2022 was certainly eventful for EMSAC, being a year of changes and accomplishments.

2022 was certainly eventful for EMSAC, being a year of changes and accomplishments

By Paramedic Scott Sholes, EMSAC President
EMS Chief, Durango Fire-Rescue (Region 9


It’s my pleasure to welcome two new members to the Executive Committee. Tom Anderson, our long-standing Membership Chair (AMR-Cañon City), was elected Vice President. And David Patterson, former board member and very active Advocacy Committee member (Falck Rocky Mountain), was appointed our new Secretary.  Never one to escape for very long, outgoing Vice President Sean Caffrey (Crested Butte FPD.) was appointed EMSAC’s representative to the EMS Sustainability Task Force.

The elections also brought some changes among the Regional Representatives. Paul “PJ” Johnson, from Mountain View Fire, was elected to represent Region 2, and Mike Lening, with AMR, will represent Region 7.  Danny Barela, who was most recently the CEMSEA President, is now the Region 10 Representative.  And finally, we welcomed a new Colorado EMS Educator’s Association President, Kimberly Whitten-Chung.

EMSAC’s Advocacy work included vital participation in the passage of Senate Bill 2022-225, “Ambulance Service Sustainability and State Licensing.”  This legislation sets up a multi-year, multi-disciplinary process of evaluating the totality of Colorado’s EMS system, while also moving ambulance licensing to the state. Chair Tim Dienst led a very robust Advocacy Committee on this and numerous EMS-related bills throughout the last legislative session. As mentioned, Sean Caffrey represents EMSAC on the Sustainability Taskforce, while I offered to serve on the Ambulance Licensing Task Force.

The 2022 EMSAC State EMS Conference came off exceptionally well again this year. Thanks to indefatigable efforts from the conference committee, co-chaired by Jason Kotas and DJ Head, along with Civica’s Dani Korth, the conference provided outstanding education, exhibits, and networking to 960 attendees. We love the Keystone location and planning for this fall is already underway. So don’t forget to mark your calendars for the 50th Annual Colorado State EMS Conference, November 2-5, 2023!

Our association membership numbers are very good, yet we continually strive to reach more of the Colorado EMS community and bring them on board. Heading up this challenge is our new Membership Chair, Brandon Chambers, who is also the current Region 6 Representative. Brandon stepped up when Tom Anderson was elected Vice President.

Among our notable successes was the State EMS Awards. Again this year, the nominations were simply outstanding, not to mention competitive. The Awards Committee, led by Kim Schallenberger (Plains-to-Peaks RETAC), has three main jobs:  inspire others to submit awards nominations, judge the nominations through a fair scoring process, and coordinate the annual awards ceremony. Once again they did a fantastic job. You can read about the 2022 award recipients by visiting the EMSAC website, and the nomination process for this year is already open. This year at the conference we also inaugurated the Colorado EMS Memorial as a way to recognize and remember EMS colleagues who passed away during the year. Again, please visit the website for last year’s memorial honorees, as well as submit information about any Colorado EMS provider you feel should be honored.

And I will wrap up with a big shout-out to our Communications Director, Howard Paul, who continues to be creative in ways to get out our important messages, including this very forum.  Howard will be assisted by our new “Columns Editor,” Josh Lorenzen, Deputy Chief of the Los Pinos Fire Department (Region 9).   Also, huge thanks to the many contributors to the blog, both regular and occasional, each providing vital information and thoughtful commentary about EMS in Colorado. Cheers and Happy 2023!

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