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By Dan Limmer

2021 has been a hell of a year.

Many things happened, but they all begin with “pandemic” or “COVID.” There were rumors of an insurrection and the actual freeing of Britney Spears, but these can’t be confirmed. COVID issues affected the supply chain causing alternating shortages of toilet paper and, well, what is more important than toilet paper?

Speaking of the supply chain, because of a COVID-related disruption in the supply chain of electrons, EMS1.com and EMSWorld.com will reduce their number of update emails to only 12 each day.

While on the topic of updates, the American Heart Association 2022 guidelines will confirm that bretylium does provide a chemical defibrillation like we thought in 1983 (2b recommendation) and returns the “bellows” method of artificial ventilation to the guidelines (2a recommendation).

They continue to state that recommendations at “Level III – Harm” should never be used. To prove how serious they are, they switched to Roman numerals.

Lastly, after considerable field testing and research, the AHA will drop the terms “compression” and “ventilation” for the simplified “pump and blow,” citing greater compliance and familiarity with the public.

And speaking of public perception, provider nomenclature has been a considerable discussion in 2021 and will continue that way in 2022 with great rhetoric and chest thumping but no actual progress. While many believe everyone in EMS should be called a “paramedic,” several noteworthy individuals in the industry disagree. A stray national organization issued a vaguely worded position statement which possibly disagreed, but no one is sure. Since we can’t seem to agree, I propose using the terms “grunt” and “advanced practice grunt.” This not only matches the noise when we lift a patient or see our paycheck, but it also matches our national level of indifference in EMS.

Since we are talking about nomenclature, while we aren’t sure whether the lack of letters in Ambulnz is driven by an attempt to reduce cost in vehicle lettering, to appeal to young, hip social media users, or written in a foreign language, it does seem to make the whole nomenclature issue moot. Pramdc anyone?

On the notable people in EMS category, although retired from EMS, humorist, and cartoonist Steve Berry will pen a new book, Confessions of an Ambulance Driver, where he names all the people who did the wild shit that inspired each cartoon. Kelly Grayson often called the Mark Twain of EMS for his writing talent and insights, will continue in the path of Twain penning A Connecticut Yankee in Boudreau’s Court detailing Nancy Magee’s transition to life in rural Louisiana.

In television, the bunk room in the Chicago Fire station has been renamed the “on-call room” (a la Gray’s Anatomy) to allow even more sex to occur in the series. Episode 6 even has one fire and two EMS calls. Speaking of Gray’s anatomy, since everyone in the hospital has carnal knowledge of each other at least twice, openings are now available for EMS providers to enter the show’s on-call room. And we thought advanced practice would never take off…

And speaking of television, Nightwatch has returned to the air again, highlighting EMS in New Orleans. The A&E network is currently looking for Cajun to English translators for closed captioning. If you would like information on this position, just ax them.

While EMS might not be appropriately represented on TV, our podcasts certainly shine. There are rumors of podcast mergers that will create The 10 Minute FOAMFrat Inside Paramedic Mindset SecondShift Squadcast. Stay tuned.

Back to the pandemic. While COVID has had a catastrophic impact on the US, the CDC feels that many still don’t understand the seriousness of the situation. To remedy this, the CDC has partnered with the Weather Channel to help spread the word more efficiently. The Weather Channel team will help transition the CDC from antiquated terms like “historic” and “unprecedented” to more dramatic terms like “bomb cyclone transmission” and “sustained category 5 spread.” Hosts Stephanie Abrams and Jim Cantore have filmed segments with high winds and a deluge of viruses bouncing off their trendy outdoor gear for upcoming TV segments.

This seems a great way to end these predictions. I can feel the winds of COVID blowing through 2022 already

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