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Suffolk to host EMS Expo

Paramedics and other emergency medical service providers from the region will converge on Suffolk’s Hilton Garden Inn this weekend for continuing education in their field.

The EMS Educational Expo begins Friday and lasts through Sunday. Suffolk Fire and Rescue hosts the event, along with Bon Secours Hampton Roads Health System, the Tidewater Emergency Medical Services Council and the Virginia Office of Emergency Medical Services. It is funded in part by a grant from the Virginia Office of Emergency Medical Services, and also by participants’ registration fees.

“It’s for paramedics and EMS providers to obtain recertification hours,” Suffolk Deputy Fire Chief Brian Spicer said.

More than 75 people from all over Hampton Roads and Western Tidewater have signed up. Spicer said the conference focuses on providers from Western Tidewater departments, because they are not always able to make it to the annual state EMS conference in Norfolk to get their recertification hours.

“A lot of people are not able to get a lot of hours during that statewide conference,” Spicer said. “It presents travel issues, trying to get back and forth every day. We think with the cost of admission and proximity to those areas, [the Suffolk conference] is a real good value for them.”

Attendees at the conference will hear from keynote speakers Steve Berry, a paramedic instructor and humorist; and Jeff Doucette, who works for Bon Secours.

Breakout sessions will include training on shock management, geriatric trauma, abdominal trauma, disability awareness, injuries from explosions and more. Some instructors are coming from as far away as Phoenix, Ariz., Spicer said. One instructor will share his experiences in pre-hospital medicine while working earthquake relief in Haiti.

For more information on the conference, call 963-0632.