Back..to the Future?

San Jose – When I first started into public safety communications, I wanted to learn and see as much as I could. Being in my 20’s and on a budget, I went to my first two trade conventions largely on my own dime. I took the Greyhound to Milwaukee in 1986 and drove myself and a colleague to Baltimore in ’87, staying in less expensive hotels on the fringes of the downtown, and taking public transit to the convention areas.

After finishing Aircraft Dispatcher school, I found an opportunity to do kind of the same thing, while getting the latest information on an industry that has long been of interest to me, and made up a good portion of the best part of my career.

The Air Medical Transport Conference, here through this evening, is the annual gathering of the Association of Air Medical Services. Back in the 80’s, the organization was known as ASHBEAMS (American Society of Hospital-Based Emergency Air Medical Services), and changed their name to AAMS in the early 90’s. It’s certainly more reflective of the international scope of the profession, as well as the varied ways that these services are delivered around the world.

I wanted to see how the industry has changed, how it compares to other segments of EMS that I’ve been more familiar with from recent work experience, and what challenges exist from a financial, regulatory, and operational perspective. This is of particular interest, given some significant changes in business models, service delivery modalities, and the attention of government to the manner that the industry operates in the wake of one of the worst years for accidents and fatalities in recent memory.

I had a pretty good time here; it was about par with most conference trips I’ve taken since that loss leader tour over 20 years ago. I’ll have much more about what I saw and found out over the next few days.

In the meantime, I’m glad that I’m not flying back to Denver tonight. I would likely not be getting there. It looks like when I do return early next week, the snow flying tonight will be melting like crazy, as temperatures are forecast to be in the 60’s.

Have a good rest of the week.

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