In 28 years (1983–2011) with EMS World and its predecessor, Emergency Medical Providers Journal, Marie Nordberg served in plenty of capacities and witnessed a universe of modifications. One in all her most profound legacies got here with the creation of EMS World Expo. Initially identified simply as EMS Expo, it has grown from ragtag beginnings into North America’s largest and premier EMS occasion. Right here she talks in regards to the early days of the present and among the memorable years that adopted.
There’s nonetheless time to register for this 12 months’s particular digital EMS World Expo, which kicks off Sept. 14. For extra: www.emsworldexpo.com.
EMS World: Inform us the story of the primary EMS Expo. How did it start?
Nordberg: The primary one was in 1989, and I believe it should have been ’88 when Dave Caplin [a key architect of those early shows who died in 2014] approached [magazine co-owners] Debbie [Carver] and Carol [Summer] about doing a convention. There was no competitors on the time, and he had some convention expertise. I don’t know what lastly satisfied them, however they determined they might strive it.
The primary one was in Atlanta. [Editor] Barb Feiner and I glided by ourselves and met Dave—Debbie and Carol didn’t even go to that first one. So it was simply Barb and Dave and I who put collectively that first convention, in addition to this system. Possibly solely 300 or 400 individuals attended that first 12 months—I keep in mind sitting in some lessons that had 5 or 6 individuals in them. However no person was discouraged as a result of it was the primary, and folks have been enthusiastic about it.
The spotlight for me from that first one was that [Atlanta mayor and former congressman and U.N. ambassador] Andrew Younger lower the ribbon to open the exhibit corridor. He was an enormous identify, so it was thrilling to have him come. We met him on the door and escorted him into the exhibit corridor, and that was sort of an enormous deal.
If I keep in mind proper, Ken Bouvier might need spoken that 12 months—he spoke both that first or second 12 months and I imagine has spoken yearly since. I’m positive he’s in all probability the one one that’s spoken that many instances. [Ed’s note: Catch him again this year!]
Then it began rising, and we went far and wide. We had conferences in Atlanta, Nashville, Dallas, St. Louis, Cleveland, Las Vegas, New Orleans, all these cities. And we began out within the spring—these first years have been at all times in April or early Might, I don’t keep in mind why they lastly switched, however then it stayed within the fall.
I keep in mind a few these years being in Atlanta throughout storm season and being within the exhibit corridor with twister sirens sounding outdoors and questioning what was going to occur.
In that vein, 2005 needed to be a memorable 12 months, when Hurricane Katrina lower the present quick in New Orleans.
Little question about it—I used to be simply speaking about that with somebody, actually, as a result of August 28th was the day I imagine I flew out of New Orleans. [Editor] Nancy [Perry] and I left the resort at three o’clock within the morning and received a cab to the airport, and it was packed—every thing within the airport was closed as a result of the storm was coming, individuals have been crying as a result of they couldn’t get on flights. Quite a lot of our EMS individuals simply stayed there on the conference middle. Some drove to Baton Rouge, some drove to Houston. Any individual even drove all the best way to Pittsburgh as a result of they couldn’t get a flight. They rented automobiles till the rental automobiles have been gone.
For that first present in 1989, was it troublesome to spherical up college and exhibitors?
I don’t keep in mind that it was. We had a reasonably full program, and we’d already contacted lots of people by the journal. We had a number of who have been already writing for us. So we had the contacts, they usually suggested us on easy methods to put collectively a program, and Dave Caplin took care of the exhibit corridor half and received maintain of exhibitors.
I keep in mind we put collectively a good present, and as soon as we received began, there was no drawback getting audio system. In reality, we at all times had many extra candidates than we may use. And naturally we at all times leaned on the great individuals.
With the angle of so a few years working with it, are you able to distill what makes a profitable present?
Nicely, good audio system with present info and all kinds of matters to enchantment to everybody from the brand new EMT to the physicians and nurses. We tried to cowl all of the bases and have one thing for everyone. For some time we even had a automobile upkeep observe—a complete sort of facet division for individuals concerned in that a part of EMS who weren’t essentially medical suppliers however maintained the ambulances, purchased and bought them, regulated, all of that.
That was loads of work as a result of it was a complete new group of individuals. It was loads of becoming individuals’s schedules collectively and getting the best individuals, and it was a problem, nevertheless it labored!
It have to be neat to look at not solely the present develop and thrive however the common audio system evolve and advance as professionals because the years go by.
Sure, completely. Will Krost, for instance—when Will began out, he was a younger paramedic with a younger household, and now he’s a medical physician in Nashville. Will was one in every of our common individuals and an incredible assist to us.
Quite a lot of them have been round a very long time. Mike Dailey was on the board of the journal earlier than I began and nonetheless is. Baxter Larmon, Erik Gaull, Paul Maniscalco, Rick Patrick, Mike Poynter, David Web page, Ed Racht, Katherine West—they have been all with the journal for years and years, a number of of them earlier than I began in 1983.
The expansion of the present has been superb. I learn the journal, and the matters haven’t modified that a lot—it’s the identical stuff and but totally different. The journal is a bit of skinny now, however clearly a a lot larger on-line presence. Folks nonetheless want it. However yeah, it’s enjoyable to see what the present has turn into from the place it began, it truly is.
John Erich is the senior editor of EMS World.