient doesn’t read the rule book and decides to deliver outside of the hospital and/or outside of Labor and Delivery?  Come to this fast paced and funny lecture to learn how to take the “pucker” out of emergencies deliveries.




High-Tech Innovations

This session will demonstrate how technology, specifically artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, can be used to overcome gaps in telecommunications. Attendees will learn about known dispatching gaps and the basics of AI before seeing how an interactive partnership between Corti and the Seattle Fire Department is changing how the industry is approaching telecommunications. The session will end with a discussion of the barriers faced by both entities as they have implemented a novel technology in a real-world setting.


Hiring and Managing CPs

MIH is spreading across America, and the most important factor is having the right people in place to make your program successful. Your program begins to win or lose at the interview! This session will help you understand what characteristics to look for in a great MIH candidate, the right questions to ask them, and why it's so important.  After the interview, how do you best manage and support these new providers in a new space?



Hiring, Leading, Retaining EMS Providers

Developing leaders for success requires identifying what is valued by the workforce and educating future leaders accordingly. To be successful as a leader, one has to understand the “people” situation and plan for success by having superior subject understanding. This session consists of three parts that collectively present ways to measure and foster the key characteristics of an effective EMS provider.



Household HazMat: Assessment & Treatment

You probably don't consider nail polish, hairspray, or mothballs hazardous materials. During this session we will discuss common household chemicals kept in innocuous locations and the dangers of such "household hazmat." We will explore how people become injured while using common household products and how small children can be accidentally exposed. We will discuss products like drain cleaner, bleach, ammonia, medicines, alcohol, hairspray, nail polish, mothballs, insect spray, shoe polish, deodorant, paint thinner, and superglue, and treatment options for both BLS and ALS providers.



Increasing the Culture of Safety in EMS: Patients, Providers, and Vehicles

Join two well-known and respected leaders in safety as they discuss best practices for patient safety, provider safety and highway safety.






Intranasal Drug Delivery: BLS Applications

Intranasal medication delivery is now an established treatment modality in EMS as well as in the hands of the lay public. It is rapidly advancing with new therapeutic medication options emerging every few years. This presentation will briefly cover concepts relating to intranasal medication delivery including proper techniques to enhance efficacy. The majority of the time will then be spent discussing BLS level cases involving the use of intranasal medications: midazolam a for prolonged seizures, ketamine for severe pain in both adults and children, tranexamic acid for bloody noses and of course naloxone for opiate overdoses. Attendees will gain concise but thorough insights into safe and effective application of intranasal medications in their practice - even at the BLS level if pursued through proper approval channels. They will have the opportunity to ask questions of the physician/EMS director who invented the mucosal atomization device and who was one of the first EMS directors to bring nasal drug delivery to his EMS community in the 1990’s. The insight gained will assist attendees in using this tool, nasal drug delivery, more effectively in their community.


Leading During COVID

With a variety of positions from which to lead, these experts will regale you with stories, best practices and lessons learned during the heights of the COVID pandemic and beyond.  What do medical directors, chiefs and top scientists have to say about this crisis?




Leading With Intelligence: Empowering Employees

Whether leading a classroom, shift, or entire organization, there are principles of change management and leadership that transcend specific situations. Strategies for specific feedback to foster deliberate practice, self-regulation for improvement of mind-set, and use of coaching for improved efficacy have all been proven to make students, employees, and members of organizations want to work hard and persist when times are tough. Come learn about these techniques for improved performance in your agency.


Legal Issues Every EMT Should Know

Join Doug, Nick, Samantha and Stephen as we address hot topics for EMS providers, including EMTALA, HIPAA, social media, refusals and documentation.  Can you fill your social media feed with selfies with your patients?  Has your ambulance been turned away at the emergency room door or crew told to wait along the wall with the patient?  Why do you need to write a narrative when the PCR data fields cover all the important patient information?  How confidently can you handle a patient refusal?  We’ll examine areas of potential legal liability for EMS providers and offer tips and tricks to help you and your agency stay out of legal trouble.



Managing Change, Elephants in the Room, Improving Care

EMS has been described for the last decade as being “at a crossroads.” We are looking ahead to a time when none of the senior, middle, or even junior management of our industry will still be involved or even alive.   Rob  will chart the road bumps and highway blockages—many of them self-inflicted—as he discusses and exposes the elephants in the EMS room to ensure that we use their power and wisdom to make progress in the decades ahead.

Shifting economic forces require EMS agencies to consider changes in operational delivery systems, human resources, operations and deployment, and revenue cycle management. Often this leads to reevaluating and potentially changing long-held beliefs about your organization and operations. How you manage change could mean success, and some programs implemented over the past year are generating value to their key stakeholders.


Managing SCA

The overall survival for pediatric out-of-hospital cardiac arrest is 6.4%, and lower in infants compared with children and adolescents. A greater survival rate is seen in pediatric patients with witnessed CA vs. unwitnessed in patients receiving bystander CPR and in patients with return of spontaneous circulation (ROSC) in the field vs. patients transported. . This session will demonstrate how Florida's Polk County Fire Rescue went from 0% to 40% survival in out-of-hospital pediatric cardiac arrest patients by completely changing its approach and switching to the Handtevy system.


Meet the Medical Directors Part 1

The session, led in large part by leading members of the so-called “Eagles” coalition, a de facto alliance of the jurisdictional EMS (9-1-1 system) Medical Directions from the nation’s largest cities and key federal agencies. In additional to daily group correspondence among themselves, several times a year, in various venues, they also provide cutting edge presentations that often constitute distinct challenges to accepted practice. They have a track record for putting forth creative new approaches to problem solving in EMS along with novel observations and a wealth of EMS system data that have routinely changed future practices. In this session, Dr. Pepe, the main coordinator of the Eagles consortium, will moderate and introduce the other speakers who will report some of the latest discussions from this cohesive and very influential cadre of physicians and provide their vision of recent crises and things to come over the next decade.

Meet the Medical Directors Part 2

The session, led in large part by leading members of the so-called “Eagles” coalition, a de facto alliance of the jurisdictional EMS (9-1-1 system) Medical Directions from the nation’s largest cities and key federal agencies. In additional to daily group correspondence among themselves, several times a year, in various venues, they also provide cutting edge presentations that often constitute distinct challenges to accepted practice. They have a track record for putting forth creative new approaches to problem solving in EMS along with novel observations and a wealth of EMS system data that have routinely changed future practices. In this session, Dr. Pepe, the main coordinator of the Eagles consortium, will moderate and introduce the other speakers who will report some of the latest discussions from this cohesive and very influential cadre of physicians and provide their vision of recent crises and things to come over the next decade.

Neurological Emergencies

In this presentation, attendees will take an in-depth look at pre-hospital stroke care. As providers know, there aren't a variety of treatments for stroke in the prehospital environment. This is why doing a proper assessment using new tools and stroke scores is key to making a proper transport decision. Attendees will first explore the different types of strokes, and how they each present differently. The discussion will cover treatments for each type, and what capabilities hospitals have for these patients.


Our Aging Population: End-of-Life Care

Explore the importance of End-of-Life care in the setting of EMS. We will discuss the necessity of having a plan in place to care for patients who are already in hospice and how to develop that plan. We will also discuss how to align our goals of care with those of our patients to ensure the best care is delivered to as many people as possible. We will address the needs of both EMS and Hospice agencies, and how working at cross purposes may harm patients, providers, and the agencies involved. Finally, we will discuss how formal EMS / Hospice partnerships can benefit both agencies in many ways, from provider satisfaction to payment.


Past, Present & Future

Join the National Registry for a fascinating review of the organization’s first 50 years and learn where EMS certification is headed in the future. We will explore the development of the national EMS system and the important role certification continues to play in protecting the public. 




Pressors and Anesthesia

This presentation will discuss the current research on push-dose pressors and what we are doing to bridge the gap for peri-intubation arrests. It will review what we've used in the past for adjuncts and discuss the outcomes of the VIPER study, a two-year evaluation of the use of phenylephrine and vasopressin as push-dose pressors for peri-intubation arrest. Additionally, the presentation will discuss how we determined the appropriate time to give a push-dose pressor and the clinical outcomes of the research.

The process of intubation and anesthesia needs to be carefully thought out and executed to avoid detrimental consequences. What do we do to set ourselves up for failure? What can we learn from the world of anesthesia? Why do we find comfort in the sound of silence?

Protecting and Serving your Team: Fatigue, Burnout, PTSD, Wellness

Burnout among EMS professionals has negative consequences for EMS organizations, including increased absenteeism and turnover. Nevertheless, traditional interventions designed to reduce burnout have primarily focused on the individual EMS professional and fall short in terms of addressing the root causes of burnout. In this session factors that contribute to burnout in EMS, how to recognize burnout at your agency, and organizational strategies for reducing and preventing burnout will be covered.

The effects that health status on paramedic job performance has implications for provider and patient alike. Research in this area indicates that measures of health status in paramedics include high incidence of cardiovascular and cardio-metabolic disorders, high BMI and variable level of aerobic capacity and musculoskeletal fitness.  This session will lead paramedics, managers and researchers on a journey into paramedic health and its potential implications for patient care. 

Revenge of the Nerds

A panel of experts on research in EMS will discuss why research matters, what kind of research we should be doing, which questions need to be addressed, how to ask the right question, and how EMS providers from departments large and small can get involved in shaping the future of EMS science.





Shelters and Treatment Centers

Through collaboration between EMS, the department of health, and the police department, New Orleans has opened the first sobering center in Louisiana. This diversion from EDs and jails not only relieves a burden on first responders but also protects residents and tourists altered in the streets. In addition to providing a safe, monitored environment to sleep, the center links individuals to long-term care for substance abuse, mental illness, and social needs. This cost-effective resource meets patients where they are and benefits all members of the community.

In Texas an innovative public-private partnership designed a single multiservice campus to provide a system of care for the city’s homeless population. While significantly decreasing homelessness, this facility became the city’s largest single user of emergency medical services. In response the fire-based EMS system designed a novel on-campus paramedic-staffed acute care station (ACS). All on-campus calls for EMS were rerouted to ACS for triage, and residents could seek care directly from the ACS.


Shock, Seizures and One-Pill Killers

This presentation will teach providers to recognize and treat pediatric patients with nontraumatic shock. The differences in the presentation and disease progression between adult and pediatric patients will be highlighted, as well as the differences in presentation and treatment of septic shock and cardiogenic shock. Providers will learn to identify pediatric patients who are at higher risk for developing septic and cardiogenic shock.

This lecture reviews how to recognize and treat pediatric patients with seizures using evidence-based guidelines and how to anticipate problems and manage the pediatric airway in pediatric patients with seizures, and discusses the causes of pediatric seizures.

Special Teams: Winning on Airway Game Day

The stress related to critical skills has little to do with the skill itself but is greatly affected by the mental road we have taken to that moment in time.  Perceived threats impair cognition, interrupt communications, and degrade skill performance.  Effective teams must manage threat perception to win on game day.  This lecture will explore how we can leverage our own human factors to better navigate complex situations and manage tempo.  Clinicians will leave with an improved understanding of how our brain functions under stress and empowered with proven techniques for managing their most challenging events. 

The Future of EMS: Embracing Change, Encouraging Diversity, Confronting Bias

How do we embrace diversity and confront bias in our EMS agencies? How do we overcome bias to create a more diverse EMS community?  From recruitment and retention to defining our identity for the public, there's no doubt that EMS as a profession faces numerous challenges.  Join a panel of providers who are pushing the envelope and who have unique perspectives on these issues EMS faces every day. 


The Great Debate: What's the Most Important?

Each year a number of potentially practice-changing articles appear related to EMS. In this session, speakers will debate the value of these articles, providing the highlights of most importance as they apply to out-of-hospital care. Recently Ketamine has been in the news. One medical society weighed in on Ketamine administration outside of the hospital. What happened? How did EMS data contribute to the retraction of this statement? What does the evidence say about cardiac arrest care, airway management, and stroke care? Come find out!


The Healing Process

Post-traumatic growth is more than recovering. It is about reconfiguration and becoming a better person than you were before an injury. Daniel's journey from battling his demons to purging his nightmares in artwork is shared through images based on calls he attended as a paramedic and firefighter. Daniel will share how his job nearly destroyed his life in hopes attendees may connect through their own experiences and realize they are not alone.

Ashley Iverson, widow of Cal Fire FAE Cory Iverson that was killed fighting the Thomas fire on December 14, 2017, shares her story of love, loss and purpose. Join her on her journey of pain, self-discovery and ultimately finding her life’s purpose through the sacrifice of her beloved husband. In founding the Iverson Foundation for Active Awareness (IFAA), Ashley keeps Cory’s memory alive for their daughters and to continue Cory’s legacy to help all first responders—who selflessly help others on a daily basis—by assisting within the first responder mental health movement.

The Opioid Epidemic

This presentation will help prehospital medical providers to better understand the nature of the communicable disease and overdose syndemic that is killing over 70,000 Americans annually. Attendees will learn evidence based practices that are currently being deployed across the United States and Canada that are intended to reduce mortality and morbidity and to better engage with members of the drug using community.  All overdose deaths are preventable and EMS must lead the way as communities navigate their way through this public health crisis.

Training Our Communities: CPR, First Aid for Severe Trauma, Injury Prevention

CALL•PUSH•SHOCK is a national collaborative movement with a mission to motivate bystander CPR/AED action and increase SCA survival. This presentation showcases elements and results of the movement to date including a user-friendly toolkit that includes infographic, tested lay-friendly SCA definition, integrated co-branded social media assets in multiple languages, how to increase reach with clear consistent messaging, benefits of the movement, and a look ahead. The vision is to grow the movement to facilitate ongoing and greater public-facing engagement. Join the national movement to save lives from sudden cardiac arrest.


Treating Trauma

There are literally hundreds of thousands of papers in the medical literature. Yet, many lack sufficient quality to allow one to change medical practice. Traditionally, we are taught that randomized clinical trials represent “grade 1” evidence and retrospective studies are “grade 4”. Yet, a randomized study can be very flawed methodologically and a retrospective study can be very methodologically rigorous. We will review studies related to pre-hospital transfusion, TXA administration, and transport modality. 

This session is designed to address the controversies surrounding medications used in trauma. The use of tranexamic acid for all types of trauma, epinephrine in traumatic arrest, ketamine as the induction agent of choice, the ideal analagesic in a trauma patient, ICP reduction strategies during the peri-intubation, etc. will be discussed as well as the literature supporting these topics. Medication treatment pearls will also be discussed as it pertains to the medications used in trauma patients. 

Treatment Without Transport

A new law in Pennsylvania requires health insurers to pay EMS agencies for their services, regardless of whether they ultimately transported the patient.  In this session Dr. Swayze will present the potential perils and promises of this change from his unique perspective now working inside the health insurance industry. Will the changes be revolutionary for EMS, or simply revolting?



Your Tools and Your Skills

This dynamic session is a BLS-focused discussion about the goals of the first 10 minutes of any EMS call. Providers will learn how to use the W.I.N (What’s Important Now) acronym to sort through information and prioritize effectively. Tips and tricks will be shared to strengthen assessments and decision-making, improve patient outcomes, and perform successful patient handoffs.

As tools and technology increase in EMS, it becomes more important to understand the pitfalls and limitations of each device we use in our daily operations. Can you name 3 situations where a pulse ox will give you a false normal reading? How about when not to trust your stethoscope? We'll discuss the tools we use every day to diagnose and treat our patients, and limitations of each.