rising to the challenge of change

This annual conference is created and designed specifically for the EMS leaders of rural Utah. Each presenter has been selected to provide you with up to date information and tools and resources you can learn today and use tomorrow.

Every week there seems to be new changes to the field of Emergency Medicine.  Our 2021 conference will focus on the leadership challenges that these changes bring with them.  Each speaker and session will be directed to EMS leaders and directors.



November 1-4, 2021

Monday: opening Dinner 6:30pm
Tuesday & Wednesday: 9:00 - 4:00 PM Speakers & Presentations
Thursday:  Optional Leadership Add-on

springhill suites


Springhill Suites
1865 North Highway 191
Moab, UT
$189/night (price honored M-T-W-Th)
Click here to book your room



Leadership Add-on:  $25
Active Members: $75
Associate Members: $75
Agency Affiliated
Non-Members: $200
Non-Affiliated Non-Members: $275

Monday, Nov 1, 2021

Time Activity
6:30 PM Conference Opening Dinner
8:00 PM State of the Association &
Director of the Year Award
Location: Red Cliffs Lodge - Colorado Room Mile Post 14 Hwy 128, Moab, UT 84532

Director of the year award will be given for both the 2020 and 2021 years. Significant others traveling with you are invited to attend dinner.
Kevin Presentation

Tuesday Nov 2, 2021

Location: SpringHill Suites Conference Room
Time Activity
9:00 Welcome and Opening Keynote Speaker
10:30 BREAK
11:00 Rural EMS in the Year 2030
Chris Monterra
12:00 Lunch and Learn
Sponsored by:
1:30 Staffing Best Practice Roundtable
Topic 1: Mixed Staffing
Topic 2: Retention Incentives
Topic 3: Effective Staff Communication
3:00 Jeep and Boating Outings

Wednesday Nov 3, 2021

Location: SpringHill Suites Conference Room
Time Activity
9:00 Association Membership Meeting
Mike Willits, President
10:30 BREAK
11:00 TBD
Engaged Training
12:00 Lunch and Learn
Sponsored by:
1:30 Keynote Speaker:
3:00 Closing Comments
Mike Willits, President
End by 3:30 PM

thursday Nov 4, 2021

Location: TBD
Time Activity
8:30 AM Full-day Leadership Training
12:30 PM Leadership Lunch
4:30 PM Leadership Training Ends

presentation details


Rural EMS Leadership - Tuesday Add-On Training

Ben Wasmund,  SafeTech Solutions

Ben has more than 20 years of diverse experience in emergency medical services and knows and understands EMS operations in both paid and volunteer EMS organizations. He began his career in a small rural BLS ambulance service and through the years helped to advance this service to a combination full time/volunteer ALS system. He recently celebrated over 21 years with this department where he still works as a Paramedic. In addition to his volunteer and front line experience, Ben is the Director of Operations for a private not-for-profit ALS/critical care EMS service. Prior to becoming the director, he held numerous roles within this organization including, Paramedic, Field Lead, Supervisor and Manager. In addition to his EMS experience, he has been a firefighter and has worked and trained in the Fire and Rescue arena including: Vehicle Extrication, High Angle Rope Rescue, Dive Rescue Operations and Tactical EMS. Ben brings his leadership experience as a Director and personal experiences of working at all levels of systems as a volunteer working for different EMS systems across multiple states.


Protecting Provider Sanity - Wednesday, 9:00 AM

Pat Songer, Cascade Medical

Pat Songer is the Chief Operating Officer at Cascade Medical in Leavenworth, Washington.  He is the current Executive Director of the National EMS Management Association and the liaison to the EMS Practitioner Mental Health & Well-Being committee. With three decades of healthcare experience, Pat is a collaborative leader with a passion for rural EMS System sustainability.  Pat developed a love for critical access hospitals in Nevada, where he worked for 12 years at Humboldt General Hospital as the Chief of EMS, a critical access hospital in Winnemucca, Nevada. He also worked as Director of Emergency Medical Services at UCHealth in Fort Collins, Colorado.  He was named one of the top 10 EMS Innovators of the Year in 2011 by JEMS and lead NEMSMA's team who received the James O'Page award in 2016 for their White Paper on Mental Health and Stress in EMS. Rooted in his experience from the field, Pat worked for several years as a flight medic, a firefighter and reserve deputy sheriff. In his free time, Pat is an avid outdoorsman, a family man, a pilot, and a nationally certified paramedic.​

Chris Montera

Rural EMS in 2030 - Wednesday, 11:00 AM

Chris Montera, CEO Eagle County Paramedic Services

Christopher Montera is the CEO at Eagle County Paramedic Services. Chris is the current treasurer of the Central Mountains RETAC, a past president and current treasurer of the Emergency Medical Services Association of Colorado and was the EMS Data Specialist for Western Regional Emergency Trauma Advisory Council under contract to serve the State of Colorado.  Chris has 28 years of experience in EMS and has received numerous awards for service.  In his career he has worked in the Fire Service, Public Health and several EMS services including Summit County Ambulance and South Park Ambulance District.  He was named one of the top 10 EMS Innovators of the Year in 2010 by JEMS and PhysioControl. In his spare time he enjoys being a geek, producing his internet radio show EMS Garage (http://www.emsgarage.com), and other Colorado outdoor activities.

Staffing Best Practice Roundtable - Wednesday, 1:30 PM

There is so much expertise among our own association.  Thirty minutes will be spent on each of the focus topics.  Three association members will each present five minutes of their best ideas, followed by fifteen minutes of Q&A on the topic.

Topic 1:  Making Mixed Staffing Work - FT/PT/Volunteers

Topic 2:  Retention Incentives

Topic 3:  Effective Staff Communications


Afternoon Group Activities - wednesday 3:00 pm