I was bitten by the EMS bug a long time ago when I took a first aid class which led to an EMT class which led to a paramedic class. The path that led to becoming flight nurse had lots of twists and turns but always clearly in sight was the desire to work in the prehospital setting. Along the way, I found MEMSA and have been deeply involved in Missouri EMS for over 30 years. My dedication and my focus on EMS is as strong today as it was all those years ago
About the time I became president in 2015, MEMSA had made the very difficult decision to withdraw from managing the skills testing process for EMT and Paramedic candidates. That caused some chaos and lots of ripple effects. Income was lost. The MEMSA office was sold. Office staff had been let go. The EMS Connection magazine was just getting established. As we set about reorganizing MEMSA’s business model, we not only had to learn what to do but how to do it. But it also gave us an opportunity to do things better. An electronic data base was created, the magazine flourished, new bylaws were written and MEMSA was re-energized again.
In looking for ways to increase value to MEMSA memberships, we partnered with SAVVIK buying group where MEMSA members can take advantage of deeply discounted medical supplies, equipment, uniforms etc. We also signed an agreement with EMS World Expo so MEMSA members can attend that conference at a discount. MEMSA continues to advocate for EMS on legislative issues and pushes our industry to be at the table for input and visibility.
Now that MEMSA is on firm footing again, it is time to focus more attention on the big issues facing EMS such as cost reporting, data collection and elevating EMS as a profession which is tied directly to better pay. Multiple jobs and fatigue should not be the norm for EMS workers. We are engaged in rewriting the Missouri regulations that apply to EMS as well as reviewing the TCD system. So much is waiting to be accomplished. I believe MEMSA has the potential to be the premier EMS association in the US if the members and the leadership work together. If elected, I will continue to work hard so MEMSA has visibility and has input in all these projects and others as they develop.