FDIC Conference Director Diane Rothschild recently spoke with Mike McEvoy, Fire Engineering EMS technical editor; EMS coordinator, Saratoga County, New York, who will give his keynote on “Making a Difference” at the FDIC 2017 General Session, about the whole FDIC “experience.”
DR: How long have you been teaching/attending FDIC?
MM: I remember being approached to teach at FDIC by then-editor Bill Manning sometime around 1996. I presented at my first FDIC a year or two later and have been there ever since.
DR: How did you get into instructing in general?
MM: I actually started teaching first aid and CPR classes when I was in high school. I’ve always been in some instructional capacity since then.
DR: What sets your experience at FDIC apart from attending other conferences?
MM: FDIC is one of the largest conferences I attend annually, and I find the brotherhood and shared connections in the fire service really enhance the learning experience. It’s simple to approach, meet, and hang out with virtually any instructor at the conference–not the kind of experience you would ordinarily encounter.
DR: What was your reaction to being selected to speak at the General Session?
MM: I was incredibly honored and humbled. It’s not every (or really any) day that the “EMS guy” gets to speak at a General Session.
DR: Why is your speech an important topic to the audience and the fire service as a whole?
MM: I really believe that we all make a difference in the lives of others each and every day. I also think we miss opportunities to accept praise from others and be proud of our accomplishments. My message should help attendees see themselves in a more positive light and provide some tools to improve morale in those around them.
DR: What do you think is the most pressing issue facing the fire service today and why?
MM: The most pressing issue in the fire service today is a need to redefine our mission along the lines of what our communities need from us. In some cases, that means improving our EMS response; in others, it might mean not doing EMS because someone else does it better. If we fail to grow, develop, and learn to partner more effectively with other emergency service providers, we’re not going to have a very bright future.
DR: What is your “takeaway” from a week at FDIC?
MM: My takeaway is always tons of new knowledge, dozens of new friends and contacts, and the feeling that I have seen the latest and greatest of fire and EMS people, equipment, tools, and instructors.
DR: Who are your FDIC role models and why?
MM: The members of the Indianapolis (IN) Fire Department have always been my role models. They are a quiet yet powerful force in making FDIC successful year after year. Their service and understanding are amazing.
DR: What advice do you have for first-time attendees?
MM: I suggest that first-time attendees read the program carefully; attend each opening session; pick their classes the night before so they are not making off-the-cuff choices; and spend some time at the evening events including the 5k Courage and Valor Run, the IFD Open House on Friday night, and the many other after-hour events where they can socialize and make new connections with brothers and sisters from around the world.
Thursday, April 27, 2017, 8:00 a.m.-10:00 a.m.
Sagamore Ballroom 1-7, Indiana Convention Center
“Making a Difference”
Mike McEvoy, Fire Engineering EMS technical editor; EMS coordinator, Saratoga County, New York
Every day, you make a difference in the lives of others. Firefighting and EMS are the greatest jobs in the world; yet, at times, we struggle to find value in what we do. This keynote explores the hero inside each of us and how taking care of others and ourselves not only adds value and meaning to our lives but also helps us to achieve excellence. Your special skills, personality traits, and talents not only make you an amazing responder, they can also help you be happier, improve morale at home and on the job, and help your brother and sister firefighters when the going gets tough.
Mike McEvoy, PhD, NRP, RN, CCRN, is EMS coordinator for Saratoga County, New York, and the EMS editor of Fire Engineering. He is a nurse clinician in the cardiac surgical ICU at Albany Medical Center, where he also chairs the hospital resuscitation committee and teaches critical care medicine. He is a paramedic supervisor for the Clifton Park & Halfmoon Ambulance, chief medical officer for the West Crescent (NY) Fire Department, and an EMS Section board member of the International Association of Fire Chiefs. He is also the lead editor of the textbook Critical Care Transport and the Informed EMS and Critical Care Guide series (Jones & Bartlett Publishers).