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January 28, 2014

EMS Today: 4 tips for attendees

EMTs and paramedics from around the world will gather to listen to top educators, shop for products in the exhibit hall, and network with other professionals when the EMS Today Conference and Exposition returns to Washington D.C. on February 5-8. Here are a few Everyday EMS tips to have a great week at EMS Today.

1. Ride the Metro

The Metrorail is an easy-to-use rail line that serves D.C. and the surrounding communities. Regular service is available from Ronald Reagan National Airport to the stations near the convention center and adjacent hotels. The rail line is clean and inexpensive. If you are flying into Dulles, a shared-ride shuttle service will be less expensive than a taxi, but stops at other hotels can significantly increase travel time.

2. Hydrate and maintain blood sugar

Stave off your thirst and hunger by always having a snack and water bottle in your shoulder bag or day pack. I always tuck a half-dozen granola bars and other healthy snacks into the voids of my carry-on suitcase. I also bring an empty water bottle or buy a fruit juice in a bottle that I can reuse throughout the trip. Early in the week, buy a bunch of bananas or a bag of apples from a convenience store so you always have a piece of fruit in your room for an early morning or late night healthy snack.

3. Be a tourist for a few hours

Make sure to block out some time to visit the monuments along the National Mall. For me, running combines my interest of being a tourist with my need for some exercise. There is so much to see that you might have to pick just three to five monuments or museums for a morning or afternoon away from the conference.

Also consider making a visit to your U.S. Representative to ask for their support for the NAEMT Field EMS Bill, which combats the lack of state and federal funding for EMS.

4. Connect with the app and other EMTs

Download the EMS Today iPhone app (available at iTunes) to have the education session schedule and exhibit hall layout at your fingertips. Post important points from education sessions and product photos to your Facebook page or Twitter feed with the hashtag #EMSToday.

Finally, after you check the schedule on your app or post a photo, put your phone back in your pocket. Take advantage of the great opportunities available at EMS Today to visit with EMTs and paramedics from around the world. You will benefit from and remember those interactions much more than the status updates your coworkers back home are posting. Be present and real with the other EMS professionals in D.C. Enjoy!

Share your tips for EMS Today, traveling to and around D.C., and making the most of the conference in the comments.

About the Author

Greg Friese, MS, NRP, is Editor-in-Chief of He is an educator, author, paramedic, and marathon runner. Ask questions or submit tip ideas to Greg by emailing him at