They Laughed, They Cried…

… they held their lighters aloft and swayed rhythmically. Men bought me beer, and women threw their panties on the stage.

You know, the usual.*

Just got back from the ESCAPe Conference in Pipestem, WV and the Ohio ITLS Emergency Care Conference in Columbus, OH. Had a great reception at both.

This is the third time the folks at ESCAPe have brought me back, and they know how to treat their speakers.


Peach moonshine. Because, West Virgina.

The scenery from the room I was lecturing from was pretty nice, as well.


Now that the season’s over, they all but do the Macarena outside your hotel room window.

The folks were great, as usual. As one group of EMTs told me, after seeing them in my third lecture of the day, “Dude, we don’t read lecture titles any more. We just need to see the name of the speaker.”

In fact, in my EMS Instructor Workshop, there was a discrepancy in the schedule that had my students show up 30 minutes early (or me show up 30 minutes late). When I moseyed into my meeting room at 1:25 after a leisurely lunch, I found all twenty-five of them still sitting there patiently waiting for me to arrive. Not a soul got up and left, and no one bitched, either.

Now that was flattering.

This was my first year to speak for the ITLS folks in Ohio, but I enjoyed the experience tremendously. Had fifty-two people sign up for my EMS Instructor Workshop, and taught them a few out-of-the-box techniques for teaching EMT classes, like case-based learning and team-based learning.

Want to see a room full of EMS instructors cackle evilly? Break them into groups for symptom-based games with the instruction: Form a scenario based on just one symptom. Get as creative as you want to, and see if the other groups can figure out what the problem is.


Symptom-based games. I call it “Zebra Practice.”

Invariably, everyone tries to top each other, and the results are some truly challenging scenarios. One group, whose symptom was “persistent erection,” came up with a 17-year-old kid with sickle cell disease, who’d had a priapism for six hours. Nobody figured it out.

The very next group, whose symptom was “abdominal and pelvic pain,” chose as their victim an attractive girl, who started out the scenario with, “Well, my boyfriend had an erection for six hours last night…”

We ROFL’ed.

Still, I had a great time, and I’d like to thank the folks from Ohio and West Virginia for having me.

*Actually, I stayed in the room, ate room service food, drank my moonshine, and tried to nurse myself through a nasty flareup of plantar fasciitis. It’s hard to be on your game when you’re struggling to keep from limping and wincing at every step.

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