2020 Schedule

Saturday, November 14th

9:00 AM

  • Do You Know TIM? Working Safe on the Roadway [Operations] (Advanced Life Support AEMT or Higher) – Kyle David Bates
    The roadway is one of the most treacherous locations where we work. Every year numerous responders are struck, with 18% of fatalities occurring as the result of secondary collisions. Responders need to take actions beyond “shutting down the road” to make their work area safe. Join us for this lively and interactive presentation where we will discuss making the work area safer through proper traffic incident management, or TIM. 
    • Given a motor vehicle crash scenario, the student will be able to identify the associated dangers of working on and alongside the roadway. 
    • Given a motor vehicle crash scenario, the student will be able to discuss traffic incident management. 

  • The Good, The Bad, and the “What the %#@$ is that?” – Basic Cardiology [Cardiology] (Basic Life Support EMR-EMT) – Brandon Heggie
    Everyone knows cardiology to be a challenge, the goal of this lecture is to make it easy to understand as well as implement in your day-to-day life as an EMS professional. From understanding the pathophysiology of the heart to appropriately reading a 12-lead ECG and much more. We will assist you in gaining that knowledge-based confidence you need to make educated decisions for your cardiac patients. If you a are an EMT basic who wants to know more or a paramedic who just wants a basic refresher, you will benefit from this course.


  • It’s Your Island: Developing a Vibrant Organization Through Recruitment and Retention [Operations] (EMS Operations/Management) – James Small
    Your agency is an Island. How you populate it and keep it populated matters. This program suggests a strategy of recruitment and retention that helps a leader identify and hire great people and develop them into an engaged team with high employee retention that further improves the ability to recruit great people.


  • 10 Best Exercises for First Responders (Provider Well Being) – Aaron Zamzow
    Firefighters EMTs and Medics must approach their fitness like an athlete. The "10 Best Exercises" presentation places emphasis on this fact and teaches attendees specific movements and exercises that will enhance their performance, reduce injury and prolong careers. Each attendee will walk away with the 10 Best Exercises for Firefighters (fire rescue athletes) and learn how to incorporate them into simple workouts. Attendees will also gain an understanding and rationale about the best fitness equipment for first responders and the importance of integrating fitness into their daily schedules. 

    This presentation is targeted to any EMT, paramedic and/or firefighter concerned with improving their level of fitness to not only prolong their career but to be physically ready to meet the demands of the job. Training officers and chiefs are also encouraged to attend to get a better understanding of the fitness equipment needs of the department along with ways to motivate members to improve their level of fitness.

8:00 AM

  • Saturday Opening Session
    • WEMSA Awards
    President Address – Brian Donaldson
    • Losing What You Love: How to Rewire My Brain from Resuscitation to Comfort Care – David Olvera
     Description Coming Soon!

10:00 AM

  • Gases Gone WIld: Decompressing Dive Medicine [Medical] (Advanced Life Support AEMT or Higher) – Michael Brown
    Join your colleagues for a dive into the underwater world and gain an enhanced understanding of dive medicine and ideal gas laws. All of this framed within a real-world scenario experienced during a dive incident. Regardless of the presenting illness, you will leave with an enhanced understanding of how gases behave at different pressures and locations in the body. This can easily help to better understand multiple pathologies.
    • Discuss gas laws relevant to diving emergencies
    • Outline different types of diving and basic terminology
    • Understand pathophysiology of dive related injury/illness
    • Discuss case study of a diver suffering from decompression sickness


  • Hooked- Compassionate Response to Addicts, Addiction and the Opioid Crisis [Medical] (All Provider Levels EMR-Paramedic) – Nancy Magee
    According to the CDC, an average of 130 people in the US died of an opiate overdose in 2019. Unfortunately, commentary in workplaces, classrooms and on social media reflect a significant number of EMTs displaying an alarming amount of vitriol directed towards victims of addiction, often reflecting disdain, anger and even resentment at being called to respond to overdoses. Whether it is caused by ignorance or compassion fatigue, this attitude cannot go unaddressed by our profession. In this presentation we will review the physical, behavioral and social effects of the opioid epidemic on our loved ones, friends, and neighbors in our communities, and as a nation. Treatment both immediate and long term will be discussed along with the role of local EMS in education and prevention with a focus on humanizing addiction and pursuing advocacy, empathy, and compassionate professional response from the EMS providers on the front lines of the crisis.


  • Racial Bias in EMS and What We All Can Do About It [Operations] (EMS Operations/Management) – Mandy Krekora
    This one is gonna be H.O.T! Listen as two leaders in critical care education discuss the challenges we face in today’s race debates. Have we been conditioned to think a certain way? Subconsciously has our past experiences influenced the way we perform? EMS plays an integral role in shaping perceptions of our patients as well as those around us. 


  • Stress Management for Fire and EMS (Provider Well Being) – Kristen Herreid
    First responders are trained to utilize tactical strategies in crisis situations, so they can quickly protect lives and property. However, some critical incidents can overwhelm normal coping mechanisms and trigger significant signs and symptoms of distress.  In this class you will learn and practice coping skills that you can put into practical use for yourself and can bring back to your department to share with others.  Each skill learned will be written up so you can take it home with you.

4:00 PM

  • Redesigning EMS: Everything We Know Is Wrong [Operations] (All Provider Levels EMR-Paramedic) – Kelly Grayson
    Paramedics save lives. Response times matter. Trauma patients must make it to the operating room within the Golden Hour. ALS ambulances are the highest standard of care we can offer a community. All patients who call 911 should be transported to the Emergency Department. Most prehospital providers assume these statements are true, and systems are designed accordingly, but current medical research is challenging many long-held assumptions about prehospital emergency care. This presentation will examine how we might redesign EMS in the future, based on the premise that everything we know is wrong.


  • Capnography: Not Just for the Airway [ARV] (Basic Life Support EMR-EMT) – Kenneth Navarro
    Arguably, capnography is one of the most important advances in modern EMS medicine.  While most medics are familiar with the importance of using waveform capnography for airway management, the technology provides a reliable glimpse into the patient’s metabolic state.  This presentation will review the physiology that produces a capnography waveform and use a case-based format to explore the value of capnography in a patient suffering from a drug overdose.

  • Fully Involved: When You're a Hammer, Everything is a Nail [Operations] (EMS Operations/Management) – Mark Von Appen
    Description Coming Soon!


  • LIFE AFTER PTSD. Reinventing Yourself After Psychological Trauma (Provider Well Being) – Kyle Wilkinson
    In 2019, I was privileged to present my personal story of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder to the attendees of WEMSA Expo. It was about myself and my career, how I went from a once enthusiastic firefighter/paramedic; to a person I didn’t even recognize. Depressed and suicidal. A conversation ensued about how we can recognize and help our coworkers who may be suffering a similar fate.

    I struggled for quite some time to come to grips that I would never lace up my boots or don an SCBA again. This was tough. It was everything I’d known my entire adult life.

    I will talk about career pathways, continuing psychological care, wellness and diversification. How to become an advocate for your own care can be lifesaving. We will explore how I have turned a negative life event into one of great positivity.

    As First Responders, we are all only one call away from “the one” that breaks us.


11:00 AM

  • PEA? A More Pragmatic Approach to Care Than ACLS [Cardiology] (Advanced Life Support AEMT or Higher) – Kyle David Bates
    Pulseless Electrical Activity is a code rhythm met with much angst. If we could only get a pulse to match that complex! Perhaps the problem is the approach to resuscitation. Rather than take the standard ACLS H’s and T’s approach, it may be more advantageous to separate causes based on ECG complex! 

    • Through an interactive discussion, the student will be able to describe the limitations of the current ACLS approach to PEA management.
    • Given a motor vehicle crash scenario, the student will be able to discuss traffic incident management. 


  • Legal Lessons in EMS Leadership and Management [Operations] (EMS Operations/Management) – Greg West
    Join us in this interactive session (computer or mobile device required) to test your knowledge of legal principles that apply to EMS leaders, managers, and providers. Participants will utilize polling software on their own mobile devices (or computers) to answer real-life, scenario-based questions provided in a quiz show format. Topics covered will include employee pay, social media, negligence, civil liability, medical malpractice, patient privacy and confidentiality, state licensure requirements, provider wellness, disability accommodations, employment of military service members, and more!


  • EMS: A Family Business (Provider Well-Being) – Melanie Jorgenson & Brad Jorgenson
    Join WEMSA's own Board of Director Melanie Jorgenson and her son Brad as they share with you what working with family in a high-stress, high-acuity "business" is really like.


  • Helping Kids Cope: Trauma Informed Responses [Operations] (Basic Life Support EMR-EMT) – Kim Eithun Harshner
    Medical experiences can be frightening and confusing for children, especially in emergency situations. Applying a trauma informed framework can help acknowledge, address, and mitigate the traumatic stress a child may be experiencing. The workshop will provide practical tips for emergency medical technicians and health care workers to address a child or youth’s reactions as well as tips to engage families to help reduce the stress for children.


1:00 PM

  • ECMO [Cardiology] (Advanced Life Support AEMT or Higher) – Dr. Andrew Cathers & Dr. Daniel McCarthy
    After years of relative stagnation, ExtraCorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) is currently one of the most interesting and fast-moving fields of medicine. Due to this, there currently exists some ambiguity about terminology and the type of patients who would benefit from this incredible therapy. By providing historical context and the current state of the technology, we aim to clarify the options available to our medical centers. In addition, we will differentiate between Interfacility ECMO retrieval and ECPR/ECLS treatment for patients in cardiac arrest, and discuss some of the challenges inherent in transport of ECMO patients.


  • Fluid Resuscitation Without an IV: EMT's Treating Shock [Trauma] (Basic Life Support EMR-EMT) – Kenneth Navarro
    Aggressive out-of-hospital fluid administration to patients suffering from traumatic injury increases blood loss and mortality.  Recently, researchers developed an easy to use device that will increase blood return to the heart thereby increasing cardiac output and cerebral perfusion, while simultaneously lowering intracranial pressures (ICP).  This new therapy requires no IV, no advanced airway, and in fact, no advanced skills of any kind.  This presentation will examine how rescuers can provide beneficial fluid therapy without ever having to spike an IV bag. 

  • All Jacked Up (Provider Well Being) – Brandon Heggie
    “All Jacked Up” will hit home with almost all of the audience. This not just an educational talk about the effects of energy drinks on our patients. This is also a talk about how it affects YOU! First Responders chronically use energy drinks to power through their shifts, but what is the consequence? Are there any benefits? Let’s find out as we go through the physiologic effects of the drinks/supplements and how to mitigate them appropriately.

2:00 PM

  • Chemical Restraints: Pro's, Con's, Options and Calculations [Medical] (Advanced Life Support AEMT or Higher) – David Dalton
    When the need for behavioral restraint arises, physical restraint alone is often inadequate, and for some patients, it can even prove fatal. On the ambulance, having chemical restraint as an option should be considered just as essential as having an oxygen tank or defibrillator. Whether it's Ketamine, Versed, Valium, Ativan, or Haldol - no single drug can serve as the magic bullet, right for every occasion. But some are more appropriate for prehospital use than others. This session presents a side-by-side comparison of the 5 most-commonly-used chemical restraint agents, the latest field data on Ketamine and steps for recognizing, preventing, and managing Emergence Reactions; videos of patients with excited delirium, and an introduction to the Richmond Agitation Sedation Scale (RASS) and how it could be used to provide safer, more effective restraint.


  • Beyond AVPU: Using Mental Status Exams in the Prehospital Environment [Medical] (Basic Life Support EMR-EMT) – Dr. Drew Anderson
    Aggressive out-of-hospital fluid administration to patients suffering from traumatic injury increases blood loss and mortality.  Recently, researchers developed an easy to use device that will increase blood return to the heart thereby increasing cardiac output and cerebral perfusion, while simultaneously lowering intracranial pressures (ICP).  This new therapy requires no IV, no advanced airway, and in fact, no advanced skills of any kind.  This presentation will examine how rescuers can provide beneficial fluid therapy without ever having to spike an IV bag. 

  • Learning To Fly: Leaving Linear Thinking Behind to Embrace Critical Thinking [Operations] (EMS Operations/Management) – Brian Donaldson
    It’s been said by many that the EMS educational system turns out providers who are heavy on the skills and light on the thinking. Look around you, is there some truth in that statement? Do you resemble that remark? This session examines the perils and pitfalls associated with linear thinking and helps you to understand the importance of critical thinking skills. Some case studies help to drive home the point. It’s time to get past that cookbook approach to paramedicine and paramedicine management. Join Brian for this fast-paced session and spread your wings.


  • If We Don’t - Who Will? It’s What We Do! Right? (Provider Well Being) – Ken Cerney
    Without knowing it we can easily talk ourselves into a fatal situation. We as a group take risks daily that others can’t appreciate all in the name of helping others. Using data from research comparing Fire, Law Enforcement, EMS and Air medical risk tolerance, we will discuss and learn about our willingness to take risks, what type of risks those are, and how the stress we are placed under can prevent us from following standard procedures and protocols.  You may also discover something interesting about yourself and the culture you work in, both good and bad. Bring your smartphone to class. 


3:00 PM

  • Oops! Pain Assessment and Treatment: How We’re Getting it Wrong [Medical] (Advanced Life Support AEMT or Higher) – Tim Redding
    In this class, we will tackle some not-so-well accepted topics such as why paramedics do not treat pain, what some hurdles are for paramedics treating pain and how we assess pain and why it needs to change.


  • Medical Considerations for Technical Rescue Incidents [Trauma] (Basic Life Support EMR-EMT) – Doug Hexel
    Technical rescue incidents present a unique set of challenges to medical providers. Whether assessing and treating suspension injuries at a rope rescue or crush injuries at a structural collapse, special knowledge and skills are required from the provider. Modern medicine now requires medical treatment to begin during the rescue phase, rather than waiting for the victim to be rescued. This presentation focuses on kinematics of trauma, rescue techniques, treatment priorities, and special considerations to result in the best possible patient outcomes.

  • Protecting Your Agency from Ransomware, Viruses, Phishing and Cyber Threats in the Information Age [Operations] (EMS Operations/Management) – Dan Greenhaus
    Baltimore's Ransomware infection cost $18 Billion to fix. The City of Riverside's Police and Fire department has been hit by a ransomware twice, crippling their computer systems. New Orleans needed to declare a state of emergency after citywide cyberattack. A coordinated ransomware attack hit 23 Texas government agencies. Do you know what can be done to minimize your exposure to a cyber threat? And of course, while remaining compliant with the HIPAA regulations that EMS providers need to follow.


  • In Another's Eyes: Patient Advocacy & How We Leave Impressions in Our Patients Experiences (Provider Well Being) – Jeffrey Nichols
    Patients come and go, sometimes too fast to even remember all the details. But we as prehospital providers, or in-hospital for that matter, can leave an incredible impression in the lives of our patients. It is up to us as to what that equates to. Does that mean the patient being assessed, packaged, and processed like a Amazon special, with no human connection? Does this leave the patient uninformed, scared, and forever jaded in future healthcare interactions? Simple things that we can do with our patients’ can go a long way. We have things like AIDET et al., but whether it’s telling the patient he or she may have cancer, telling the wife of 65 years that her husband cannot be resuscitated, telling the family member that their loved one has died of an overdose, it’s a memory that we can play an incredible role in how that will be ingrained for the rest of their lives. In this talk, we will discuss simple human compassion, dignity, body signals, and speech can help make the best possibility of worst situation. But also how we need to do a better job of looking after each other’s, and strategies to do so.

Serving Those Who Serve Others ®

26422 Oakridge Dr

Wind Lake, WI 53185


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© 2019 Wisconsin EMS Association