Vermont EMS Conference, Burlington VTI'd like to extend a special thanks to conference attendees and organizers, especially All Clear Emergency Management, for inviting me to present at the Vermont EMS Con!
I truly enjoy public speaking and presenting at emergency service conferences and in 2012 I've been invited to conferences from Alaska to Vermont and many places in between. Speaking at conferences and meeting other emergency management and EMS professionals always excites me. I often return home energized from meeting proactive people and with a head full of new ideas. The sessions on Special Needs in Crisis and School Bus Rescue were very well attended with a considerable amount of audience participation. Just the way I like it.
Travel to the Vermont conference had an added, albeit challenging, twist...hurricane Sandy. When I left home in the afternoon of October 28 predictions for Sandy's landfall were being confirmed. I figured I'd bump into this category 1 storm at some point.
|On the NYS Thruway Eastbound|
It wasn't long before I was driving along side convoys of utility trucks with license plates from the Great Lakes area to the Gulf Coast.
The road conditions pictured at left are actually from a local weather system and not from Sandy...I'd meet up with her later.
|Welcome to VT|
The approach to Vermont. Leaving New York and entering Vermont is punctuated by crossing Lake Champlain via this massive bridge.
Note that, while overcast, the weather is nothing less than cooperative at this point. From here its another hour into Burlington. A six-hour drive from Rochester, NY.
|Sums up my feeling toward air travel in general|
After getting checked in and settled I took a recon walk to check out the conference area and rooms.
Along the way I found a pumpkin carving display in the hotel lobby. The carvings had a obvious EMS theme.
The Scare Care pumpkin...precisely summarizes my feelings on air travel.
A bit less inventive but obligatory Star of Life pumpkin.
As I said, an EMS theme. When I checked back the next morning there was something missing.
Take note of the topic listed just below mine. I was impressed with the number of emergency management/preparedness topics at this conference. Rory Putnam is the EMS Clinical coordinator at Northern Essex Community College. He hit a home run with his talk on EMS preparedness. Rory and I had a few minutes to talk during lunch. I appreciated his insights on EMS and disaster situations and hope to have him on Mitigation Journal podcast soon.
No laptop for me. This was the second conference I worked entirely from my iPad and controlled with the iPhone. I use Keynote (Mac version of PPT) on my iPad and Keynote Remote for iPhone. Connected via Bluetooth I can see current slide, preview next slide and view speaker notes on the phone.
The iPad/iPhone-Keynote setup is simple to use and user-friendly at the podium or walking around the room.
The Special Needs topics have been growing in popularity. This session focused on preparedness, including a how-to on conducting a hazard vulnerability assessment.
As with all my presentations, I customized the content with Vermont-specific statistics to add relevance to the message.
A not-so-ominous to the South approaching the Vermont/NY state line at 5pm October 29, 2012.
Welcome to NY...just ahead of Sandy. I did feel a sense of accomplishment knowing I'd filled my gas tank in Vermont and paid a buck-fifty less per gallon than I would in NY.
This is also the point in the trip when the weather started to change. My drive through the Southeastern Adirondacks was a zig-zag of downed trees and wind-driven rain. It was also darker than I've ever known it to be. No pictures...but made it home safe.
Thanks, again to the organizers of the VT EMS Con. I had a wonderful, albeit short, visit. See you next year.