Welcome to the EMS Soapbox

Hello, and welcome to the EMS Soapbox.  This first posting will be an introduction. I will tell you a bit about who I am, why I am doing this, and what you can expect to find when you visit this site.

Who am I? My name is Mike MacKenzie, an Intermediate Care Paramedic working in rural Manitoba since 2011. Prior to my full time career in EMS, you would have found me teaching BLS, ACLS, ITLS and other programs for Heart Beat Inc. where I was the Director of Training for six years. I am married to a wonderful and understanding nurse named Carole, and I am the father of two lovely daughters. In December of 2016 I became a grandfather to a handsome young fellow who I am sure will grow up to be a physician, or maybe a rock star. I’ll keep you posted.

Why am I doing this? That is the million dollar question. Here is the ten dollar answer: I want to. Let me explain further. I have been a follower of FOAMed for a few years now. If you are not familiar with FOAMed, it stands for Free Open Access Medical Education. We all had to put out a lot of money for our initial schooling, but after that, it was difficult to find more and current education. Sure, you could attend a seminar or conference, or read a book or a peer reviewed paper, but the information was not always aligned with the latest evidence based practices. Now, with the advent of FOAMed, that has all changed. How we continue to learn has changed.

So this site has been inspired by medical education sites including EMcrit.org, Life in the Fast Lane and EMS12-lead to name a few. In creating the EMS Soapbox, I will offer a door into the FOAMed world, and inspire you the reader to search out the latest in evidence based practice. Understanding the ACLS, BLS or ITLS guidelines is okay as a starting point, but there is so much more out there, and information is changing while you are reading this.

What will you find at EMS Soapbox? Not everyone has time to read every paper on every subject. Quite frankly, either do I. But I do research topics which are relevant to my pre-hospital care practice, and a few that are a little beyond my scope. I will be talking about those topics here, in the form of reviews of studies and papers, and always including links to find the original information. For starters, you can expect a new post every month. My goal is  to promote discussion, and encourage you the reader to investigate further.  There will be some opinions, and just maybe the odd rant. It is, after all, called the EMS Soapbox, so you will excuse me if I get up and preach once or twice on topics I am passionate about. I will also be providing links to the websites which I have found most interesting and beneficial to my continuing quest for knowledge.

Readers will always be welcome to leave comments, and suggestions for future posts. As I said previously, my goal is to inspire discussion, promote a desire to seek out knowledge, and provide a portal to find it.

Thank you for taking the time to visit, and I hope to see you back soon.