“One of the great opportunities when coming to an event such as this, especially this one being the largest show, is being able to network and share with the community of EMS responders. Getting to see the new technologies, the phenomenal continuing education sessions, and having the chance to network with people from all over the country and even all over the world, is what keeps me coming back.”
Name: Mike McDonough, NREMT-P, Paramedic Program Director for Cuesta College
Q: Is this the first EMS World Expo that you’ve attended?
A: This is not the first EMS World show that I have been to. I have been going to them for a number of years, too many to remember.
Q: What keeps bringing you back to EMS World Expo?
A: Several things: To come to the EMS World Expo presents opportunities to network with people, whether it be vendors, contractors, or fellow co-workers in EMS. Just that opportunity to network with everybody, meet old friends. We use this as an annual reunion. The educational factor, the speakers are great, and to get the continued education that I need to maintain my Paramedic certification.
Q: Can you talk about the community of EMS and the people you come back to see?
A: One of the great opportunities when coming to an event such as this, especially this one being the largest show, is being able to share with the community of EMS responders. I work and live in California and of course we tend to be fairly busy there, but the chance to network with people from all over the country and even all over the world, we have a common purpose to help people. But how we do that varies, and we can share those ideas and concepts and learn from each other—what works, what doesn’t work, what’s new. That’s a big part of coming here, just learning what’s new on the radar for EMS.
Q: You’re a paramedic and also an instructor. Can you talk a little about your students, how old they are, how many you have, and what you get out of Expo that you share with them?
A: I’ve been in EMS for 35 years and I absolutely love it. Randy [Mantooth] talked about how “it’s in our DNA and in our blood.” I think that’s very true. Once you get into EMS, it just stays with you. In my “twilight years,” I’m getting into education to train the next generation to take our place. It’s exciting because they are excited. I want to instill that passion in them. I’m the program director for Santa Barbara City College’s EMT program. We run 85 to 90 students per semester. I come here to bring info back to them that’s fresh, new, and pioneering to excite them so that next year, they will attend and absorb all of the advantages of coming to the Expo. They’re new; they don’t know about all of the opportunities and resources that are available to them.
Q: What has been your favorite part or caught your attention or the most engaging thing that you’ve taken away so far?
A: What’s my favorite part of Expo? That’s a very tough question to answer. I’ve enjoyed a lot of different aspects. I enjoy the trade show—I do like coming in and finding out what’s new and reconnecting with some of the vendors that I’ve known for many years. I really appreciate getting to see the new technologies and what’s out there. Also, the continuing education sessions are phenomenal. You’ve got some real high performers, real big names in the business. When I first started coming to conferences such as this, a lot of it was the sharing of stories and anecdotal things. Now I’m seeing a huge shift to evidence-based medicine, which is very exciting. We’ve done many things for many years just because it must make sense. Nobody really had any science behind it because it was just a thought. Now we’re making good patient-care decisions based on science, and that’s exciting. That doesn’t happen as well without a show like this to share that information.